After meeting with First Nations chiefs three weeks ago, Stephen Harper vowed that his office would give native issues "enhanced oversight." Shawn Atleo got the impression that the government was finally taking notice of the First Nations.
But when Stephen Harper met with his caucus yesterday -- and listed his priorities -- he did not say a word about native issues:
He said that the government will be focused this spring on four areas that are “priorities” for Canadians:
• the safety of streets and communities;
• pride in being a Canadian citizen;
• personal financial security.
Those are the priorites he brought with him to office. One can argue that his policies have made each priority worse, not better. But what is more important is that he had nothing to say about the issues he told native Canadians were at the top of his agenda.
The majority of Canadians know that Stephen Harper's word is as durable as Kleenex. He has a habit of blowing his nose into the paper on which agreements are written. Shawn Atleo should take note.
His own people have. That is why they have taken to the streets -- and why they will continue to do so.