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2014-06-27 at 16:07

A strong message

Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Harvey Yesno.
Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com
Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Harvey Yesno.
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By Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com

THUNDER BAY -- Harvey Yesno says a recent Supreme Court of Canada decision sends a strong message on how to deal with Aboriginal title and rights.

In a unanimous decision Thursday the court gave title to Tsilhqot'in First Nation for more than 17,000 square kilometres of land in British Columbia, a first for the court. That will set a precedent for other outstanding land claims across the country. It ruled in favour of the idea of traditional territory rather than specific spots on the land to claim.

"I think it clearly states some of the things that we've always advocated," Yesno, the Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief said.

Several land claims by First Nations in NAN territory have been stalled.

"I'm hoping this would give an impetus to get back to the negotiations and settle some of these things."

What's clear now, Yesno said, is that consent and consultation are needed. And that things like royalties and revenue sharing need to be negotiated with government, not industry.

By and large First Nations have good relationships with industry when it comes to resource development Yesno said.

"What's now going to happen is the Crown, Ontario and Canada needs to step up," he said.

Provincial Northern Development and Mines Minister Michael Gravelle said his ministry is looking over the decision closely.

While there are some differences, mainly that Ontario has treaties, he said a recent framework agreement with Matawa Tribal Council in the Ring of Fire shows that the government has been consulting with First Nations.

"It's in many ways a model for how government-to-government relationship can really prove to be the most positive way to move forward on a project," he said.

 

 

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Comments

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newhere says:
While it is a significant decision, I am not sure that it transfers to Northern Ontario. The BC case involved land that was not covered by treaty. This is not the case in Northern Ontario. Although consultation and reasonable accommodation are still in play no First Nation consent is required where land has been ceded. First Nations in Ontario do not have a veto on development.
6/27/2014 4:35:38 PM
jonthunder says:
Let us no overlook the distinctions between Aboriginal Title/Non Treaty Parties; and Treaties which are very, very different. Apples and Oranges are now on the table.
6/27/2014 5:46:13 PM
hockeyday says:
Chief Yesno the case related to a nomadic band that never submitted to a treaty. Trying to slide this decision into the current disputes in NWO is a stretch considering they all involve treaties. The supreme court has upheld consultation with affected treaty bands, but not consent that you slid in there. Spinning facts is not helpful and only complicates ongoing negotiations here.
6/27/2014 8:04:49 PM
eventscentre says:
Well, there goes this region's boom. Won't be able to squat a mosquito without someone scolding you.
6/27/2014 8:05:54 PM
eventscentre says:
One side will say YES, you can do that; the other will say NO, you can't.
6/28/2014 11:00:11 AM
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