First Nations Elections Act does not reflect the recommendations or documented resolutions of the AMC
OTTAWA, Feb. 29, 2012 /CNW/ - Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs Grand Chief
Derek Nepinak will recommend to the Senate Standing Committee on
Aboriginal Peoples that the existing Indian Act be minimally amended to exclusively deal with the option to extend
terms of office and have a common election date. This would be
consistent with what the AMC Chiefs decided and what was worked
together with Canada. AMC will make its invited submission to the
Senate Committee during the evening sitting of the Committee on
February 29, 2012.
"The draft legislation as it currently stands does not reflect the
context of the discussions the AMC held with First Nations leadership
across Manitoba. There is still time for the Government of Canada to
amend this legislation to include those recommendations that address a
range of electoral issues that could help to strengthen the leadership
selection process as determined by each First Nation community", says
Grand Chief Nepinak.
The Bill gives the Minister the power to put custom election Bands under
the new Act and relegates a number of election administration
activities to federal regulation under the purview of the Minister.
"If the Government of Canada is sincere in its claim that the proposed
legislation adds no powers to the Minister than those already possessed
then the AMC sees no reason why the federal government would object to
adding all the recommendations put forth by First Nations leadership as
well as those put forth by the Senate Standing Committee on Aboriginal
Peoples in regard to appeal mechanisms and election oversight", added
Grand Chief Nepinak.
"If Canada's commitment to First Nations is to include 'renewing and
re-setting the relationship', as promised last month at the Crown -
First Nations Gathering, then let us proceed in good faith and continue
to work together on developing and implementing First Nations-led
election reform that respects the First Nation right to
AMC's testimony to the Senate Committee follows a December 5, 2011 press
release whereby Grand Chief Derek Nepinak stated that he could not
support the Bill S-6 legislation as tabled as it did not reflect the
position of the First Nations leadership of Manitoba.
SOURCE Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs
For further information:
Jason Zushman, AMC Renewal Initiatives Director, 204-510-4176