Trudeau’s ‘canoes and paddles’ remark called borderline racist by First Nations MP

Prime minister’s suggestion that some chiefs are out of touch leads to a sarcastic response

Sarcastically, the Cree MP wrote that Trudeau is best placed to take the lead on this file because of his track record of protecting water sources, pointing to his approval of the Site C hydroelectric damTrans Mountain’s Kinder Morgan pipeline and the Muskrat Falls dam.

Saganash wrote that once the canoe and paddle storage program is in place, he will personally paddle across the country to tell First Nations concerned about these projects not to worry, as the “urgently needed” investment in canoe depots will help Indigenous people protect their land and water.

The Trudeau remarks in question were made after Saskatoon Tribal Council Chief Felix Thomas criticized the disconnect between the prime minister’s rhetoric — namely his assertion that there is no relationship more important to him than the one with Indigenous people — and the government’s perceived inaction on key files, including post-secondary and K-12 educationchild welfarewater and health care.