Canadian human rights activists gathered at the country’s parliament on Tuesday in support of the ‘March 4 Justice’ initiative, which seeks to end the treatment of aboriginals as second-class citizens.
The campaign started in April when several aboriginal students began a 3,500 km march from Vancouver to Ottawa in order to raise awareness about the government of Canada’s unwillingness to address critical Aboriginal issues.
The protestors demanded the repealing of the Indian Act of 1876, which they claimed has led to repressive conditions for aboriginals Canadians.
The Indian Act is only part of the current problems facing the aboriginal community. According to the annual report of Fist Nations Child and Family Caring Society, first nation families suffer from severe poverty, poor housing, and substance abuse. This is why aboriginal leaders have continuously pressed the federal government for immediate action on these critical issues.
In a bid to address the concerns of the aboriginal community, Prime Minister Harper met their leaders in January. Activists say however that the government has failed to back its words with action.
Aboriginal MPs have sponsored a new act that would amend and eventually replace the Indian Act; however, the Canadian parliament has yet to discuss the proposed legislation.