ALBERTA

Discriminatory comments aimed at Alberta band after grass fire on reserve: chief

09/13/2012 05:20 EDT | Updated 11/13/2012 05:12 EST
STANDOFF, Alta. - The leader of the Blood Tribe says discriminatory comments are being aimed at the southern Alberta band over a grass fire that started on the reserve.

Chief Charles Weaselhead says people are extremely upset over nasty remarks on social media sites.

A downed power line appears to have started the fire that was quickly swept along by high winds.

About 2,200 people were forced to leave their homes until the blaze was brought under control.

Weaselhead says the comments suggest the tribe is irresponsible and should receive no further government services.

The chief says the remarks are extremely hurtful and troubling, and the tribe may seek legal advice.

"The whole misnomer about we don't work, we don't provide for ourselves ... that the government should cut us off. All kinds of stuff (is being said)," Weaselhead said.

"This is not an open book for my tribe to receive discriminatory comments about the fire ... We're not going to accept this any further.

"Definitely we will respond."

The wind-whipped fire quickly consumed about 50 square kilometres of farmland and prairie grasses Monday. There were a lot of downed power lines, burned fence posts, scorched land and damaged out-buildings and vehicles.

About a dozen homes on the reserve were significantly damaged by smoke.

(CJOC, The Canadian Press)

MORE:Albertacp