Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo sat down with Canada’s premier newscaster, Peter Mansbridge, for a One on One about the crisis in Appawapiskat.
The conditions in this northern Ontario First Nation are not new, the two acknowledge. What needs to change is the underlying relationship between the Crown and First Nations, Atleo emphasizes.
“The pattern has been that these events will over history fade to the backdrop and don’t arise again until the next crisis. And that’s the pattern I feel that this is the moment that we break,” he said in the interview, which aired over the weekend. “I’m hoping that this is in fact a moment of reckoning—a tipping point if you will. We now have social media—we never had social media before, where people would be invited into the living rooms, the shacks and tents of people living in great despair. And it’s a great tragedy to see the faces of those kids.”
The full interview is online here. An excerpt is below.