(July 14, 2016, Niagara Falls, ON) – Today during the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) Annual General Assembly, the Chiefs of Alberta voiced their interest in the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs’ resolution to move beyond the Indian Act, but cautioned against its wording.
“We do not want to simply be tied to a discussion of the Indian Act, there are many issues such as child welfare, education, health care, resource rights, and many other issues that are not Indian Act related but are tied to Treaty. Our discussion should be focused on a Treaty based implementation process that implements all our rights rather than just the limits within the Indian Act,” said Chief Irvin Bull, Louis Bull Tribe.
Chief Tony Alexis, Alexis Nakota Sioux, said, “In an Assembly of Treaty Chiefs resolution, dated May 25, 2016, and forwarded to the National Chief, the Assembly of Treaty Chiefs expressed their concern with the intended Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs resolution to abolish the Indian Act, specifically,
When an Act such as the Indian Act is abolished it creates a legal vacuum that would radically impact the existing legal protection currently in the … Act; every assurance must be in place to protect First Nations citizens, lands and territories now and for the future.”
Assembly of First Nations Regional Chief Craig Makinaw stated, “The Chiefs of Alberta in their resolution called for support for a review committee to thoroughly review the impacts of abolishing the Indian Act including but not limited to reserved lands, including those lands to be protected for the future generation and tax implications. The Chiefs also urged the Government of Canada not to proceed with amendment or abolishment until the Treaty 6, 7, and 8 First Nations are fully engaged in any government plan for the future of First Nations, citizens, lands and territories.”
Craig Makinaw is the elected Assembly of First Nations (AFN) Regional Chief for Alberta.
Editors Note: This article was updated from its original posting at 7:20 pm July 14, 2016 as submitted by the AFN Alberta Regional Office.