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TORONTO, March 31 – Ontario Regional Chief Angus Toulouse will be holding a press conference on Wednesday April 2, 2008 in Thunder Bay, Ontario to make public First Nation concerns about Federal Bill C-47 “An Act respecting family homes situated on First Nation reserves and matrimonial interests or rights in or to structures and lands situated on those reserves”. “The First Nations in Ontario were not consulted with respect to this piece of federal legislation. This particular Bill, if made into law, will have serious and long-lasting consequences that the majority of First Nation communities do not have the capacity or resources to deal with,” stated the Ontario Regional Chief. The Regional Chief further indicated that First Nations take issue with the fact that Bill C-47 is inconsistent with the Inherent Right and is an infringement on First Nations jurisdiction in the area of family law.
Regional Chief Toulouse emphasized that the law is clear that government has a duty to consult and accommodate the views and concerns of First Nations where there is a possibility that a particular action has the potential to infringe upon Aboriginal or Treaty rights. “Clearly, the duty to consult with respect to Bill C-47 is warranted. The First Nations in Ontario will not accept this Bill being forcibly imposed upon us. We have serious concerns about the implications of Bill C-47,” said Regional Chief Toulouse.
Regional Chief Toulouse will be joined at this Press Conference by Grand Chief Denise Stonefish of the Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians.
For further information: Pam Hunter, Policy/Communications Advisor, Chiefs of Ontario, Mobile: (613) 203-3233
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