The Batchewana First Nation held a National Day of Resistance on the lawn of the Sault Ste. Marie court house on Wednesday afternoon.
At issue were:
First Nations control of First Nations Education Act
Missing and murdered Indigenous women
And Contraband Tobacco Act: taxation and revenue
They contend that the Conservative Government has continued its agenda to eliminate First Nations Rights at all levels. Bill C-33 gives the Minister of Indian Affairs full power and authority over First Nations education from pre-K to post-secondary and French and English will be mandatory at their schools. First Nations language and culture must be approved by the Minister.
They contend that the number of missing and murdered Indigenous women is a National disgrace. They will no longer allow Canada to turn a blind eye to a national crime against their mothers, daughters, aunts, grandmas, and cousins.
First Nations People also contend that the Conservative Government introduced Bill C-10, the Contraband Tobacco Act, which will make it an indictable offence to sell tobacco without paying taxes. Because tobacco is an indigenous plant and has been cultivated by them for hundreds of years, Canada has no right to tax First Nations citizens for buying or selling tobacco.