In 2008, the Stephen Harper government drafted a nicely-worded apology to Aboriginal people for the government's funding of Indian Residential Schools (IRS). Those of us who follow government action on Aboriginal issues were appreciative of the symbolic gesture, but skeptical. And for good reason, it turns out. Just two years later, the government is making massive cuts to the Aboriginal Healing Foundation. 134 AHF organizations will lose their funding as of this Wednesday, including (most locally to me) the Native Women's Shelter of Montreal. Many will simply have to close down, leaving no similar service available for people in the region, and others will have to cut programs to the bare minimum (the Sexual Assault Counselor position at the Montreal shelter is set to be cut, for example).
There will be rallies today on parliament hill demanding that the government live up to its promise to Aboriginal peoples. I encourage you to join the protests, if you are in Ottawa. Are you outside of Ottawa? Write to your MPs, the government, and sign this online petition at the Missing Justice Website .