SCO Condemns Harmful Comments Shared by Conservative Member in Parliament
February 7, 2024
ANISHINAABE AND DAKOTA TERRITORY, MB — The Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO) is expressing disappointment over harmful comments shared in Parliament earlier this week.
“MP Kevin Waugh, while talking about water quality in First Nations, said he has witnessed reserves burning down their water treatment plants,” said Grand Chief Jerry Daniels. “It’s extremely disappointing to see an elected official spewing misinformation about First Nations, which only serves to reinforce harmful stereotypes about First Nations in Canada.”
The Member of Parliament made these harmful comments during a debate on Bill C-61, known as the First Nations Clean Water Act, on Monday.
“I want to commend the Honourable Patty Hajdu for her ongoing commitment to addressing the need to improve water quality in First Nations across Canada, and for calling out MP Waugh publicly for his unacceptable rhetoric. The Minister of Indigenous Services appropriately responded to the comments made by her fellow MP to express that they draw on harmful and damaging stereotypes about First Nations people,” stated Grand Chief Daniels.
SCO continues to work on issues related to water quality and management with it’s 34 Anishinaabe and Dakota member Nations through the development of a southern First Nations Water Authority, initially focusing on First Nations ownership and operation of drinking water and wastewater facilities in what is now southern Manitoba.
“SCO member Nations are committed to providing safe and clean drinking water for their citizens,” stated Grand Chief Daniels. “In this time of healing and reconciliation, it is unacceptable for elected officials to be uttering harmful stereotypes and untruths about First Nations people. I urge all Members of Parliament to remember the devastation First Nation people and communities have experienced at the hands of governments and systems in what is now Canada. Elected officials must remember the importance of building relationships with First Nations based on kindness and mutual respect to benefit everyone.”
The Southern Chiefs’ Organization represents 34 First Nations and more than 87,000 citizens in what is now called southern Manitoba. SCO is an independent political organization that protects, preserves, promotes, and enhances First Nations peoples’ inherent rights, languages, customs, and traditions through the application and implementation of the spirit and intent of the Treaty-making process.
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