OTTAWA, March 2, 2020 /CNW/ - Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde says the announcement of a draft agreement with the Wet'suwet'en and the federal and provincial governments is a positive signal that progress is being made and that everyone involved in this matter – including industry - needs to continue to maintain an atmosphere that supports respectful dialogue.
"The draft agreement between the Wet'suwet'en and federal and provincial ministers is a positive step as it addresses the fundamental issue in this matter – First Nations rights and title over their lands and territories," said AFN National Chief Bellegarde. "This could lead to the long overdue work of breathing life into the historic Delgamuukw decision. Only the Wet'suwet'en can determine if they support this proposed agreement and they must be given the time and the space to do that. The AFN supports the governance and decision-making process of the Wet'suwet'en, and Canada and B.C. should do the same. We want everyone involved in this situation to support an atmosphere of dialogue and respect – 'wiggus'."
A "Joint statement on discussions on Wet'suwet'en rights and title" was released on Sunday, March 1, by the Wet'suwet'en and the federal and provincial ministers involved in discussions. The statement noted that a draft agreement has been reached "that will be reviewed by Wet'suwet'en clan members through Wet'suwet'en governance protocols for ratification." The Delgamuukw decision (Delgamuukw v British Columbia) is a 1997 Supreme Court of Canada ruling that dealt with, amongst many other issues, Indigenous rights and title over lands and territories.
The AFN is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada. Follow AFN on Twitter @AFN_Updates.
SOURCE Assembly of First Nations
For further information: Michael Hutchinson, Senior Communication Advisor, Assembly of First Nations, 613-241-6789 ext. 244, 613-859-6831 (cell), [email protected]; Monica Poirier, Bilingual Communications Officer, Assembly of First Nations, 613-241-6789 ext. 382, 613-292-0857 (mobile), [email protected]