IRC Sees Opinion on Impact Assessment Act as “a victory for Indigenous rights”
CALGARY, AB, May 12, 2022 – The Indian Resource Council, an organization representing over 130 First Nations who produce or have direct interest in the oil and gas industry, was gratified by the opinion handed down by the Alberta Court of Appeal determining that the federal Impact Assessment Act is unconstitutional.
The Indian Resource Council was an intervenor in the case. It objected to the federal government’s overreach in determining, on behalf of Indigenous nations, whether a project is in their interests or not. Indeed, the IAA would clearly limit the economic activities that nations could participate in, in violation of Aboriginal and treaty rights.
Indian Resource Council sees Opinion on Impact Assessment Act as “a victory for Indigenous rights”
The reference affirmed the IRC’s view that the IAA “smacks of paternalism” and undermines the ability of Indigenous nations to make agreements with provinces and industry proponents.
“The opinion is a victory for Indigenous rights,” stated Chief Roy Fox, Chair of the Indian Resource Council and Chief of the Kainai Nation. “The Courts are recognizing federal overreach and interference which is incompatible with the autonomy of Indigenous peoples. We have a right to make arrangements with industry and determine what is in our own best interests.”
“As we argued, First Nations have a right to improve our economic and social conditions through the creation of economic activities. Whether that comes from oil and gas production or other projects is our decision, not the federal government’s. They do not get veto power over us,” added IRC President Stephen Buffalo.
For further information: Stephen Buffalo, 403-281-8308, firstname.lastname@example.org