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Policy Briefing: Aboriginal Issues

Erasmus says AFN needs new approach with federal government

AFN National Chief Shawn Atleo is running for re-election next month. AFN regional N.W.T. chief Bill Erasmus says the AFN needs a new approach.
Evidence is piling up to demonstrate that Canada needs to do more and do more quickly in order to prove a serious commitment to tackling the real issues.
But due to the constitutionally-protected nature of these rights, the solution will not be found in omnibus legislation but in good faith bargaining and serious dedication of resources and attention to the issue.
A recent report by the Calgary Chamber of Commerce identifying the critical role of the Métis in filling the growing gap in the Western Canadian labour market highlights the need for a change in federal policy.
But Treasury Board President Tony Clement has further alienated First Nations by dismissing their calls for a Joint Review Panel of the Ring of Fire resource development in northern Ontario, arguing it would only bring up ‘irrelevant issues.’
First Nations across Canada are advancing plans, grounded in our rights and responsibilities, to return to the original relationship and to achieve self-determination. We extend our hand to Canada, our historic partner, to work with us.
Opposition critics say it’s up to the Prime Minister to improve aboriginal health, education and economic development.
AFN, ITK say Crown must consult on Bill C-38’s changes to environmental assessment process.
John Duncan says the spirit of Conservative backbencher’s bill is appropriate, but critics and aboriginal groups slam sponsor for failing to consult with First Nations.

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