Ottawa – Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde released the below statement in response to today’s decision by the Federal Court of Appeal to halt construction of the Trans Mountain expansion project.
“Today’s federal court decision is another victory for First Nations. It’s unfortunate that First Nations must litigate to protect our inherent rights, title and jurisdiction. In this case, the government did not even meet the duty to consult standard as articulated by the courts. On behalf of the AFN, I remind all governments that the Crown also must meet the minimum standards set out in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Our right to self-determination, inherent rights and title and Treaty rights have been affirmed as legal rights in Canada and internationally.”
“The decision confirms yet again why we need to work together on a better approach that leads to better decisions and better outcomes – an approach that implements and enforces rights and title, including free, prior and informed consent as set out in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This is how we avoid conflict and costly legal battles and advance reconciliation. This is how we can grow a stronger country for our children.”