Land Claims Leaders Call on Ottawa to "Keep the Promises"

OTTAWA, Feb. 4, 2013 /CNW/ - The Land Claims Agreements Coalition, whose membership includes all modern treaty organizations in Canada, today commended the "Idle No More" movement for the attention it has brought to Aboriginal issues, and announced that the Coalition will step up calls for the federal government to fully implement modern treaty agreements.

"The Idle No More movement is shining a spotlight on the huge and persistent gaps between Aboriginal and other Canadians. We applaud and support the tremendous efforts and courage of everyone involved," said James Eetoolook, acting president of Nunavut Tunngavik and co-chair of the Land Claims Agreements Coalition.  "Our modern treaties give us the tools we need to close those gaps; it's time for the government to honour them and to implement them."

"This is a wake up call for Canada. It's time to address Aboriginal treaty issues," said Mitchell Stevens, president of the Nisga'a Nation and co-chair of the Land Claims Agreements Coalition. "We're very hopeful that the Idle No More movement will force the government to take a long hard look at their approach to treaty implementation. The Crown must commit to keeping its treaty promises to all modern treaty holders in Canada."

The Land Claims Agreements Coalition will host "Keeping the Promise: The Path Ahead to Full Modern Treaty Implementation", its 4th national conference on February 26-March 1 (www.landclaimscoalition.ca/conference) . The conference will bring together First Nations and Inuit leaders, government representatives, academics, industry and others working over three days to lay the foundations of a modern treaty implementation policy for public release and presentation to the federal government. The conference will also establish and publish a federal Implementation Report Card for annual release to measure and report on the federal government's implementation of treaty agreements.

"Canadians are more aware than ever before of the problems we face in our communities - but there are workable solutions. We're looking for sincere commitment from the federal government for concrete action to move us toward those solutions," said Mitchell.

Formed in 2003, the Land Claims Agreements Coalition has membership from all modern treaty organizations in Canada. Its mandate is to ensure that comprehensive land claims agreements and associated self-government agreements are respected, honoured and fully implemented in order to achieve their objectives. Taken collectively, modern treaties affect nearly half of Canada's land, waters and resources.

SOURCE: LAND CLAIMS AGREEMENTS COALITION

For further information:

Patti Black, Coordinator
Land Claims Agreements Coalition
Tel: 613-453-0788
Email: black@consilium.ca

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LAND CLAIMS AGREEMENTS COALITION

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