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Canada’s Laws Must Respect First Nations Rights: AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde on Supreme Court of Canada Decision on Mikisew

Canada’s Laws Must Respect First Nations Rights: AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde on Supreme Court of Canada Decision on Mikisew

October 19, 2018

(Ottawa, ON) – Following today’s decision by the Supreme Court of Canada regarding Mikisew Cree First Nation stating that the federal government does not need to consult with First Nations prior to tabling legislation, Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde says Canada still has a duty to ensure its laws respect and honour First Nations rights and title.

“Today’s decision is disappointing, but it does reaffirm the federal government’s duty to uphold the Honour of the Crown, and that means respecting First Nations rights in any legislation,” said AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde.  “This case is the result of misguided attempts by the previous federal government to override our rights. The court itself says any legislation that does not respect First Nations rights or meet the Crown’s obligations can be challenged.  First Nations are up for the challenge when these obligations aren’t met, but it shouldn’t have to get to that.  With full and meaningful engagement with First Nations at the outset of any initiative that could impact rights or our territories, we can and will produce better results and avoid costly, lengthy legal challenges.”

The 78 page judgment in the case of Chief Steve Courtoreille on behalf of himself and the members of the Mikisew Cree First Nation v. Governor General in Council et al., SCc 37441 was released this morning.

“First Nations are rights holders, not stake holders, and I lift up the Mikisew Cree for their fortitude and fully support them and all First Nations in asserting rights,” said National Chief Perry Bellegarde.  “The federal government has pledged to honour First Nations’ inherent rights and Treaty rights and to work with us to implement the UN Declaration, and I will continue to hold them to this standard. I will continue to push for a full review of all federal laws and policies to ensure that First Nations rights are reflected and respected.”

The Courtoreille/Mikisew Cree Nation case deals with Canada’s duty to consult with First Nations before introducing legislation. It arose in 2012 when the Minister of Finance introduced two omnibus bills that amended Canada’s environmental protection and regulatory legislative scheme. In 2013, Mikisew Cree First Nation, under Chief Steve Courtoreille, filed a judicial review application on the basis that Canada did not consult the Mikisew Cree First Nation on these changes which had potential to impact Mikisew’s Treaty rights. Canada does have an established duty to consult and accommodate when Indigenous rights and Treaties are affected. The issue in this case if that duty applies to the legislative process.

The AFN is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada. Follow AFN on Twitter @AFN_Updates.


For media requests or more information, please contact:

Jenna Young Castro
AFN Communications Officer
613-241-6789 ext 201
613-314-8157 (cell)

Monica Poirier
Bilingual Communications Officer
Assembly of First Nations
613-241-6789 ext. 382


First Sixties Scoop sharing circle a success: Doucette – MBC Network Radio Online

Oct 19, 2018

Survivors of the Sixties Scoop adoption process will be gathering for the second time in North Battleford for a sharing circle.

Robert Doucette of the Sixties Scoop Indigenous Society of Saskatchewan says the first event in Meadow Lake a success, as it allowed some survivors for the first time to share their experience of the adoption process.

“This sharing circle, this first one, was the first opportunity for Sixties Scoop survivors to show up, to tell their story, to have somebody listen and at some point act on what they are actually saying to the participants in the sharing circle,” Doucette said. “With a lot of the stories being shared they’re [survivors] not alone. The path that they have journeyed and the common experiences that they have are a lot of the same experiences that most of the other survivors have experienced in their lifetime.”

Read More:

Saskatchewan must wait until next year for court to hear challenge of carbon tax – CP

Source: The Canadian Press
Oct 19, 2018

REGINA _ Saskatchewan will have to wait until the spring for the province’s Appeal Court to hear the government’s challenge of Ottawa’s constitutional right to impose a carbon tax.

Environment Minister Dustin Duncan says it’s disappointing the case won’t come up until next year.

Duncan says the federal government asked for more time, which is what pushed the case back.

The Saskatchewan government had been looking for a ruling by the end of the year.

Duncan wonders why Ottawa can’t wait for a court ruling before bringing in the tax.

The federal government has given January as the deadline for provinces to get onboard with the tax, or have it imposed on them.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford has already said he supports Saskatchewan’s constitutional challenge of the levy.


Saskatoon’s aboriginal engagement conference encourages community organizations to take action

October 18, 2018

Leading experts, community leaders, elders and youth are coming together in Saskatoon for the Wîcihitowin (wee-chee-HEE’-toe-win) conference to discuss the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action and address Aboriginal engagement and inclusion issues.

“Over the past few years, we’ve noticed a growing sense of awareness of Aboriginal engagement and inclusion issues facing our community. Saskatoon is leading the way in Canada right now with bold initiatives like the community-driven naming process of Chief Mistawasis Bridge and the University of Saskatchewan’s new strategic plan which focuses on Indigenization,” says Neal Kewistep, Executive-in-Residence, Johnson Shoyama Institute of Public Policy.

“However we must not forget that real and lasting change is hard. We must continue to push for systemic change within our organizations, institutions and governments. What is needed now is less talk, more action,” Kewistep says.

This year’s conference theme is Voices of the people – past, present and future with key note speakers Senator Murray Sinclair, Former Chairperson of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and Dr. Marie Wilson, Former Commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.

“During the National Truth and Reconciliation Events held here in Saskatoon and across Canada, we documented the history of Indian Residential Schools in Canada and heard the accounts of more than 6,750 residential school survivors. It’s more important now than ever to learn from those voices of the past if we’re going to take the next step forward on the path to reconciliation,” says Senator Murray Sinclair.

“Creating safe, collaborative spaces for open discussion like Wîcihitowin is crucial.  This way we can make sure those voices are part of the conversation to affect real and lasting change in our community,” says Sinclair.

