(Coast Salish Territory/Vancouver, April 20, 2006) The First Nations Leadership Council is very apprehensive of the quickly escalating volatile crisis at Caledonia, Ontario.
“We call for the immediate intervention of both Prime Minister Harper and Premier McGuinty to begin to defuse this tense situation” said Grand Chief Ed John, of the First Nations Summit. “What is needed, rather than a hands-off approach, is their respect, recognition and their efforts to begin to reconcile the conflicting interests involved.”
BC Regional Chief Shawn Atleo stated “What is readily apparent is how similar this crisis is developing compared to Oka in 1990 and Ipperwash in 1995. Underlying all of these situations are unresolved land issues of the Mohawk Nation which is not so dissimilar to situations here in British Columbia.”
Chief Stewart Phillip pressed “If there is any hope of avoiding escalation, both Harper and McGuinty must support a 30 day cooling-off period. An immediate moratorium on further construction on the site must also be put in place. Most importantly, the court injunction and court orders must be temporarily stayed in order that the Ontario Provincial Police may stand down.”
“Mohawk flags of solidarity are being raised not only throughout the Mohawk Nation but across this country” concluded Chief Phillip.
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The First Nations Leadership Council is comprised of the political executives of the First Nations Summit, Union of BC Indian Chiefs and the BC Assembly of First Nations. The Council works together to politically represent the interests of First Nations in British Columbia and develop strategies and actions to bring about significant and substantive changes to government policy that will benefit all First Nations in British Columbia.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Chief Stewart Phillip, Union of BC Indian Chiefs, (250) 490-5314
Grand Chief Ed John, First Nations Summit, (604) 219-1705
BC Regional Chief Shawn Atleo, BC Assembly of First Nations (604) 220-5822