May 04, 2013

Lakota questioned about identify, politics

American Lakota woman accuses border guards of racial profiling after they probe heritage, involvement in Idle No More

By Kenneth JacksonAn American Indian woman is accusing border guards in Saskatoon of racial profiling after she was stopped while entering Canada and asked her heritage and if she was part of the Idle No More movement.

Patricia Stein told APTN National News she arrived in Saskatoon at about 3:20 p.m. Friday and was questioned by a Canadian Border Services Agency officer about where she was going and who she was going to see.

The officer ordered her to a “secondary” meeting and Stein was ushered to a waiting area before being interrogated by a different officer.

“The first question the officer asked me was my heritage,” said Stein who told him she’s Lakota and German. “He literally had a pad of paper in front of him and wrote ‘Native American’ down and circled it.”

The officer wanted to know who she was going to see. Stein said a friend. In fact Stein was using frequent flyer miles to fly to Saskatoon and had to use them up by a certain time or they’d expire.

“Then he came back to the Native questions and asked “have you participated in Idle No More?’” said Stein.

She said the officer then asked if she’d ever been paid for her “activism.”

“No one gets paid for that. Who in the world is going to pay us for that?” said Stein, who during the throes of the Idle No More movement in December and January was in Egypt and held her own rally in front of the Canadian Embassy.
Comment:  If it isn't illegal to ask these questions in Canada, it should be. In the US, too.

The links below suggest why border guards are concerned about political activism. But these guards should be neutral in any political conflict. Ultimately they serve the people, not the government.

For more on Idle No More, see Canada Faces "Catastrophic Confrontation" and Canada Owes Billions for Unfulfilled Treaties.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The best part is, she was in Egypt teaching women self-defense. I seriously doubt Islamic fundamentalists would care for that. (No doubt the con(servative) men are already working on a conspiracy theory connecting INM to Muslim turrorists. Just like the FBI connected AIM to the USSR in the 70s.)

As an aside, why do white people think Indians can't travel to other countries? (Technically, for Indians living along the US-Canada border or US-Mexico border, there are treaties protecting the right to move from one country to the other.)