NATIVE PROTEST AT VANCOUVER OLYMPIC COUNTDOWN CLOCK:
Thu 29 May: Aboriginals to Protest Olympics at Olympic clock
Vancouver’s 2010 Olympic countdown clock will serve as a focal point of protests by aboriginal groups Thursday (May 29), as part of nationwide rallies called by the Assembly of First Nations. “We want to draw the attention of the prime minister [Stephen Harper] and the premier [Gordon Campbell] that when we talk about our issues, we want significant action by both levels of government, and they have until the Olympics to begin to make some of these things happen,” Grand Chief Doug Kelly of the Sto:lo Tribal Council told the Straight(a local Vancouver newspaper-Molly).
“If they don’t do anything, we’ll be there in 2010 to tell the world about our story.” Kelly said that the protests will highlight the issues of child poverty in First Nations communities and inadequacies in the child-welfare system. Before proceeding to Vancouver, Kelly explained, a number of Native leaders will take part in a demonstration at the Chilliwack constituency office of Conservative MP Chuck Strahl, the minister of Indian affairs and northern development. Strahl’s office didn’t respond by deadline to the Straight’s request for a comment.