WASÁSE CALLS ON AFN TO GO BEYOND “NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION” AND SUPPORT SUSTAINED WASÁSE CALLS ON AFN TO GO BEYOND “NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION” AND SUPPORT
COMMUNIQUÉ - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(WSANEC Territory, Victoria, BC) - June 14, 2007
The chiefs of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) have encouraged people to organize and participate in a “National Day of Action” to draw attention to and educate Canadians on First Nations issues. In solidarity with those who will be taking action on June 29th, the Wasáse Movement challenges the AFN to go further than this one-day national day of rhetoric and symbolic protest. We challenge the chiefs of the AFN to truly respect their people and to engage in a real strategy of action to improve the quality of life for Indigenous people in this country.
The AFN’s motives for calling this single and limited National Day of Action are questionable. The Assembly’s May 23rd call to action references the removal of the current funding cap on band councils as a focal point for concern, and it is clear that the primary motive behind the National Day of Action is to pressure the federal government to increase funding for the band council system. The Conservative government recent response to the AFN's call for increased funding, in its "Specific Claims Action Plan", and National Chief Phil Fontaine's immediate support for the this deft and distracting move, is an indication that there is no serious intent behind the AFN's position.
More funding for band councils and tribunal for specific claims will not make a difference in the way our people are affected by land-loss, racism, and poverty. We believe creating a better life for our people means fighting for the respect of our inherent rights and the return of our lands through a sustained campaign of political confrontation and direct non-violent action. Wasáse calls on the Assembly of First Nations to go further in responding to the hearts and minds of all the people who engage in the National Day of Action by:
1. Redirecting the agenda and efforts of the AFN inward to strengthen our communities; and,
2. Supporting a strategy of sustained political action and confrontation going beyond June 29th.
“Some of us believe in reconciliation, forgetting that the monster has a genocidal appetite, a taste for our blood, and would sooner tear us apart than lick our hands… We need to stand against history and against those who would submit to it, and with the warriors who want to beat the beast into bloody submission and teach it to behave.” – Wasáse.