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FSIN issues statement opposing trucker convoy, cultural appropriation by Ottawa protesters

Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations Chief Bobby Cameron speaks at the opening of the Assembly of First Nations annual general meeting in Regina, Sask., Tuesday July 25, 2017. Cameron is telling the RCMP to stay off reserve land after armed officers were dispatched to breakup a sacred ceremony.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Taylor. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Taylor

The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) Executive released a statement Wednesday declaring that they oppose the trucker convoy and cultural appropriation.

The statement comes after videos of protesters playing Indigenous drums in Ottawa hit social media this week.

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“The FSIN Executive strongly opposes the actions and tactics of the ‘Freedom Convoy’ protestors, some of whom have been openly sharing ignorant acts of cultural appropriation of First Nations culture and spirituality, publicly and online,” read the statement.

“The FSIN condemns such open acts of racism and ignorance, which are being committed across our traditional Treaty territories.”

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FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron shared his frustration with the convoy.

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“Our First Nations communities have been some of the hardest hit since the beginning of the pandemic.  We have been working tirelessly to distribute PPE and supplies to our First Nations because we are highly vulnerable to COVID-19,” said Cameron.

“Our families and communities have suffered insurmountable losses because of this horrible virus and our First Nations Chiefs have implemented some of the strictest protocols in the country to keep their membership safe.”

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He went on to call the way the drums were used in the protest videos that surfaced a ‘disgrace’.

“This convoy is an insult to our Chiefs, our communities, and to the hundreds of loved ones we’ve lost through this pandemic.  Not only are these protestors risking lives and spreading false information, but they’re also disrespecting our traditional drums, pipes, and medicines,” stated Cameron.

“It’s a disgrace to see our culturally sacred items being used improperly, without proper protocol, in support of anti-vaccine protests.”

The FSIN statement finished with a reminder about Indigenous culture.

“The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations is committed to honouring the spirit and intent of the Treaties, as well as the promotion, protection and implementation of the Treaty promises that were made more than a century ago.”

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