National Chief Shawn Atleo urges practical movement beyond the Indian Act – CTV News

by aanationtalk on November 12, 2012368 Views

Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012

OTTAWA — Federal attempts to repair the much-hated Indian Act are not going to work because First Nations have not been involved in designing the way forward, says the national chief of the Assembly of First Nations.

Shawn Atleo says Ottawa has taken a piecemeal approach to First Nations reform — fiddling with education here, clean drinking water there — without tackling the fundamental problem of aboriginal treaties and rights not being respected.

“You’ve got to do them at the same time. They are one piece,” Atleo said Friday in an interview.

Ottawa has promised repeatedly — through treaties, a UN declaration, and most recently a high-profile summit with Prime Minister Stephen Harper — to jointly develop solutions that respect long-standing agreements with First Nations — all to little avail, he said.

“The expectations and understanding has not been a shared one,” Atleo said. Instead, Ottawa “is fixing flaws from a unilateral, one-dimensional perspective which does not reflect the promise of treaty.”

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