Canada's native chiefs will pressure the national railways to close down for the Assembly of First Nations' "day of action" on June 29, backing it up with a veiled threat they will probably face blockades from individual native bands if they refuse.
The carrot-and-stick approach was adopted nearly unanimously by chiefs at a special conference of the AFN, where chiefs who prefer more diplomatic political efforts were pushed to adopt tougher tactics by those who want to threaten economic disruptions to pressure the government.
Indian Affairs Minister Jim Prentice responded by arguing that it is wrong for the AFN to place companies in the middle of a dispute with the government, and repeated his warning that blockades will only hurt the public support for their cause.
AFN Grand Chief Phil Fontaine, who insisted all day that the AFN was not calling for blockades, said at the close of the meeting that the chiefs were making a request for the railways to voluntarily close for 24 hours to support the native cause. But he would not say what native bands will do if the railways refuse.
"They've had to shut down in the past, right? They've had to, and we would much prefer that it be done voluntarily," Mr. Fontaine said. Source...