Feds cut funding for native groups

Jason Warick / The Star Phoenix

By Jason Warick, The StarPhoenix, 7 September 2012

The federal government is cutting millions in funding to First Nations groups across the province in what one professor called part of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's ongoing campaign to silence potential critics. (…)

The core funding of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations will be cut to $500,000 per year from the current $1.6 million by 2013-14. Tribal councils will face cuts of 20 to 40 per cent. The Metis Nation - Saskatchewan, which holds elections Saturday, is also being cut.

Smith said human rights organizations, environmental groups and now those fighting for First Nations people have been marginalized and targeted for cuts. "It's pretty devastating to those groups who rely on that (funding)," Smith said. (…)

FSIN [Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations] vice-chief Simon Bird said the federal government is attempting to "muzzle" First Nations people. (...)

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Photo by Jason Warick / The StarPhoenix.