(ANNews) –The Confederacy of Treaty Six First Nations and the G4 in Treaty 7 Territory have joined Vice Chief Aly Bear of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations to put forward an emergency resolution at the Special Chiefs Assembly in Ottawa. The resolution rejects the Alberta Sovereignty Within a United Canada Act and the Saskatchewan First Act.
After working with lawyers and policy experts, concerns about both Acts have spurred the Treaty Chiefs to put forward an emergency resolution at the Assembly of First Nations. These Acts function as a mechanism to challenge any federal law or policies the Provincial government deem constitutional or harmful and is a blatant disregard of the rule of law.
“This isn’t a First Nation issue – this impacts everyone in Canada” says Chief Tony Alexis of Alexis Nakota Sioux First Nation. “If this law goes forward in Alberta, it will set a dangerous precedent – that laws can be made behind closed doors. What would keep other provinces from following suit? We have seen similar attempts in Quebec and Saskatchewan and have very good reason to be deeply concerned when three provinces are trying to extend their jurisdiction.”
“We will not give up our Treaty rights to our land, resources, and water,” says Stoney Nakoda Tsuut’ina Tribal Council representative and Bearspaw First Nation Chief Darcy Dixon. “We have never relinquished, ceded, nor surrendered the rights to our natural resources. Through Treaty, we agreed to share the land, not give exclusive jurisdiction to the Government of Alberta or the Government of Saskatchewan. We will not allow these provinces to assert their control over Treaty lands.”
The Chiefs emphasize that “both of these Acts are without rigour and alarmingly open for interpretation-their uncertainty may have harmful, permanent and widespread impacts. There has been no consultation or dialog with First Nations Peoples to discuss these Acts, their details and implications. This lack of transparency runs against the ideals of respectful relations and Reconciliation.”