POLITICS

Protesters disrupt meeting over aboriginal education in Saskatchewan

02/08/2013 10:06 EST | Updated 04/10/2013 05:12 EDT
SASKATOON - A meeting between Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan and First Nations chiefs, educators and parents was interrupted by about 100 protesters in Saskatoon.

Friday's meetings were about the proposed Indian Education Act.

Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations Chief Perry Bellegarde says the consultation process is flawed and doesn't respect First Nations jurisdiction.

He says there's still huge funding gaps between on-reserve tuition for students versus off reserve.

He says First Nations voices need to be heard and have input into their own education, or their culture will disappear.

Protester Dion Tootoosis says proper consultation cannot be carried out only between invited parties.

"This is the government through the INAC offices, through the cronies, telling us we don't have the right to educate ourselves anymore," he said.

"There is a system in place, that is a system of control, that is oppressing the indigenous peoples."

Protester Serena Gamble says she wants her own voice to be heard.

"We are not being consulted," she says. "We are the ones that need to be consulted. I haven't been consulted, this regards my education."

(CKOM)