Lessons of Attawapiskat crisis: Duty to consult with First Nations is sacrosanct

In Harper’s decision to employ a consultative approach as reflected in Haida, let us hope that we can genuinely heal the festering wounds in relations with our First Nations, sowing the seeds for a genuine renaissance in which we all reap the benefits.

Speaking up: While this crisis was spurred by the decision of Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence, pictured on Jan. 4 in her teepee on Victoria Island on the Ottawa River, who began her fasting a month ago in protest to the federal government’s omnibus legislation, her actions served as a catalyst to a message the Conservative government chose to conveniently ignore; when making decisions that directly impact our First Nations, the duty to consult is not optional, but a non-negotiable imperative. Photograph by Steve Gerecke, The Hill Times

By Jeremy Richler

PUBLISHED : Friday, Jan. 18, 2013 6:56 PM

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