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February 07, 2003

Reinstate Ahenakew, native elders say

O, Canada Canadian tribal elder, outspoken anti-semite, welcomed home
Regina — The Saskatchewan council of native elders that banished one of its members for his anti-Semitic tirade last year has quietly suggested inviting the disgraced leader back into the fold.

Senators for the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations voted 20 to 1 in favour of reinstating David Ahenakew during their two-day meeting in Prince Albert, Sask., earlier this week.

"I was shocked that this unexpected decision was made," said Rochelle Wilner, president of B'nai Brith Canada.

"This sends a message that anybody in Canada can just climb on a soapbox and spew hate," she said.

Mr. Ahenakew, who is a former leader of the Assembly of First Nations and who has been admitted to the Order of Canada, caused a national furor in December when he said that killing millions of Jews during the Holocaust had been a good idea.[more]