Cross Lake First Nation elder on hunger strike
Raymond Robinson demands meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper
An elder from a Manitoba First Nation says he wants a meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and he's willing to die if he doesn't get it.
Raymond Robinson, 57, from the Cross Lake First Nation has been on a hunger strike since Thursday to protest Bill C-45, which First Nations people say violates their treaty rights.
The Conservative government's omnibus budget bill proposes significant changes to the Indian Act, including changes to land management on reserves that make it easier for the federal government to control reserve land, critics say.
Robinson told CBC News that it's not right the federal government would make decisions for Canada's aboriginal people without taking their opinions into account.
"I would die for this cause. I love my people and I have to stand for my people," he said Friday.
"They've been bullied, abused too much, and it's time that somebody take a stand."
Robinson said he will not eat until Harper agrees to meet with him face-to-face.
"It doesn't matter if I die as a result. I'm not stopping," he said.
"This is not just for me. It is for all the aboriginal people that have been oppressed throughout history."
While Robinson said his energy was fading as of Friday, he remains in good spirits.
Members of another Manitoba First Nation, Sandy Bay, are planning to block the Trans-Canada Highway west of Portage la Prairie, Man., on Saturday to protest Bill C-45.