A different kind of debate on race
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A prominent tribal leader's remarks about Hitler and the Jewish Holocaust have prompted debate in Canada about race in the Native community.

In The National Post, Chief Barry McKay of the Tootinaowaziibeeng First Nation recalls that he made his own racial gaffe recently. He had to apologize for using the word "nigger" for African-Americans in the U.S.

Kenneth Noskiye, a writer, remembers a similar incident that occurred when a Native elder was asked to speak a ceremony on the Day to Eliminate Racism. "[T]his guy gets up there and gives a little prayer. Then he says, 'You know, when I was a kid, we had no racism. Nobody cared if you were white, an Indian or a nigger.' He didn't skip a beat and just kept right on going."

The comments come in regard to David Ahenakew's apology for saying Hitler was right when he "fried" the Jewish people during World War II. He faces a hate crimes investigation for statements he made last week.

Get the Story:
Native community grapples with racism (The National Post 12/19)
Ahenakew furor upsets political backers (The Daily Globe and Mail 12/19)

Related Stories:
Native Trent Lott faces criminal probe (12/18)
Apology sought for Hitler remarks (12/17)
First Nations upset with Hitler remark (12/16)