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Monday, December 17, 2012

Treaty No. 6 First Nations do not recognize laws and enactments of the Government of Canada

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Edmonton, Alberta, Treaty Six Territory, December 17, 2012 As Indigenous Nations, the Confederacy of

Treaty No. 6 First Nations do not recognize laws and enactments of the Government of Canada,

including but not limited to Bill C-45, which do not fulfill their constitutionally recognized and affirmed

Treaty and Aboriginal rights; as well as the Crown’s legal obligations to meaningfully consult and

accommodate First Nations. When all the conservatives legislation regarding or affecting First Nations is

considered as a whole, it is clear sweeping changes are being introduced with scant consultation and

sometimes with no consultation at all which will impact on how First Nations governments work and

how our lands and waters are governed.

Grand Chief Craig Makinaw stated, “Harper’s government is not acting in good faith and is acting in a

way that brings dishonour to the Crown. The Confederacy of Treaty No. 6 First Nations Chiefs call on the

the Government of Canada to bring back the honour of Crown to the process and fulfill the legal duty to

consult First Nations prior to any legislation or enactment which would impact on First Nations Treaty,

Inherent and Aboriginal rights.”

An example of the violation of Indigenous and Treaty rights can be found in the parliamentary process

on Bill C-45. On the 18th of October 2012, the Minister of Finance tabled Bill C-45. In the legislation were

sections relating to changes to the Indian Act, the Fisheries Act, and the Canadian Environmental

Assessment Act, and the Navigable Waters Act. The Chiefs received a letter from Minister Duncan on

October 22nd, 2012 advising of these changes. “There was no prior discussion. There were no meetings.

There was no request from the Treaty Peoples for these changes and we view these actions to be

violations of the laws of Canada as it relates to Treaty Peoples,” stated Grand Chief Craig Makinaw.

The Chiefs are alarmed that the Government of Canada has greatly diminished the need to consider

environmental impacts on First Nations water resources through changes to the Navigable Waters

legislation within Bill C-45. Pipelines will now be able proceed across hundreds, even thousands of water

course crossings without the necessary environmental scrutiny. These changes will increase the impact

of development on First Nations Reserve lands, many of which rely on rivers and lakes to practice their

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Treaty rights to hunt, fish, trap and continue a traditional way of life. “How many rivers and lakes have

to be spoiled before Canadians start to care?” continued Makinaw.

In addition, Bill C-45 is a budget bill. However, it contains nothing to address the $4.7 billion dollar need

identified by the independent national engineering assessment that is required to ensure that First

Nations are able to enjoy the same safe drinking water services as other Canadians. “The silence on Bill

C-45 on this issue is a very loud and clear statement that the Conservative government is content to

allow third world water and sanitation systems to continue on Indian Reserves,” said Makinaw.

The Chiefs of the Confederacy of Treaty No. 6 First Nations unanimously passed on resolution on

November 29th, 2012 opposing all federal legislation, regulations and policy changes stating the Federal

Government has failed to meaningfully consult with First Nations for shared decision-making on issues

that have a direct impact on them through consideration of their Aboriginal and Treaty rights and the

legal principles of free, prior and informed consent and called on the Government of Canada to provide

First Nations the opportunity and resources to participate in a meaningful consultation process with

respect to jurisdiction on our lands and resources and protects our ability to practice our Indigenous and

Treaty rights freely.

The Confederacy of Treaty Six First Nations represents the 18 First Nations in Treaty No. 6 Territory in

what is now known as the province of Alberta.


For further information please contact:

The Confederacy of Treaty Six First Nations

Carolyn Buffalo, Director of Operations

Phone: (780) 984-7316 Email:


  1. Why is it the government even HAS crown land? In my opinion, much of this land should be immediately transferred to native bands, and then they can do with it as they please: they'r enot children. If they want to clear-cut it, or turn it into a park, they should have every right to. The principal issue is that the government should relinquish control over lands that properly belong to native bands and stop being involved in any decision as to how the lands are used. And we should be grateful that these bands don't seek to for independent nations. It's been far too long.

  2. The Harper Conservatives have no respect for Aboriginal and Treaty Rights even though they are treaty people themselves.It is totally appaling on how they conduct themselves.I hope the whole world sees how they conduct themselves as a government.I am pretty sure a majority of the Conservative Government are Christians, and they should make an effort to seek the truth behind the horrific history of how aboriginal npeoples have been treated in this country, and they should honour the treaties that were made to make this country possible.Seek the truth,remember Thy Shall Not Steal,Thy Shall Not Lie, and Thy Shall Not Kill.I know that historically that a majority of politicians that get into office profess to be part of a religious denomination to garner support, and once they get into office they blatantly forget about "seeking the truth" and other worthy values.

  3. Treaties are very important to treaty people. The treaties were signed by our ancestors. The treaties allowed white people to "settle". So they can form villages, towns. They were meant so we can co-exist but our agreement was with the Crown. Not Canada. This Bill C-45 from the Conservative Government aims to destroy the Indian on all fronts without consultation. This is an act of genocide by this government. An act of war.


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