Ex-Chief Calls First Nations Reserves ‘Concentration Camps’

A former Manitoban leader of First Nations has increased tensions among Canadian officials by appearing on an Iranian television network and contrasting the aboriginal reserves with the concentration camps. The Former Chief of Manitoba’s Roseau River Anishinabe, Terry Nelson, spoke on the topic while he was giving an interview on Sunday with Iranian Press TV in Tehran.

Nelson stated during the interview that “the reservations were originally more or less concentration camps.” Nelson is currently one of the leading delegations of First Nations which are in attempts of forming better relationship with Iran. He toured the Iranian Embassy in Ottawa in March 2012. And now lately Nelson was seen in Iran giving the TV interview, by which it extensively demonstrated the unfairness with the aboriginal Canadian people. He mentioned that the situation has specially worsened since the Prime Minister Stephen Harper took the office in 2006. Same Iranian television network was also interviewed Dennis Pashe, a former chief of the Dakota Tipi First Nation in Manitoba.

Spokesman of the Canada’s Aboriginal Affairs minister, John Duncan, released a statement disclosing that the federal government is “disappointed that Mr. Nelson has allowed himself to be used as a pawn by the Iranian regime in yet another PR stunt to distract from their own record.” He went on claiming that “since 2006, our government has taken concrete steps to create the conditions for healthier, more self-sufficient First Nation communities, including legislation to protect the rights of women on reserve and improve financial transparency.”

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