OTTAWA, July 26, 2013 /CNW/ - Assembly of First Nations National Chief
Shawn A-in-chut Atleo commented on the Government of Canada's release
of a new policy on Additions to Reserve (ATR) for public comment:
"First Nations have been calling for improvements to Canada's Additions
to Reserve policy for decades and now, after several years of joint
effort by the Assembly of First Nations and the Government of Canada, a
new policy is finally being unveiled for review and comment," said
National Chief Atleo. "The ability of First Nations to create new
reserves for economic development, to accommodate community growth or
for cultural and other reasons is absolutely essential but very
difficult under the old policy. We need an approach that makes it
quicker and easier for First Nations to acquire new lands as reserves.
First Nations and the public now have an opportunity to review and
comment on this new proposed policy so that it achieves those goals."
The AFN has been mandated for the past 3 years by Chiefs-in-Assembly to
work with the Government of Canada on changes to the ATR policy, one
which First Nations have found too cumbersome, lengthy and unresponsive
to their needs. "We can look to this approach as a way forward in other
key areas such as addressing landless band issues, dealing with large
specific claims, and the development of a policy to implement
modern-day treaties and land claims. These are all issues that could be
meaningfully resolved through a collaborative policy process that
engages First Nations directly."
Earlier this year, the Prime Minister committed to a new high-level
process to review the comprehensive claims policy. "First Nations are
looking to this new process to confirm recognition and reconciliation
as the foundation for change and the delivery of expeditious, fair
comprehensive claims settlements," noted National Chief Atleo.
"Resolving these major land issues will help Canada address its
outstanding lawful obligations, foster prosperity for First Nations and
deliver the certainty needed for sustainable economic development. This
benefits First Nations and all Canadians."
The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing
First Nations citizens in Canada. Follow us on Twitter @AFN_Updates, @AFN_Comms
SOURCE: Assembly of First Nations
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