A Canadian member of parliament has said that Justin Trudeau “doesn’t give a fuck” about the rights of indigenous people, amid mounting tensions between the country’s First Nations and at the federal government.
Romeo Saganash, a Cree lawmaker, made the comments in parliament during a discussion of the the Trans Mountain pipeline project that was recently halted after the federal court of appeals ruled that the government had failed to adequately address the concerns of some First Nations .
The Liberal government insists that the pipeline will go ahead.
“When the prime minister says that this pipeline expansion will be done no matter what, and his minister adds that Canada will not be able to accommodate all indigenous concerns, what that means is that they have decided to willfully violate their constitutional duties and obligations,” said Saganash. “Mr Speaker, sounds like a most important relationship, doesn’t it? Why doesn’t the prime minister just say the truth and tell indigenous peoples that he doesn’t give a fuck about their rights?”
Saganash was quickly admonished by the speaker of the House, Geoff Regan, for the use of the language and was given the opportunity to withdraw his comment.
“Mr Speaker, what is happening is so insulting, it makes me so angry, but I do withdraw the word,” Saganash said.
His outburst resonated on social media, with several prominent indigenous voices expressing support.
“I’m team F-bomb, I heard not a single lie,” tweeted academic Chelsea Vowel .
“Colonial respectability politics in canada is: a history of violently disciplining Indigenous folks into ‘polite’, ‘civil’ subjects of a state actively dispossessing us & destroying our homelands. Fuck that,” said writer Erica Violet Lee on Twitter. Erica Violet Lee (@EricaVioletLee) Colonial respectability politics in canada is:a history of violently disciplining Indigenous folks into “polite”, “civil” subjects of a state actively dispossessing us & destroying our homelands.Fuck that. 🔥 https://t.co/yGYD1ypwMZ September 25, 2018 “A clear sign that our collective frustration with a real lack of progress on our life and death issues is mounting. We need action, not tired platitudes about reconciliation,” wrote professor Pam Palmater .
Others argued that the use of profanity was insignificant when set against the numerous challenges facing indigenous communities across the country.
“And if the F-word offends you, wait until you hear about the state of potable water on First Nations communities across the country,” wrote one user, in a reference to the more than 50 indigenous communities that are required to boil their water due to health and safety concerns. Canada indigenous leaders divided over Trudeau’s pledge to put them first
Read more In February, Trudeau announced an overhaul of the federal government’s relationship with indigenous peoples . “We have listened and learned and we will work together to take concrete action to build a better future and a new relationship,” he said.
But in its August ruling on the Trans Mountain pipeline, the appeals court admonished the government for an inadequate consultation with First Nations.
Saganash, a parliamentarian representing northern Quebec for the progressive New Democratic party, was forcibly taken from his home at age seven to attend a residential school – part of a policy later described by the country’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission as “cultural genocide” .
“I can never be normal,” Saganash testified before the commission. ‘‘And none, none of those kids who were sent to residential schools can claim to be normal today. It’s impossible.” He is the first Cree to receive a law degree from Quebec and is the first indigenous person to run for leadership of a federal party.
Trudeau, who was not present during the session in the House, is no stranger to the use […]
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