Canada’s native leaders are walking a fine line as they plan for a national day of protest on June 29. They hope to be dramatic enough to draw attention to poverty on reserves, stalled land claims and other issues, yet most insist they aren’t thinking blockades or confrontation.

“We don’t want to cause a major disruption in the lives of Canadians, but at the same time, we also want to make sure they understand that this is a crisis,” Phil Fontaine, national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, said in an interview this week from Ottawa. Fontaine himself recently pointed out that public sympathy for aboriginal concerns was highest during the Oka crisis in 1990. (EDIT: Phil feels killing a cop made us more sympathetic toward them?.. sure Phil)

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