All topics impacting the indigenous population.

Pipeline route disputed

The Canada Energy Regulator has been asked by the to approve a 1.3km route deviation of the $30.9-billion Trans Mountain pipeline expansion in a bid to void a delay of up to nine months because of extra drilling required by the current plan. However, a B.C. First Nation says the area which would be affected holds “profound spiritual and cultural significance.” [node:read-more:link]

Wildlife Refuge leases cancelled

President Joe Biden’s administration today cancelled oil and gas leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge approved by his predecessor but has not reversed his own recent approval of a drilling project in the same region. The reversal of Donald Trump’s decision is being lauded by some indigenous groups but Republicans in the state argue that it will reduce those populations’ potential economic opportunities. [node:read-more:link]

Indigenous policing conundrum

Newly-released government files show that federal officials have feared that long-promised legislation which would declare First Nations policing an essential service was being delayed by Assembly of First Nations reservations. A key sticking point evidently has been whether FNs or the provinces should have legislative jurisdiction. [node:read-more:link]

Indigenous fisheries transfer upheld

A federal transfer of part of a lucrative elver catch quota in the Maritimes to First Nations fishers has been upheld as “fair and reasonable” by the Federal Court. Three commercial licencees (Dockets T-1804-22, T-866-22, T-923-22) had applied for a judicial review. [node:read-more:link]

New land claims policy

Crown-Indigenous Relations & Northern Affairs Canada has confirmed that the federal government has changed how it settles First Nations land claims and is considering legislative amendments. The department was responding to questions about a July 2022 document which notes, among other things that some FNs are unwilling to settle claims. [node:read-more:link]

Largest national park at risk

Wood Buffalo National Park on the Alberta-NWT border, the country’s largest national park and a UN World Heritage Site, remains at risk due not only to climate change but also hydroelectric and petroleum development, according to a UN agency. “Expansion of existing oilsands projects has continued without full consideration of the potential impacts,” it says. [node:read-more:link]

Ousted AFN chief fights back

RoseAnne Archibald, ousted last week as National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, is calling on supporters to press for a forensic audit she had requested of the AFN’s finances. At a virtual meeting attended by 231 of 634 AFN members eligible to vote, a motion of non-confidence in Archibald’s leaders was approved by 163 delegates. “This pushback I have been getting is because I have been fighting corruption at the AFN,” Archibald said July 3. [node:read-more:link]

Cross-border pipeline back in court

Calgary-based Enbridge has asked a U.S. judge for “clarification” about the legal status of a cross-border crude oil pipeline opposed by a Wisconsin indigenous community. District Court Judge William Conley had ordered the line removed within three years but the company is seeking reassurance that it can continue operations until it is rerouted. [node:read-more:link]

First Nations compensation overhauled

Twenty-one Anishinaabe communities along the north shore of Lake Huron in Ontario are finally gain access to a fair share of resource-related revenue. An 1850 treaty promised annual payments in exchange for land-use rights given to mining, fishing and lumber companies but it was capped at $4 per person in 1874. The federal and provincial governments each agreed June 17 to pay half of a negotiated $10-billion package. [node:read-more:link]

Political heat in Ring of Fire

Ten First Nations in northern Ontario are suing the federal and Ontario governments for $95 billion in damages and threatening to block mining critical minerals in the “Ring of Fire” in the province’s north. “We hear so much about building mines and roads, but not without our community's permission,” one chief said April 26. “Our community is not against development (but) now we're at the point where we say, ‘we do this together or we don't do it’.” [node:read-more:link]

PM plays down minister’s remarks

Justice Minister David Lametti committed last week to Assembly of First Nations chiefs that he would be “looking” at natural resources jurisdiction and was immediately denounced by the three Prarie premiers as “dangerous and divisive.” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said April 12 that the premiers were “trying to elevate fears that have absolutely no grounding in truth” and that Lametti was talking about Canada’s obligations under the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People. [node:read-more:link]

Mining runoff a cross-border headache

Indigenous leaders from the U.S. Pacific Northwest aren’t giving up trying to convince the Canadian government to agree to a bilateral investigation of toxic mining runoff from the B.C. interior. Tribal leaders took their case to Washington last week, saying their cause is the same as it was 11 years ago when they first invoked the 1909 Boundary Waters Treaty. President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have promised a tentative deal by this summer. [node:read-more:link]

More First Nations compensation

The Assembly of First Nations and the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada disclosed today that the federal government is adding $3.4 billion to its $20-billion child welfare compensation program. The two organizations said the new funding covers members excluded from last year’s deal between the AFN and the government. [node:read-more:link]

Migrants drown in St. Lawrence

Police in the Askwesasne Mohawk territory confirmed March 31 that the bodies of eight migrants had retrieved from the St. Lawrence River. They have been described as families of Romanian and Indian origin who were likely trying to enter the U.S. through the territory which straddles the Ontario, Quebec and New York borders. [node:read-more:link]

Rogers-Shaw-Videotron deal done

The federal government has approved a licence transfer needed for Toronto-based Rogers Communications to complete its $26-billion buyout of Calgary-based Shaw Communications. Announcing the deal today, Innovation, Science & Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne said his department approved the transfer of wireless licences from Shaw to Quebec-based Videotron, which has a side deal to buy Shaw’s mobile division. The deal includes 21 legally enforceable conditions, including improved service in rural, remote and indigenous communities. [node:read-more:link]


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