From: Chief Arthur Manuel, Neskonlith
Yesterday I had the opportunity to speak at the Council of Canadians to speak to the large demo audience at the Peoples Summit in Quebec City. There were 1,200 people in the big tent and thousands of people hooked up outside by mikes.
I told the audience that they need to fight for their self-determination because, as indigenous peoples, we know that it is very important to have political power over the economic property rights that you have, or you will wind up like us--living at the UN Human Development Index of 47, when those who control your economic property live at level 1.
I told them to support our initiative to have Aboriginal title recognized because through our traditional knowledge, we will protect the ecological biodiversity and challenge globalization.
I told them not to believe the Prime Minister who said in his opening remarks that he listens to indigenous peoples because that comment is only public relations.
I then went to the Fence of Shame and was tear gassed. It was a terrible feeling. My eyes teared up so much that I couldn't see. When I was walking away from the Fence of Shame I had to walk two big blocks away before I could clear myself up. I opened my eyes only to see young white youth going through the same agony, and I thought. "this is globalization?"
Globalization basically means the Prime Minister and the big companies were up the hill using the police to protect themselves as they talked about trans-national free trade agreements without any political involvement, or control from indigenous peoples (owners of the land).
It is good that so many people from Quebec and around the world were interested in challenging the globalization of our lands. Shuswap people were there. Tear gas stinks.
--- Chief Arthur Manuel, Neskonlith --- email@example.com
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