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Boreal Forest deal disrespectful, says NAN grand chief

Nishnawbe-Aski Nation’s grand chief says the so-called unprecedented agreement between big forestry companies and environmental groups disrespects area First Nations.
Nishnawbe-Aski Nation’s grand chief says the so-called unprecedented agreement between big forestry companies and environmental groups disrespects area First Nations.

The Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement is a plan that will see major forest companies halt logging on 29-million hectares of this country's forestlands. The agreement made includes lands in Ontario, Manitoba, Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia.

But according to Nishnawbe-Aski Chief Stan Beardy, the plan is disrespectful to First Nations’ rights because it was reached without NAN’s knowledge or participation. The grand chief says the agreement treats NAN like a stakeholder rather than a government.

"Nobody has the right to develop an agreement that affects any of NAN’s lands and resources without consultation, accommodation and consent from us," Beardy said.

A portion of NAN land is included in the agreement between the forestry companies and environmental groups.

"We must be part of the decision making, benefit from resources in our traditional territory, and be involved in how the land is managed," he said. "Environmental groups and forest product companies must have our free, prior and informed consent on these matters.

"These kinds of agreements have to stop and the true decision makers, First Nations, must be the ones to have the final say."






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