National Day of Reconciliation for Canada's First Nations

June 17, 2009, 12:38 PM EST

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The National Day of Reconciliton for Canada's First Nations marked the first annivesary of the Canadian government;/s historic apology to resdential school survivors.

Former CAW President Buzz Hargrove, along with other labour, government, church and native representatives spoke at several Reconcilaition Day events in Ottawa, June 11.

Hargrove outlined the difficult conditions and grinding poverty that many First Nations people struggle to overcome on  daily basis. He called for greater support from all parts of Canadian society to help First Nations people.

He challenged the federal government to take action to alleviate First Nations poverty and he also urged the government to remove guns from the hands of border guards at a crossing in the Akwasasne Mohawk First Nation in Cornwall, Ontario.

"When cities across this country are suffering from our young people being shot and killed by guns, the last thing we need anywhere in our country is more guns," Hargrove said. "We don't need guns in the hands of anyone in Canada, the least of those in residential areas of a peaceful First Nations reserve in the Cty of Cornwall," Hargrove was quoted by Canadian Pess.

He urged the federal government to take the time to meet with First Nations leaders and find a settlement.

Hargrove also praised the work of Assembly of First Nations Natonal Chief Phil Fontaine in raising awareness of First Nations issues, speaking out about th need to end poverty and pushing for greater equity and equality for First Nations people.



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