TORONTO — It was a cold but powerful gathering outside Queen’s Park in Toronto where hundreds rallied to push Ford’s PC government to reinstate the Indigenous Culture Fund.
The rally was organized in response to the Ontario government drastically reducing the funding for the fund from $5 million to $2.75 million and putting the program in review.
According to organizers the ICF is an important resource providing financial support for indigenous people to make space and time to engage in and share cultural practices.
Indigenous broadcaster Jesse Wente was keynote speaker at the rally and said the Indigenous Culture Fund was “exactly what the TRC called for in it’s 94 calls to action.”
Thousands of officials from across Canada signed an open letter in support of the call to reinstate the program. Those wishing to sign in support can still do so. Organizers told TRT representatives with the NDP promised to deliver copies of the letter with all signatures to every MPP as well as to the Premier.
Photos by Ian Maracle
As a fluent Anishinaabay speaker I will say this; "We must stop this cycle of depending on the Ontario government. We only deal with the federal government on a nation-to-nation basis. The provincial government gets their funding funding from our consolidated fund in the treasury board. These cultural funds from the province do not come tax payers! Ask yourself where did the money come from to set up Aboriginal Affairs Ontario? It did not come from tax payers.
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