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Jagmeet Singh blasts Sask. First Act during North Battleford visit

Jagmeet Singh North Battleford May 24th
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Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh was in North Battleford Thursday, speaking at the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations Spring Assembly. 

Singh was met with applause from the crowd, which included 50 First Nations leaders and around 250 Indigenous attendees in the crowd. During his speech, Singh took shots at the Saskatchewan government’s Saskatchewan First Act. 

“I know that you're up against tough government," he said to the crowd. "It's not recognizing, respecting Indigenous rights. The Saskatchewan First Act is a legislation that ignores the rights of Indigenous people. And I want you to know I think that's wrong.”

The NDP leader tried to reach the crowd by discussing his Punjabi culture and the importance elders hold in it. He also drew a comparison to losing his traditional language, then acknowledging the languages stolen from Indigenous people. 

He said he would fight for housing and also health care, wanting to make it easier for Indigenous people to access it. He also spoke about missing and murdered Indigenous women, wanting calls for justice to keep Indigenous women safe. He concluded his speech by saying he wants Indigenous communities to see the economic benefits of development done on their land.  

“I really believe in shared prosperity,” Singh told the crowd. “We don’t focus enough on the benefits to local communities. That means jobs for local communities, that means economic development for local communities, and if development is going to happen on Indigenous land, then Indigenous communities should benefit. There should be partnerships.”

Singh continued his tour in Saskatchewan by visiting the Wahpeton Dakota Nation School Wednesday evening, before meeting with the Saskatoon Paramedic Association Thursday morning.

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