Sat Nov 24, 2012 7:14PM
The new 20-dollar bill sparks criticism by natives in Canada. (File photo)

The new 20-dollar bill sparks criticism by natives in Canada. (File photo)

Canada's government has released a new 20-dollar bill, with critics accusing the government of promoting colonialism and disrespecting the native people, Press TV reports. The new bill was released on November 7 with the backside showing a World War I memorial instead of the aboriginal art entitled “the spirit of Haida Gwaii” and since the release, many accuse the government of hailing war and devaluing the importance of Canada's indigenous peoples. Referring to the change an Aboriginal member of the Coastal Salish People, Kwitsel Tatel asked, “why did we do that are we celebrating war are we celebrating colonialism all over again?” Many aborigines viewed the old bill as a form of acknowledgment of their integral role in the Canadian society, however, now critics feel that the government is not recognizing Canada’s victims of colonization, the indigenous people and that Canada remains an imperialist nation. “The currency emerges on theft of indigenous property through our resources of gold, water, silver, wood you name it, the list of resources in Canada goes on,” said Tatel. Aboriginal experts accuse President Stephen Harper’s government of disregarding Crown-Aboriginal treaties, which recognizes certain aboriginal rights and entitlements, by promoting resource companies to destroy the abundant resources found in the aboriginal territories. The UN has strongly condemned Canada's record on children's rights, and accused Ottawa of systematic discrimination against aborigines and immigrants. Since Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper took power in 2006, activists say there has been a significant rise in human rights violations together with an unprecedented crackdown on freedom of speech. CAH/JR
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