Canada Native Chief Warns of Possible Tibet-Style Protests Over Vancouver Olympics

Canada's top native chief says the Vancouver Olympics are a potential target for First Nations protests much like Beijing has been a flash point for Tibet supporters.

Phil Fontaine, national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, says native leaders will use whatever chance they can, including the 2010 Winter Games, to focus governments on aboriginal poverty.

Thousands of Canadians who've marched in support of a free Tibet should be "outraged" by abysmal native conditions in their own country, he said Thursday.

"We find the Tibetan situation compelling," Fontaine said when asked if the 2010 Olympics could be disrupted by the sort of protest that has dogged Chinese planners.

Indian Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl said he has heard such talk but finds it "a little odd.

"From job prospects to sports arenas, special effort has been made to ensure that the four First Nations located on Olympic grounds in British Columbia share related wealth," he said.