Harper government forcing relocation of FN claims tribunal to “smother” it, says grand chief

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Harper government forcing relocation of FN claims tribunal to “smother” it, says grand chief

Jorge BarreraAPTN National News A tribunal created to deal with historic First Nation grievances is slowly being smothered by the Harper government, said a British Columbia grand chief in response to revelations the independent body is now being relocated and stripped of the ability to run its own affairs.

The Harper government is forcing the Specific Claims Tribunal (SCT) to move from its current space to make room for a new super-agency that will handle the administration of several federal tribunals, including the SCT, according to notes obtained by APTN National News. The notes were taken by an individual who was present for a speech given Tuesday by SCT Chair Justice Harry Slade to the Assembly of First Nations’ special committee on claims.

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, the president of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs (UBCIC), was among about 20 people who were at the meeting held in a Vancouver board room.

“They are trying to smother it,” said Phillip. “It was a very Machiavellian move, it’s unbelievable. That’s why I say, I’m biting my tongue here.”

Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt’s office issued an emailed statement Wednesday evening saying it was up to Justice Canada to respond. The minister refused to answer questions from reporters following an appearance before the Commons Aboriginal Affairs committee late Wednesday afternoon. Read More

Between Keewatin and Tsilhqot’in Conference, Nov 21 – 22

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“Between Keewatin and Tsilhqot’in” is an important conference regarding the implications of recent Supreme Court decisions for First Nations and Aboriginal people in Canada.

Space is limited for the November 21st and 22nd conference.  For more information and to register go to

This conference is co-hosted by Treaty Commissioner James Wilson and Professor Aimee Craft, Faculty of Law, University of Manitoba.

Speakers Are:

*    Elder Harry Bone
*    Robert Janes, JFK Law Corporation,
*    Ovide Mercredi, University of Manitoba
*    Heather Leonoff, Manitoba Justice, Constitutional Law
*    Ken McNeil, Professor, Osgood Hall Law School
*    Heather Mahony, Lawyer, Woodward and Company
*    Julie Blackhawk, Department of Justice Canada
*    Doug White, Centre for Pre-Confederation Treaties and Reconciliation, Vancouver Island University
*    Professor Aimee Craft, University of Manitoba
*    Michael Anderson, Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak
*    Bill Gallagher, Author
*    Jean Teillet, Partner, Pape Salter Teillet LLP
*    J.B. Fobister, Traditional Land User, Grassy Narrows First Nation
*    The Honourable Richard Scott, Former Chief Justice of Manitoba

View a complete agenda – For more detailed information, including session descriptions and speaker biographies, available at

Carmen Neufeld, President
Planners Plus Inc.
106 – 475 Provencher Boulevard
Winnipeg, Manitoba R2J 4A7
(204) 257-5205

Bison treaty signed by Alberta, Montana tribes

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1st treaty among tribes and First Nations in the area since the 1800s

By Matthew Brown, The Associated Press

Posted: Sep 23, 2014 7:53 PM MT – Last Updated: Sep 23, 2014 7:53 PM MT

Native tribes from the U.S. and Canada signed a treaty Tuesday establishing an inter-tribal alliance to restore bison to areas of the Rocky Mountains and Great Plains where millions of the animals once roamed.

Leaders of 11 tribes from Montana and Alberta signed the pact during a daylong ceremony on Montana’s Blackfeet Reservation, organizers said.

It marks the first treaty among the tribes and First Nations since a series of agreements governing hunting rights in the 1800s. That was when their ancestors still roamed the border region hunting bison, also called buffalo.

The long-term aim of Tuesday’s “Buffalo Treaty” is to allow the free flow of the animals across the international border and restore the bison’s central role in the food, spirituality and economies of many American Indian tribes and First Nations — a Canadian synonym for native tribes.

Such a sweeping vision could take many years to realize, particularly in the face of potential opposition from the livestock industry. Read More…

US to pay largest Native American nation $554 mn in landmark settlement

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Published time: September 25, 2014 15:55

​The Obama administration will pay the Navajo Nation a record $554 million to settle claims by the most populous Native American tribe that funds and natural resources on its reservation were mismanaged by the US government for decades.

The agreement will be formally signed on Friday at Window Rock, Arizona, the capital of the Navajo reservation, the largest in the US by land mass.

The accord was borne from litigation that accused the government of mishandling Navajo funds and natural resources on its more than 14 million acres across Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah, all held in trust for the tribe and leased out for purposes of farming, energy development, logging, and mining. The Navajo claims date back as far as 50 years. Read More…

Supreme Court’s Tsilhqot’in First Nation ruling a game-changer for all

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A case of ‘national importance’ empowers First Nations, but may complicate big resource projects

By Amber Hildebrandt, CBC News Posted: Jun 27, 2014 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Jun 27, 2014 7:11 AM ET

“The Supreme Court decision on Thursday granting the land claim of a B.C. First Nation is not only a game-changer for many aboriginal communities across the country, but also for the government and the resource industries.

The unanimous ruling granted the Tsilhqot’in First Nation title to a 1,700-square-kilometre area of traditional land outside its reserve, marking the end of a decades-long battle.

But it also clarified major issues such as how to prove aboriginal title and when consent is required from aboriginal groups, which will affect negotiations on major projects such as the Northern Gateway pipeline.

The traditional territory in question is located to the south and west of Williams Lake and Alexis Creek in B.C.’s Interior. (CBC)

“This is a case of national significance and national importance, bulletproof in its legal reasoning,” says Bill Gallagher, a former treaty rights negotiator and author of Resource Rulers.”


read more HERE