KAHNAWAKE – Over 500 people joined Kahnawake’s youth and their supporters for a rally on Kahnawake Territory on Tuesday, to show their opposition to the federal government’s proposed First Nations Education Act. Protestors gave out informational flyers to passing motorists, many of whom honked in support.
The youth statement explained, “We, the executive committee of the Kahnawà:ke Youth Forum, are writing to express our concern for the proposed First Nation’s Education Act and to call on Canada to cease all actions related to the development, passage and implementation of this Act.
As the youth of Kahnawà:ke , it is our responsibility to ensure that we are prepared to become the next generation of leaders and thinkers in our community and as a result to defend and guide the future of the subsequent generations of young Kanien’kehá:ka (People of the Mohawk Nation).
It is important to state that our philosophies, values and traditions are rooted and cultivated in the Kaianere’kó:wa (the Great Law); a worldview that is fundamentally different from a Canadian perspective and requires a unique set of educational, economic and political approaches to community development.
To ensure that these community needs are met, our young Kanien’kehá:ka work to recognize, develop and implement the concepts of self-determination and sovereignty embedded in the Kahswéntha (Two Row Wampum); the symbolic agreement between the Kanien’kehá:ka and the settlers to govern themselves without interference.”
On speaking about the turn-out for the event, KYF Treasurer, Vernon Goodleaf told Two Row Times, “The estimates put the participants from 450-500 people. After an opening ceremony and tobacco burning we all set out for the march, which lasted about 40 minutes.
Megan Whyte, who is Secretary for the KYF said, “Our community is not defined by our borders; it is defined by our people. As a family, as a community and as a nation, we will continue to protect and nourish our future and the future of the next seven generations. Together, we say NO to the First Nations Education Act.”