Saskatchewan Chiefs In Assembly Were Not Consulted By Member Of ParliamentJune 27, 2012, Traditional territory of Treaty No.5 (Nipawin, Saskatchewan) First Nation leaders attending the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations Legislative Assembly were outraged and insulted by Member of Parliament, Rob Clarke's (Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill) presentation on his proposed private members Bill C-428.
"Mr. Clarke requested due to his ongoing work on this Bill that he wouldn't allow questions from the floor at our Legislative Assembly on his Bill C-428. Chiefs were not consulted nor do we view his attendance yesterday as a form of consultation on what Mr. Clarke is trying to undertake with his proposed amendments to the Indian Act. This is furthering the White Paper Policy of 1969," stated Vice Chief Morley Watson.
This conservative government is behind this bill and has sent a First Nations MP to front their agenda. Rob Clarke is an elected member of the House of Commons. The House of Commons is part of the law making body of Canada. He is not acting as an individual. Clark is acting as a member of a body that can affect the constitutionally protected rights of First Nations. Rob Clarke's riding of Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill is one of the largest populated ridings with over
60,000 First Nations people living the within the traditional territory.
"If you read the bill as presented –there is grave concerns. It is designed to bring into reality the steps to get rid of the Indian Act. MP Clark is putting in place the steps needed to accomplish this task. There are many issues with the Indian Act and this private members bill will not go ahead with the full inclusion and support of all First Nations. FSIN has a consultation policy and the federal government needs to recognize our Inherent, Sovereign and Treaty Rights," stated Vice Chief Watson.
The Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations represents 74 First Nations in Saskatchewan. The Federation is committed to honouring the spirit and intent of Treaty, as well as the promotion, protection and implementation of the Treaty promises that were made more than a century ago.
For more information:
Mervin Brass, Executive Director of Communications
Nicole Robertson, Communications Advisor