Natives threaten disruptions at 2010 Olympics
Leaders see the Vancouver Games as an opportunity to air their grievances unless progress is made on poverty and land claims
BILL CURRY and STEVEN CHASE AND JOE FRIESEN
Friday's Globe and Mail, April 18, 2008
"Phil Fontaine, the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, said the Vancouver Olympics provide an opportunity to raise awareness, but he opposes any protest that would disrupt the Games. During a news conference Thursday announcing May 29 as a national day of action against aboriginal poverty, he mused about the similarities between China's treatment of Tibet and Canada's treatment of aboriginals.
“The situation here is compelling enough to convince Canadians that while it is okay and right for them to express outrage with the Chinese government's position against Tibet and the Tibetans, they should be just as outraged, if not more so, about our situation here,” Mr. Fontaine said."
"David Dennis, vice-president of the United Native Nations, a group that represents B.C.'s off-reserve native people, said organizers are already planning non-violent protests that will cause massive disruption to the Games.
“I wouldn't rule out blockades, I wouldn't rule out mass demonstrations, I wouldn't rule out a blockade [of the airport],” he said."