This conference is presented in partnership with the United Way of Saskatoon, Aboriginal Friendship Centres of Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan Health Authority, Johnson Shoyama Institute of Public Policy and the City of Saskatoon, and supported by community sponsors such as Nutrien, Saskatoon Community Foundation and Affinity Credit Union.

“Our audience has grown to be incredibly diverse and we now have people attending from all over Canada. Now in our fourth year, our numbers have peaked to over 600 showing how much this conference is needed and supported by the community,” says Brad Bird, Director of Community Impact & Strategic Partnerships, United Way.

Wîcihitowin is Cree/Saulteaux for “helping each other” or “working together”, which is an important component of delivering enhanced programs and services.

Wîcihitowin supports the City’s Strategic Goal of “Quality of Life” by identifying actions for enhancing Aboriginal well-being and participation in our community.


SKTC: Little Sisters in Action

October 18, 2018

Walk, dream, run, and believe you can soar like an eagle! Be inspired to discover yourself by enhancing self-confidence and leadership skills, and being physically active in this 6-week program.


Girls ages 10-14 years


Thursdays, October 25 • November 29

6:00 p.m. — 7:30 p.m.

Call 306.975.3378 to register.

Registration required by Thursday, October 18. Space is limited, please register early.


White Buffalo Youth lodge, 602 20th Street West.


FREE! Snacks provided.


  • Leadership with Lindsay Knight
  • Fancy Shawl
  • Jigging
  • Traditional Arts 8 Crafts

For more information, visit or call 306.975.3318


University of Saskatchewan partners with First Nation on climate change research – Journal Of Commerce

October 19, 2018

SASKATOON, SASK. — University of Saskatchewan researchers are working with a First Nation in southern Saskatchewan on a project to measure the effects of climate change.

Earlier this month, a monitoring station was installed on land belonging to the Okanese First Nation.

The first of four automated stations will record and share data on temperature, rainfall, humidity, air pressure and wind.

Chief Marie-Anne Daywalker-Pelletier says the project’s goal is to help restore the local ecological balance as well as the Indigenous community’s relationship with the land.

Grass fires fuelled by drought and threats to the community’s drinking water supply are among the concerns that motivated the project.

Read More:

RCMP looking for missing Pelican Lake First Nation woman – MBC Network Radio Online

Oct 18, 2018

Spiritwood RCMP is asking for the public’s help in locating a missing Pelican Lake First Nation woman.

Police say 22-year-old Julliette Carter was last seen on the First Nation Saturday morning.

She is described as standing 5’8” tall, 130 lbs, with dark brown hair with red highlights, and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing blue jeans and black coat.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Julliette Carter is asked to call Crime Stoppers or the RCMP.

Read More:

Indigenous matriarch production celebrates sisterhood – Eagle Feather News

October 18, 2018

Kamloopa is a three-woman play opening this Friday at 7:30 pm in Persephone’s Backstage, and running until October 28th. Actor and playwright Yolanda Bonnell, based out of Toronto but originally from Fort William First Nation, graduated from Humber Theatre in 2016, says the play ran in Kamloops and Vancouver first.

“The show is an Indigenous matriarch show, following two sisters and a friend…on a road trip to Kamloopa, one of the biggest pow-wows,” says Bonnell, describing it as a search for identity, cultural self, sisterhood, and a celebration of “Indigenous matriarch love, and happiness, and joy.” Bonnell notes one of the things that playwright Kim Harvey says a lot is that Indigenous women are often either portrayed as either dying or crying, and she wanted to focus on laughter, love, fun. “It’s really kind of refreshing to be able to do that in this piece.”

Harvey says the play is about Indigenous women trying to figure out what it is to be Indigenous right now, today, in this era: with a starting point of going to a pow-wow to become a “real” Indian.

Read More:

Unifor: New radio ads encourage reconciliation in rural Saskatchewan

October 18, 2018

REGINA—Unifor has published a new radio ad targeting non-Indigenous Canadians living in rural Saskatchewan.

“There cannot be two Saskatchewans—reconciliation with First Nations is the path forward for a safe and prosperous province that includes everyone,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Our ads speak to the need for non-Indigenous Canadians to acknowledge the damage done by residential schools and encourage everyone to take a stand against the politics of division.”

The ad is a follow up to the hateful and divisive ads published by a far-right think-tank earlier this month on the Golden West network of stations in rural Saskatchewan.

“We’re not interested in making anybody feel guilty. It takes humility to acknowledge the ugly truth about the past and courage to be part of the solution,” said Dias.

For more information, please contact Unifor Communications Representative Ian Boyko at or 778-903-6549 (cell).


Statement on National Moose Hide Campaign Gathering and Day of Fasting

October 18, 2018 – On behalf of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, Commissioner Brian Eyolfson made the following statement in recognition of the National Moose Hide Campaign Gathering and Day of Fasting:

“The devastation caused by the national tragedy of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, 2SLQBTQQIA people is immeasurable. In every corner of the country, survivors, families and friends, and entire communities have suffered unspeakable pain and loss. Whether women or men, Elders or children, we have all been affected in some way, and we along with all Canadians must all be part of the solution for real, meaningful change.

Today, on the Moose Hide Campaign’s third annual National Gathering and Day of Fasting, the National Inquiry recognizes founders Paul and Raven Lacerte and all participating individuals and communities for raising awareness of the important role men and boys can and must play to stand up to all forms of violence. As brothers, sons, fathers, husbands, partners and friends, it is incumbent on us to take responsibility and help build a safer future for all women, girls, 2SLGBTQQIA people in our communities.”

To know more about the National Moose Hide Campaign Gathering and Day of Fasting, please visit their Website:


Released by:

National Inquiry Communications




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