Treaty Five Chiefs Condemn Father Forest's Recent Remarks

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WINNIPEG, MB, July 30, 2021 /CNW/ - Chemawawin Cree Nation, Treaty 5 Unceded Territory: Father Rheal Forest said in his sermon on July 10, 2021, Indigenous people lied about their experiences at church run residential schools in order to receive larger settlement moneys. He also indicated that Indigenous people have a propensity to lie because they are poor. To detract from the historical abuses which the church he represents has yet to take account, Father Forest tried to instill to the congregation that generally Indigenous people liked residential schools.

Summit of Treaty Five Sovereign Nations (CNW Group/TFAO Inc.)
Summit of Treaty Five Sovereign Nations (CNW Group/TFAO Inc.)

Father Forest said he was angered with the graffiti on the churches and suggests that the solution is to shoot those Indians who paint graffiti on the churches. His sermon entrenches the colonial racist attitudes based on the doctrine of discovery.

Perhaps Lagimodiere's comments regarding Residential Schools that it was a good thing and the Premiere's comments that colonialism was a good thing, encouraged this priest to stand before his congregation to echo these views. He stated Indigenous people are liars, were not clean and impoverished. There must be an end to this hate propaganda, stated Chief Sheldon Kent of Black River First Nation.

Chief Clarence Easter, Chemawawin Cree Nation stated, "This is very concerning. The priest outspokenly resorted to the idea that shooting Indigenous people, and those who protest against the unresolved longstanding abuses of the church , ought to be shot. While Winnipeg's archdiocese, Albert LeGatt has recently apologized and banned Rheal Forest's comments, it is not enough to ban him from speaking publicly. Any person publicly inciting violence and denying residential school horrors should realize their words violate international human rights. What if you told the world the holocaust never happened?"

The inactivity of the government and the church to make reparations and prevent further harms to Indigenous people has led to a creation of a 12 step Action Plan on hate crime and racism. This Action Plan was launched on July 19, 2021, by the Summit of Treaty 5 Sovereign Nations.



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