Rights of First Nations peoples

Quote from Chief Baptiste

It’s a great day to be Canadian(June 26, 2014).

In a landmark case, the Supreme Court of Canada has granted title to the Tsilhqot’in First Nation over its traditional territory. This is a historical step towards the recognition of Indigenous peoples as the rightful stewards of their lands and the ones to decide if and how they should be developed.

I’m so proud that the Council of Canadians and our Williams Lake chapter were able to intervene in this case in support of the Tsilhqot’in claim. In our submission, we told the court that “meaningful recognition and affirmation of aboriginal rights and title in Canada is fundamental to improving social justice for Canada’s aboriginal peoples.”

The ruling is a milestone for the rights of Indigenous peoples. But it also has immediate implications for projects like Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline. No longer can governments ignore the concerns of First Nations when environmentally destructive projects threaten their lands and the natural heritage we all value so dearly.

I hope that you are as thrilled as I am about this decision.

With hope and resolve,

Maude Barlow

Maude Barlow
National Chairperson

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