Onion Lake First Nation will be in federal court in Saskatoon, SK on August 19 and 20, 2015 for a two-day hearing to have the federal government ‘enjoined’ from the continued implementation of the First Nations Financial Transparency Act (FNFTA). Onion Lake is asking the federal court for an injunction in order that they can pursue their own case against the federal government.
“As former Grand Chief of the Confederacy of Treaty Six First Nations, and former Chief of my nation, I have written many letters to the Prime Minister and the minister of Aboriginal Affairs speaking out against the federal governments approach in imposing federal legislation, regulations and policy changes. In February 2013, I made a presentation to the Senate on the Confederacy’s opposition to Bill C27, as it was known at that time. It is unfortunate that our efforts to engage and provide our positions to the federal government are ignored and First Nations are forced into the courts to resolve issues, creating a greater financial burden on all parties,” said Assembly of First Nations Regional Chief for Alberta, Craig Makinaw.
In 2014, in opposition to the imposition of the First Nations Financial Transparency Act (FNFTA), five First Nations filed litigation against the federal government. They are the Athabasca Chipewyan, Onion Lake Cree Nation, Sawridge Band, Ochapowace First Nation, and Thunderchild First Nation. Onion Lake filed their litigation against the federal government in November 2014. The following month, the federal government began its own court action against Onion Lake. In order to move its own case forward, Onion Lake has filed for an injunction against the federal government.
“The FNFTA was passed and enforced in a manner which disregarded the Crown’s constitutional and legal obligations towards First Nations. The federal court needs no reminder that Aboriginal and Treaty rights are recognized and affirmed in the Constitution Act, 1982. Supreme Court of Canada rulings have also supported the Crown’s legal duty to consult and accommodate First Nations when Crown decisions may adversely impact those rights, and I commend Okimaw Fox and Onion Lake Cree Nation, and support their action against the federal government regarding the FNFTA,” concluded Regional Chief Makinaw.
Craig Makinaw is the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) Regional Chief for Alberta. Makinaw is the former Chief and longtime member of Council for Ermineskin Cree Nation, and former Grand Chief of the Confederacy of Treaty Six First Nations.
Click here to read comments of support from the AFN Manitoba Regional Chief Kevin Hart.