The biggest issue facing indigenous youth is the lack of sheds to store their canoes, says Romeo Saganash, the Cree NDP member of parliament for the Quebec riding of Abitibi-Baie-James-Nunavik-Eeyou. He has written to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau calling for a National Canoe and Paddle Program to be included in the next budget.
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In the letter, also posted on Facebook, Saganash says he was convinced about the efficacy of this great national endeavour by comments the prime minister made recently, quoting Trudeau as saying he had spoken with chiefs who told him they needed youth centres and TVs for their young people.
“And when a chief says that to me, I pretty much know they haven’t actually talked to their young people because most young people I’ve talked to want a place to store their canoes and paddles, so they can connect back out on the land,” Saganash’s letter quotes Trudeau as saying.