A top aboriginal leader says the government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper has launched a smear campaign against the Iranian nation and discourages Canadians from visiting Iran
“For us as indigenous people from the Canadian side, for us to be in Tehran, we were absolutely set upon, we were told ‘no, don’t go to Tehran’. But we were pretty clear that the dehumanization, the demonization of the Iranian people has been one of the facts of Western media and we understand that because we too have also met with the crusader,” Terry Nelson, the top Chief of Canada Aboriginals– also known as First Nations said in an interview with Press TV on Sunday.
The comment comes as Nelson is currently in Tehran to seek help in exposing Ottawa’s exploitation and abuse of aboriginal communities.
The top Canadian chief went on to say that indigenous people in Canada need to go outside the country to open up human rights issues, the same thing that Native Americans have done over the years.
“The problem with the indigenous peoples in Canada is that they have not done the same thing as the Native Americans. Native Americans have always consistently gone outside the country to deal with their human rights issues and essentially have dealt with other countries,” he noted.
Activists say there has been a significant rise in human rights violations together with an unprecedented crackdown on freedom of speech since Canadian Premier Harper took power in 2006.
According to reports, Canada has forced thousands of aboriginal children into ghastly boarding schools where they have been abused sexually, psychologically, and physically.
The Native Women’s Association of Canada has documented over 600 cases of missing or murdered aboriginal women and girls from across the country in the past twenty years. These alarming rates have been a major source of concern and grief for the aboriginal community.
The UN has also strongly condemned Canada’s record on children’s rights, and accused Ottawa of systematic discrimination against aborigines and immigrants.
Condemning Western media for portraying a horrific image of Iran, Nelson concludes that Iranians have been very kind to us.
“We clearly, our people’s religious spiritual understanding was confronted. So I think one of the things we have to do is that our people have to continue to go. I was really, really surprised and, I guess, not so much surprised, the treatment of the Iranian people for us has been great. This is something the Western media has always said that if you go to Iran you will be treated really badly,” Nelson concluded.