OTTAWA, Sept. 28, 2011 /CNW/ - Assembly of First Nations National Chief
Shawn A-in-chut Atleo said today that legislation introduced by the
Conservative government dealing with matrimonial interests on-reserve
will not provide access to justice for First Nations citizens affected
by marital breakdown and called on First Nations to work with their
citizens to pass their own laws and develop their own codes in this
"The legislation introduced today does not provide the necessary tools
or capacities for First Nation governments to deal with the issues that
arise when marriages break up," said AFN National Chief Shawn Atleo.
"This is rightfully a matter of First Nation jurisdiction and we must
have this capacity. We are willing to work with the government on a
better, effective approach and, in the meantime, we are urging First
Nation governments to work with their citizens to enact their own codes
on laws in this important matter and to occupy this ground before the
federal government does."
The legislation was originally introduced in 2008 and has been opposed
by the AFN as well as organizations like the Native Women's Association
of Canada. First Nations want to see the capacity and tools at the
community level to deal with issues related to matrimonial rights and
interests. Under the federal approach, First Nation citizens in
communities that lack this capacity will be left relying on provincial
courts, which are often too expensive or too difficult for citizens in
remote communities to access.
"First Nations have repeatedly and forcefully called on the government
to work with us on an approach that will truly give our people in our
communities access to justice," said National Chief Atleo. There are
already First Nations that have put their own laws and approaches in
place on this matter. These must be respected and a similar approach
must be supported for all First Nations."
The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing
First Nations citizens in Canada.
SOURCE ASSEMBLY OF FIRST NATIONS
For further information:
Don Kelly, Assembly of First Nations A/Communications Director
613-241-6789 ext. 334 or cell: 613-292-2787 or email email@example.com
Jenna Young, Assembly of First Nations Communications Officer
613-241-6789, ext 401 or cell: 613-314-8157 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Alain Garon, Assembly of First Nations Bilingual Communications Officer
613-241-6789, ext 382 or cell: 613-2920857 or email email@example.com