OTTAWA, Sept. 6, 2012 /CNW/ - Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National
Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo today expressed concern about the federal
government's announcement of a new approach to treaty and
At the Crown-First Nations Gathering held earlier this year, the Crown
committed to jointly reform the policy to bring it into line with the
principles of recognition and affirmation. The Crown must live up to
these commitments. First Nations are united in our resolve to press
Canada to engage immediately in a process of reform, but this must be a
process that is both meaningful and comprehensive.
"The current comprehensive claims policy does not work. It is outdated,
ineffective, unjust and a further constraint to economic opportunity
and potential. First Nations across the country have been waiting for
too many years to get action on their claims," said AFN National Chief
Shawn Atleo. "The current policy is based on denial and extinguishment
rather than recognition and affirmation; and it has resulted in costly
negotiations and very few agreements. The policy is at odds with
section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982, and has not kept pace with
Supreme Court decisions and the United Nations Declaration of the
Rights of Indigenous Peoples."
Achieving results in negotiations involves the engagement of both
parties on a foundation that is respectful of one another's rights and
responsibilities. A policy that seeks to limit negotiations to those
regions and contexts where only Canada's needs are met is not
sufficient for First Nations.
"We have a shared interest in expeditious process and outcomes
resolution but this must be achieved justly and with a view to defining
a policy that responds to the needs and aspirations of all First
Nations, not only those that happen to be in resource-rich areas or
where desperation compels them to accept a process that falls short of
their aspirations," said National Chief Atleo.
AFN National Chief added: "Results-based negotiations must take account
of the unique needs that each First Nation engaged in negotiations
brings to the table - one size does not fit all. With sufficient
political will, Canada can overcome this longstanding barrier to
progress and economic development for First Nations, and truly move
into a new era of meaningful engagement and reconciliation for all
The Chiefs-in-Assembly have passed a variety of resolutions calling on
Canada to reform its comprehensive claims policy. This reform must
address the root-causes of problems with policy, such as recognition,
overlaps, fiscal relations and dispute resolution.
The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing
First Nations citizens in Canada. Follow @AFN_Updates, @AFN_Comms.
SOURCE: ASSEMBLY OF FIRST NATIONS
For further information:
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