Modern annuity a game-changer for First Nation families

By Sheilla Jones and Sheila North The origin of a potentially groundbreaking step toward meaningful reconciliation between Canada’s first people and settlers can be laid at the feet of Métis leader Louis Riel. Literally. In 1994, Métis activist Jean Allard had lots of time to think after chaining himself to the controversial “tortured” statue of Riel to protest its removal from the grounds of the Manitoba Legislature. As a former Indian Affairs (IA) project manager, who was a member of the legislature in Premier Ed Schreyer’s NDP government, he knew first-hand how ordinary First Nations (FN) people were being crushed under the weight of an enormous Indian Affairs bureaucracy. As Allard sat in chains at the feet of Riel, he fretted about the damage done to communities by the battle…

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