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Six women arrested at sit-in at Chuck Strahl's office

Peaceful protesters are demanding reinstatement of funding to Aboriginal Health Foundation

by Members of Missing Justice

At 12:50pm on Monday, March 29th RCMP officers arrested six women who were peacefully refusing to leave Indian Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl's office until he pledged to restore funding to the Aboriginal Health Foundation. The sit-in began at 12:05pm.

"By cutting the funding to the Aboriginal Healing Foundation and having us arrested for protesting these cuts, Harper is denying effective services to thousands of residential school survivors," said Maya Rolbin-Ghanie, a member of the Montreal-based grassroots group Missing Justice.

Rolbin-Ghanie was among those arrested.

"Harper and Strahl's budget cuts affect 134 organizations across Canada, including the Native Women's Shelter of Montreal," said Monica van Schaik, another Missing Justice member who was arrested.

"That Strahl would have us arrested less than an hour after our sit-in began shows that this is something he doesn't want the public to talk about," van Schaik added.

"It's been less than two years since Prime Minister Harper's apology to survivors of the residential schools, yet the Conservative government is ready to shut down programs specifically aimed at helping the healing the Prime Minister spoke about," Rolbin-Ghanie said before her arrest.

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dru (Dru Oja Jay)
Member since January 2008


Writer, organizer, Media Co-op co-founder. Co-author of Paved with Good Intentions and Offsetting Resistance.

190 words


Sit in

Whe I was in High School, we staged a sit in to protest the random locker searches we would be faced with following the suspension of several students who had been caught with MJ on school property. At that time there were approximately 1600 students from grade 10-12 and most of them attended. This was in 1987 and I have pictures of it in my yearbook that I proudly show to my children as an example of what peaceful protest can accomplish. Clearly much has changed in 20 plus years and there is little resemblence between the democratic process I enjoyed in my youth and the so-called democracy in force today.

What harm were these women doing? Pointing out the painful truth? Ouch....pointing...better call the RCMP! Shame on you Harper, you add insult to injury.