A group of First Nations leaders from Manitoba believes they may soon get an invitation to Iran to discuss investment opportunities and the struggles aboriginal people face in Canada.G'head, Smoke, and make a deal with the devil. Hey, it worked for that Faust dude, right?
Two current Manitoba chiefs, Frank Brown of Canupawakpa and Orville Smoke of Dakota Plains Wahpeton, as well as two former chiefs, Terry Nelson of Roseau River and Ken Whitecloud of Sioux Valley, met Monday with officials at the Iranian embassy in Ottawa.
The First Nations leaders requested an audience with the Iranian government, and believe they might be granted one soon.
“They were pretty clear that it looks like they’re going to invite a group to come and speak in front of the Iranian government,” Nelson said. “I think it’s going to happen pretty quick.”
Nelson said such a delegation would discuss the potential for direct foreign investment in the development of southwestern Manitoba’s oil fields, which are located in traditional Dakota territory, as well as asking for funding to send 200 aboriginal students from Manitoba to train in business development in Iran.
He said the leaders would also make a presentation about the effect the Indian Act has on the economic well-being of First Nations people, including things like restricting foreign investment and mortgages.
“The Iranian people share a lot of parallels when it comes to economic sanctions,” Nelson said. “I’ve spent the last 22 years trying to get the U.S. government to put some pressure on Canada to change the Indian Act, but they’ve been totally silent on it, so what we’re doing now is going beyond.”
Smoke, whose nation has never signed a treaty with Canada, said he believes the Iranian officials were “very sincere” in expressing a desire to listen, and he’s willing to negotiate with whomever can help improve life for his people.
“When you’ve tried everything and everything fails, what else can you do? My mandate is to provide for my people,” he said...
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
The First Nations Neturei Karta?
Fed up with Canada, some First Nations chiefs from Manitoba are hoping to become fast friends with the Ayatollah. From the Winnipeg Sun: