Mohawk photographer and journalist Ben Powless has the scoop on the completion of a 4400 km march for Indigenous rights from the west coast to Ottawa that began April 23. Marchers dragged the Indian Act behind them in chains across the continent, arriving at Parliament Hill on Sept 4, 135 days later.
Marchers arrive in Ottawa Sept 04, dragging the tattered Indian Act.
The whole time, Leo [Baskatawang] and others carried copies of the Indian Act behind them on chains, a protest against the archaic legislation’s continuing impacts on Aboriginal Peoples today. Organizers were calling for the repeal of the act, as well as proper Aboriginal government representation, similar to what was outlined in the 1996 Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples‘ report.
“We’re hoping for public officials to support the need for a televised public debate on the issues,” said Leo. “I’m hoping that once the public is aware of our issues, we can swing the momentum in this country.”
The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples is among the most important public documents ever produced in Canada. If you haven’t read at least the highlights, you have no business calling yourself an informed citizen. Truth!