Opinion: Native leader has stellar record

"Would you vote for David Ahenakew if he were running for office in the next election?

Likely not. Mr Ahenakew is the Saskatchewan man currently being tried under a section of the Criminal Code that prohibits the willful promotion of hatred. If found guilty, Mr. Ahenakew could face up to two years behind bars.

But what if you had been given the opportunity to vote for Mr. Ahenakew before he made his now-famous anti-Semitic comments? Then the answer might have been quite different.

Mr. Ahenakew served in the Canadian Armed Forces for 16 years and is a veteran of the Korean War.

He has taught at the University of Saskatchewan. He is a former chief of the Assembly of First Nations.

He is a recipient of the John Stratychuck Memorial Award for his outstanding contributions to human rights, and the recipient of an honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Regina.

He is a member of a highly respected Saskatchewan family. In 1978, he received the Order of Canada."

Get the Story:
Andrew Irvine and David Sutherland: Know thy neighbour's views (The Globe and Mail 4/8)

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