Manitoba chiefs blast federal funding cuts
Manitoba's aboriginal political organizations say they are the latest victims of federal cuts.
Derek Nepinak, Grand Chief of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs said his organization faces an 80 per cent cut to its core funding, from $2.6 million to $500,000 a year.
"This is a direct attack on the political voice of First Nations communities across the country," Nepinak said Thursday.
"Not in recent history have we seen such a blatant attempt by a federal government to silence the voice of First Nations people."
Nepinak said the cuts jeopardize salaries of more than half the group's staff and will affect lobbying efforts on behalf of missing and murdered women and for clean drinking water.
"We have at times been vocal critics of federal policy and prescriptive laws," he said.
"Without the funding currently received, the ability to confront policymakers and inform legislative processes in Ottawa will be severely limited."
The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs represents 61 Manitoba First Nations, or about 140,000 people in the province.