I’ve been sitting on this for a few days trying to think of something intelligent to say … but I’m thinking the situation speaks for itself.
It’s been three weeks since Attawapiskat First Nation took the extraordinary step of declaring a state of emergency. Since then, not a single federal or provincial official has even bothered to visit the community.
And if that wasn’t enough…
Take education for example. Not only are First Nations children systemically denied access to comparable levels of funding and resources available to non-Aboriginal students but, in the case of Attawapiskat, they don’t even have access to a school. It’s been 12 years since the community’s grade school was shut down because children were being exposed to dangerous levels of benzene from the badly contaminated ground. Frustrated grade school children finally took matters into their own hands. They were led by 13-year-old Shannen Koostachin who launched a national campaign to shame the government into action. This fight for equal education has gone all the way to the United Nations. What other Canadian kid has to fight, organize and beg for access to clean and equitable schools?
The rest of the story can be found here: