Assembly of First Nations "Very Disappointed" by Supreme Court of Canada Decision in Samson and Ermineskin



    OTTAWA, Feb. 13 /CNW Telbec/ - The leadership of the Assembly of First
Nations reacted with disappointment and concern to today's decision by the
Supreme Court of Canada in the Samson and Ermineskin case.
    "First Nations across the country are going to be very disappointed by
today's Supreme Court of Canada decision," AFN National Chief Phil Fontaine
stated. "We are going to carefully review the entire decision because we are
very concerned about the potential implications of this decision for other
First Nations."
    The Samson and Ermineskin cases were heard together by the Supreme Court
of Canada. The issue was the alleged mismanagement of First Nations monies -
in this case, oil and gas revenues - by the Government of Canada.
    The AFN Regional Chief for Alberta, Wilton Littlechild, is a member of
the Ermineskin First Nation in Alberta.
    "The citizens and leadership of the Ermineskin and Samson First Nations
pursued an important matter of principle all the way to the highest court in
the land and are to be commended for their strong stand," AFN Regional Chief
Littlechild said. "We are obviously very disappointed in today's decision. It
may point to the need for a mechanism through which First Nations that want
control over their trust monies are able to take that control. We believe we
can manage our monies and resources as good as - and very likely better than -
the federal government. Right now, our priority is to carefully review the
decision and assess all the impacts."

    The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing
First Nations citizens in Canada.




For further information:

For further information: Don Kelly, A/Communications Director, Assembly
of First Nations, (613) 241-6789 ext. 334, cell: (613) 292-2787,
dkelly@afn.ca


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