OTTAWA – Indigenous News – The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) has adopted a Resolution supporting a legal challenge by the Treaty 9 Nations against the Government of Ontario’s failure to uphold the Crown’s obligations under Treaty 9. The resolution was passed during the AFN’s Special Chiefs Assembly held on Tuesday.
The litigation seeks to challenge the government’s failure to protect the Treaty rights and way of life of the Chapleau Cree First Nation, Missanabie Cree First Nation, and Brunswick House First Nation from the cumulative impacts of resource development.
National Chief RoseAnne Archibald stated that the provinces are benefiting from First Nations’ land and that the legal action highlights the importance of Nation-to-Nation prosperity and mutual benefit.
The legal action is a crucial step towards enforcing the Crown’s obligations to uphold its Treaty promises and ensuring Indigenous Peoples can maintain their culture and way of life. It also draws attention to the cumulative environmental impacts of resource development in Treaty 9 and across the Boreal Forest.
The AFN recognizes the efforts of the Treaty 9 Nations, Nishnawbe Aski Nation, and Mushkegowuk Council in protecting and asserting First Nation rights, jurisdiction, and sovereignty. AFN Regional Chief, Nova Scotia/Newfoundland, Paul Prosper, emphasized the need for the Government of Canada and provincial governments to obtain free, prior and informed consent from First Nations before taking any measures that may affect their lands and waters.
The impacts of resource development must be monitored, assessed, and managed in full partnership with First Nations as the original stewards of our lands and waters. The AFN is committed to supporting the Treaty 9 Nations in their legal action and exploring other avenues for continued support.