FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 7, 2019
ANISHINAABE AND DAKOTA TERRITORY, MB — In light of today’s announcement by the Government of Canada to cut off funding for emergency aid to residents of Lake St. Martin First Nation, Southern Chiefs’ Organization would like to express its discontent with the treatment of First Nations during this time of crisis. This is a community which was intentionally flooded less than a decade ago in 2011, by the province of Manitoba, putting their livelihoods in jeopardy. Today, in an emergency caused by a natural disaster, the Feds look to eliminate the humanitarian aid that is so needed for Lake St. Martin to recover from the wreckage left behind by the 2019 MB Winter Storm. Enough is enough.
SCO Grand Chief Jerry Daniels, “How long do we have to wait while the resources of our lands are exploited every single day? Millions of acres are owed to us, in a time when government continues to take from our communities. Where is the Justice in this? How is this fair? Those who believe we are living in a society of opportunity need only look at the socio-economic condition of the original peoples of these lands for examples of the underlining values of Manitobans and Canadians. We are looking for genuine partners—solution-oriented hearts and minds. How long must we wait for true reconciliation?
SCO stands with the residents of Lake St. Martin and calls on the province to not sit idly by in a State of Emergency while their people suffer without a home to go back to. SCO stands with Lake St. Martin Chief Adrian Sinclair in his push for extension of emergency funds, and hopes the Federal government will show some humanity in this dire situation.
The Southern Chiefs’ Organization represents 34 First Nations of Manitoba in agreement to establish an independent political forum to protect, preserve, promote, and enhance First Nations peoples’ inherent rights, languages, customs, and traditions through the application and implementation of the spirit and intent of the Treaty-making process.
For further information, please contact Vic Savino at (204) 946-1869 or via email at Vic.Savino@scoinc.mb.ca.