(Treaty 6 Territory, Saskatoon, SK) – The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations Executive knows racism is a learned behaviour that needs to be eradicated by a combined effort of Saskatchewan stakeholders in conjunction with the provincial government. The FSIN believes society has turned a blind eye to the harms colonialism inflicted upon First Nations peoples, and the multi-generational trauma associated with residential schools and the prison of the Indian Act.

“The FSIN is grateful for the statements by Premier Brad Wall which denounced racist behaviour and for the changes his government made to the education system to incorporate indigenous history in particular Treaty education and the work his government has done so far on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action,” said FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron. “However it is important to point out that racism is a reality in the daily life for Indigenous peoples in Saskatchewan. A recent Maclean’s report painted a disturbing picture of Saskatchewan.”

According to the MacLean’s July 29, 2016 article, Saskatchewan: A special report on race and power, a significant number of Canada’s population about 41 per cent blame indigenous peoples for their own socio-economic circumstances, and 60 percent viewed Indigenous issues in a negative light; while 83 per cent of all children in care are indigenous. Indigenous peoples are six times more likely to be murdered than non-indigenous people. The odds for an Indigenous person is 33 times more likely of being incarcerated then a non-indigenous person.

“Saskatchewan has the highest number of residential school survivors of any province in Canada. We encourage the Saskatchewan government to meet the challenge to implement the TRC’s 94 Calls to Action,” said Chief Cameron. “We are willing to work with the province to develop education curriculum that will move to eradicate racism in Saskatchewan. When our forefathers agreed to share the world’s richest lands and resources with the settler newcomers, we did so in the spirit of peaceful co-existence when we entered into Treaty that recognizes our Inherent and Treaty rights. The FSIN has received letters of support including one from the United Church of Canada supporting our efforts to end racism. We call on SARM, SUMA, the National Farmers Union, Saskatchewan’s Chambers of Commerce, School Boards, the Churches, and all other interest groups in Saskatchewan to join the FSIN in eradicating racism.”

 

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