Government Retaliation for Criticism of Funding Cuts - Indian-Metis Service Organization

The provincial government (Department of Natural Resources) demanded that Malcom Norris resign as Executive Director of the Prince Albert Indian-Metis Service Council (Parent Organization for the Prince Albert Friendship Centre) after he criticized them for cutting funding to Indigenous programs.

Date Explaination
The interviewee states that this event occurred in the spring of 1966, around the time when the Prince Albert Friendship Centre would have begun discussing funding for the 1966-67 fiscal year.
Result
In this case, the government reacted to bad publicity in a non-democratic manner by seeking to control and eliminate the source of criticism. As well, this has often involved inflicting harm on the Indigenous population - including both fiscal, psychological and physical harm (please see entry on Manitoba Act of 1870 and Reign of Terror). This phenomenon has been observed in government response to other Indigenous movements that have been critical of government action, including the Red River Resistance, the Riel Resistance, and several contemporary Indigenous activist movements including Oka, Ipperwash, Gustafsen Lake, Elsipogtog and Idle No More. To discredit and delegitimize the political and moral positions of participants, who are often advocating for fulfillment of treaty promises and the right to self-determination, Indigenous people are frequently vilified and/or criminalized. For example, stereotypes of Indigenous peoples as "savages" are often reiterated in the media and amongst the general public - as demonstrated by the interviewee, who, in discussing some of the rumours that were being circulated, states that individuals of a conservative ideological stance were concerned that "You...never can tell when he [Malcolm Norris] might be issuing guns to the natives, and that sort of thing." This event was significantly disruptive to the Indian-Metis Friendship Centre in Prince Albert, as indicated by the interviewee: "I wanted to have a pretty major discussion on it because, of course, this was a fairly momentous kind of thing for us to deal with, because we were caught in a real bind, you know. The Friendship Centre was clearly a pretty bloody important institution for Prince Albert."
Rural or Urban
urban
Start Date
1966-03-01
Sub Event
The provincial government (Department of Natural Resources) demanded that Malcom Norris resign as Executive Director of the Prince Albert Indian-Metis Service Council (Parent Organization for the Prince Albert Friendship Centre) after he criticized them for cutting funding to Indigenous programs.
Community