Very cool! The
Assembly of First Nations has made a statement supporting the apology
for Head Tax. I did meet Grand Chief Edward John in January who
had said that Paul Martin's “personal apology” wasn't good enough – this is what I wrote. My cousin Chief Rhonda Larrabee
of the Qayqayt First Nations, has often joked that on her father's side
they had to pay the head tax, and on her mother's side, they had their
Attention News Editors:
Statement by Assembly of First Nations National Chief on the Federal apology
for the Chinese Head Tax
OTTAWA, June 22 /CNW Telbec/ - Assembly of First Nations National Chief
Phil Fontaine issued the following statement today on the apology by the
federal government for the Chinese head tax:
"On behalf of the Assembly of First Nations, I congratulate
Chinese-Canadians and their descendants who were victimized by the racist
policy of the Head Tax. It is long overdue.
The unjust policies of the past often served only to widen racial and
social divisions in this country. The government of Canada is right to
acknowledge and redress these injustices. We congratulate the recipients of
this apology and their descendents for securing this long-overdue apology from
Survivors of residential schools are confident that they, too, will
receive an apology from the Prime Minister on behalf of the Crown once the
court approval process for the Settlement package is complete. Our case, like
that of the Chinese-Canadians, was similarly unjust and misguided, but for us,
the policy was for the purpose of eradicating our languages and cultures.
In exercising his leadership to make this apology, Mr. Harper
demonstrates the understanding that in order for both the perpetrators and the
victims to heal, there is a need to express a true and sincere apology and to
Residential school survivors look forward to the day when we too will
receive our long overdue apology. We look forward to working with the Prime
Minister and his staff to set the date and the content of that apology.
Today, we honour the Chinese community and commend their persistence in
the pursuit of justice and redress. Residential school survivors, their
descendents, First Nations citizens and all Canadians look forward to a
similar apology from the Prime Minister on behalf of the Crown."
The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing
First Nations citizens in Canada.
For further information: Don Kelly, AFN Communications Director, (613)
241-6789 ext. 320, cell (613) 292-2787; Ian McLeod, AFN Bilingual
Communications Officer, (613) 241-6789 ext. 336, cell (613) 859-4335