October 21, 2011

Candidate:  Indians spend "handouts" on drugs

Sask. Party candidate apologizes over First Nations remark

Greg Ottenbreit asking for forgivenessA Saskatchewan Party candidate is apologizing after suggesting First Nations people who get "handouts" sometimes spend it on drugs and alcohol.

Greg Ottenbreit, who is the party's Yorkton candidate, issued a written apology Friday for comments he made two days earlier at an all-candidates forum.

Ottenbreit said he made the improper remarks in response to a question about resource revenue-sharing with First Nations, something the NDP wants to hold talks about, but which the Saskatchewan Party opposes.

"I don't remember my exact words, but I said something like, 'What I have been told by some of my First Nations friends is that sometimes when there are handouts or the money comes free and easy, it can be used for alcohol and drugs,'" Ottenbreit said in a news release.

The exact wording of Ottenbreit's comments at the Yorkton Chamber of Commerce candidates’ forum wasn't immediately available.

"This was an inappropriate comment. I sincerely apologize for any pain my words have caused and ask forgiveness from anyone I have offended," Ottenbreit said.

There are several reserves around Yorkton, a city of about 15,000 people that's home to a First Nations-run casino and several other First Nations-run agencies.

"My words were poorly chosen. Drugs and alcohol are a challenge in every community and not specific to First Nations. This issue has nothing to do with revenue sharing," Ottenbreit said.
Comment:  For more on Indians as lazy bums, see City Manager:  "Navajos Are Lazy" and Chickaloon Indians = Leeches?


Anonymous said...

I have a confession to make. I know Indians who have spent their welfare checks on drugs. Aspirin mostly, but also insulin.

Rob said...

For more on the subject, see:


FSIN calls for Ottenbreit ousting

Yorkton incumbent's statements released

FSIN Vice Chief Morley Watson requested the removal of Yorkton incumbent Greg Ottenbreit from the Saskatchewan Party following remarks he made at a forum on October 19, wherein he suggested that resource revenue-sharing with First Nations would be used to buy drugs and alcohol.

Watson said that the comments would cause the public to form wrong opinions and reinforce negative stereotypes of First Nations people.

"I don't know how any government could have a person represent them that has such biased views of a group of people."

He doesn't think there's any coming back from the words that Ottenbreit said.


First Nations leaders demand candidate's removal