AMC, MKO and SCO UNIFIED FIRST NATION POSITION
January 11, 2013
Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs
Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak
Southern Chiefs Organization
The sovereign Nations affiliated with the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, the Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak and the Southern Chiefs’ Organization hereby state:
We, the Chiefs of our sovereign Nations, representing and standing with our youth, women, men and Elders and including the visions and dreams of our ancestors take the position that:
The sovereign Nations affirm and will defend the following Treaty Principles:
1. We, the First Nations, come from Mother Earth, and this determines our relationship with nature, our role as stewards of this land, and all forms of life and our sovereignty.
2. We, the First Nations, occupied North America as sovereign Nations long before other people came to our shores.
3. We, the First Nations have always made our own laws, institutions and jurisdiction, which is reflected in our cultures, values and languages.
4. Our sovereignty enables us to enter into Treaty and other political accords with other Nations.
5. The Royal Proclamation of 1763 affirmed our sovereignty, institutionalized the Treaty-making process, and made our consent a condition before our lands and resources could be alienated.
6. First Nations and the Crown recognized and affirmed each other’s sovereignty in the Treaty process.
7. Our sovereignty will continue forever and will continue to define our nationhood forever.
8. Our Treaty has international stature.
9. The spirit and intent of the Treaty relationship is more valid that the written text and will last as long as the sun shines, the waters flow and the grass grows.”
10. Canada has an on-going obligation to fulfill the Treaty according to the Spirit and Intent.
1. As sovereign Nations which entered into Treaties with the Crown, a Treaty territory by Treaty territory process must be created between the sovereign Nations and the Crown to review and ensure the fulfillment of the Treaties in accordance with the spirit and intent of the following Treaties:
The sovereign Nations entered into “The Selkirk Treaty”, in 1817; Treaty Number 1 and Treaty Number 2, “The Stone Fort Treaties”, in 1871; into Treaty No. 3, the “Northwest Angle Treaty”, in 1873; into Treaty Number Four, “The Qu'appelle Treaty”, in 1874; into Treaty Number 5, “The Winnipeg Treaty”, between 1875 and 1910; into Treaty Number 6, “The Treaty of Fort Carlton and Fort Pitt”, in 1876; and, Treaty Number 10 in 1908. The Treaty-making process acknowledges our prior existence as First Nations in Canada and also recognizes our Creator-granted Sovereignty and authority within our ancestral and traditional homelands. The Dakota Peoples have not entered into the Numbered Treaties in Canada and are recognized as Inherent and sovereign Nations and as having secured alliances and arrangements with the Crown and other First Nations.
2. In order to fulfill the spirit and intent of the above mentioned Treaties and alliances/arrangements, we as sovereign Nations, jointly with the Crown, Prime Minister and Ministers, must institute nation to nation undertakings to include quarterly meetings with:
* Governor General’s Office * Prime Minister’s Office * Privy Council * Cabinet * Treasury Board * Not Aboriginal and Northern Development Canada (AANDC)
3. In order to break the chain of poverty and to dismantle dependency of First Nation communities, the Government of Canada needs to work with the sovereign Nations to create wealth and sustainable economic opportunities through resource equity positions.
Prior to the arrival of Europeans, the jurisdiction and authority of our sovereign Nations over our ancestral lands and resources was intact. Later, Treaties were entered into wherein the attribution of jurisdiction over ancestral lands and resources in such lands, which include reserve lands, was not contemplated in any clear manner, save and except the "depth of the plow" provision in some treaties. The institution of policies and legislation has turned the cooperative nation to nation relationships promised by the Treaties into a unilaterally imposed authority of Canada over our sovereign Nations that eventually included the provinces, including in Manitoba, through the Natural Resources Transfer Act (NRTA) that continues today.
The Government of Canada work with the Provinces and must consult and work with our sovereign Nations to develop an agreed position on resource equity development that includes sharing resources, resource revenue sharing and equitable access to resources, including through a share in the provision of permits, licenses and other dispositions.
4. We, as sovereign Nations, standing with our youth, men and Elders support our women as the Water Keepers and in all our roles as protectors of Mother Earth and call for :
* The repeal of Bill C-38 and Bill C-45. * The repeal and withdrawal of any existing and/or proposed legislation that infringes upon First Nation Treaty rights so that our sovereign Nations can continue to act as stewards of Mother Earth’s lands and waters. * Canada must fulfill its duty to consult and accommodate our sovereign Nations and to obtain the free, prior and informed consent of our sovereign Nations in respect of any future legislation affecting the rights and interests of our sovereign Nations.
5. The sovereign Nations jointly with the Government of Canada to organize and convene annual Indigenous/Treaty Nation – Crown First Ministers Meetings on issues which affect our sovereign Nations over the course of the next five years. The purpose of these meetings is to discuss provincial involvement in agreements, resource equity development and Treaty implementation. The first of such meetings is to be held three months from today.