(February 3, 2022 – Toronto, ON) Chiefs of Ontario and Anishinabek Nation issued a joint statement condemning the misinformation and cultural appropriation during demonstrations and other events that took place in Algonquin Nation Territory, also known as Ottawa, this past week:

“The actions taken during the events in Ottawa are deeply offensive,” said Ontario Regional Chief Glen Hare. “Cultural appropriation of First Nations ceremonial items and protocol is colonial violence. I condemn these actions and harmful stereotypes, in addition to the racism and antisemitism displayed throughout the convoy, in the strongest terms.”

“I am highly concerned about the spread of misinformation concerning government-imposed vaccine mandates and protective health measures. When it comes to the battle against COVID-19, we all play a crucial role in protecting ourselves, our families and our community. COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective and save lives. We have witnessed this in our communities. The best defence against COVID-19 and the fastest way to get back to ‘normal’ is to achieve high rates of COVID-19 vaccination.”

Grand Council Chief Reginald Niganobe further states, “We are witnessing an alarming escalation of the co-opting of ceremonies, protocols and even Indigenous grassroots’ organizations, such as the Orange Shirt Society. This type of high-level appropriation is not only detrimental to the sacredness of our ceremonies but dilutes the efforts and experiences of our fellow citizens on the ground who are continually working towards healthy and prosperous communities for all of us. Once again, we ask that you please remain vigilant within your communities where you are continued to be needed. The health and safety of all our citizens is paramount during these times.”

Ontario Regional Chief Glen Hare

– 30 –

The Chiefs of Ontario supports all First Nations in Ontario as they assert their sovereignty, jurisdiction and their chosen expression of nationhood. Follow Chiefs of Ontario on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram @ChiefsOfOntario.

Media inquiries, please contact:

Genna Benson
Communications and Public Affairs Manager
Policy and Communications Sector
Chiefs of Ontario
Telephone: 416-523-4020
Email: Genna.Benson@coo.org.