2004 Innu Agreement- in-Principle: future negotiations to ensure respect Huron-Wendat territory and rights
WENDAKE, QC, Dec. 3, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - The Huron-Wendat Nation is delighted with the decision rendered on December 1, 2014 by the Federal Court, following the filing in 2009 of an application for judicial review to contest Canada's reprehensible conduct in signing the 2004 Agreement-in-Principle with Québec and four Innu communities, the territorial scope of which encroaches illegally on the Nionwentsïo, the treaty territory of the Huron-Wendat Nation.
"Essentially, the Court's decision confirms that Canada breached its constitutional obligations to the Huron-Wendat Nation, its treaty partner under the Huron-British Treaty of 1760, more specifically the obligation to act honorably and consult and accommodate the Huron-Wendat Nation before signing the Innu Agreement-in-Principle (AIP), which includes a large part of the Nionwentsïo. From now on, Canada can no longer deny our rights and our territory and must honor its responsibilities and obligations within the process of concluding a final Innu treaty," declared Grand Chief Konrad H. Sioui.
"In light of this historic decision, it appears to us that the direct consequence of the Crown's failure to honor its constitutional obligations to the Huron-Wendat Nation is that the territorial scope of the AIP must be redefined to account for its encroachment on the Nionwentsïo," the Grand Chief continued. The Court's conclusions are very clear: "Canada must engage without delay in serious in-depth discussions" with the Huron-Wendat Nation, particularly "regarding the territory the AIP should cover".
In a conference call this morning with the Premier, Mr. Philippe Couillard, and the Minister responsible for Native Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Kelley, Grand Chief Sioui received their assurance that, following the judgment, Québec would make every effort to ensure that the rights of both parties are respected, including, of course, the rights protected by the Huron-British Treaty of 1760.
"The Court sets the record straight by correcting the errors of the past and confirming that the rule of law must be respected. Thus, a real and satisfactory consultation and accommodation process between Canada and the Huron-Wendat Nation must take place, first and foremost, before an Innu treaty can be made. This judgment also offers us the opportunity to show respect and openness between Aboriginal Nations. I am convinced that we have every interest in forming a common front for the defense and protection of our ancestral and treaty rights. It appears clear to me that this decision paves the way for a healthy and positive relationship with the federal and provincial governments and the government of the Innu communities concerned," Grand Chief Sioui concluded.
A copy of the Court's decision will be available this week on the Federal Court website and on the CHWN website at: http://www.wendake.ca/
SOURCE: COUNCIL OF THE HURON-WENDAT NATION
For further information: Tina Durand, 418-843-3767