POST-SECONDARY ABORIGINAL STUDENTS FACING CRIMINAL CHARGES


POST-SECONDARY ABORIGINAL STUDENTS FACING CRIMINAL CHARGES The Saskatoon Native Students Coalition was formed in the spring of 1989 in response to the announcement by Pierre Cadieux, then Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs that the post secondary education assistance program was being revised. The SNSC and other Native students across Canada took the position that these plans were unacceptable. Their primary objectives were: 1. To get one year moratorium on the implementation of DIANDs new policy guidelines. 2. To establish an effective bilateral process between DIAND and Indian nation representatives — including students —to ensure Native in put in the development of the guidelines.

3. To confirm and have government recognize post-secondary education as a treaty and aboriginal right. Letters and petitions to halt to revisions were sent. These were not effective, so students united in spirit and body. They chose to hunger-strike, to march, and to sit=in INAC offices. In Saskatoon, four major demonstrations took place at the DIAND regional office, and tow of these were sit-ons. These sit-ins resulted in 25 separate charges of “mischief” being levelled at 24 students and two university employees. This is the first student protests in this province since 1885. Others across the country faced criminal charges, and their charges were dropped. Letters of support are needed to seek the dropping of these charges. The students took the stand they did because they believed they had no other choice. Please send Letter to Attorney General Garry Lane, the Legislative Building, Regina, Saskatchewan S5S 0B3, asking that these charges against these students to be dropped. Social Justice Newsletter #76

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