June 29, 2017 1:20 pm
Updated: June 29, 2017 1:22 pm

Justin Trudeau says respect indigenous people who won’t celebrate Canada 150

WATCH ABOVE: Indigenous demonstrators protest, erect teepee on lawn of Parliament Hill


OTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he understands why many indigenous people in Canada won’t be celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday, and he wants them treated with respect and understanding.

While Canadians across the country fly flags from porches and don red and white face paint, indigenous groups are planning protests and ceremonial events to remind Canadians that for them, there is nothing to celebrate.

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READ MORE: Demonstrators erect teepee on Parliament Hill to protest Canada Day

The Bawaating Water Protectors, a group from Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., attempted to set up a teepee Wednesday night on Parliament Hill but clashed with police securing the site for Canada Day.

After a few hours, police released about 10 people who had been arrested and the teepee was allowed to be set up on the edge of the parliamentary grounds, fenced off from the rest of the site.

Brendon Nahwegezhic says the group is not there to protest, but to make people aware of the truth of indigenous history in Canada and to witness indigenous ceremonies.

Trudeau, speaking at an event in Charlottetown, says Canadians have to understand Canada has failed indigenous peoples for centuries and he hears what the activists on the Hill were saying.

© 2017 The Canadian Press

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