OTTAWA, March 10 /CNW Telbec/ - Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo supports Halalt First Nation in their call on the Government of British Columbia and the District of North Cowichan to work together to develop a long-term watershed management agreement regarding the Chemainus River Aquifer.
"In addition to the support voiced by many First Nation leaders in British Columbia today, as National Chief of the AFN and on behalf of the AFN executive, I offer my support to Chief James Thomas and the community of Halalt First Nation as they pursue meaningful consultation regarding the use of natural resources in their traditional territory.
Some progress has been made through the new relationship between the British Columbia government and First Nations in BC, toward respect, recognition and reconciliation of Aboriginal rights and title, but we have a ways to go. A true government-to-government relationship will respect the duty to consult with First Nations prior to development on traditional territories.
As stewards of the land, First Nations have an environmental responsibility. This is why it's so important to work together, as it is our people and our communities directly impacted by development.
I encourage all levels of government to work with First Nations to ensure free, prior and informed consent when it comes to economic development impacting our territories."
The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada.
SOURCE Assembly of First Nations
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