Treaties must be at the forefront of First Nation, government negotiations, Deputy Chief Hare

M’CHIGEENG—The Canadian government needs to start recognizing First Nation treaties and honour them, says Deputy Grand Council Chief Glen Hare after attending at National Treaty Gathering in Saskatchewan last week, the same time the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) was holding its annual general meeting. The chiefs from Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Manitoba at the National Treaty Gathering have been criticized for what some feel is becoming a possible breakaway group from the AFN.

“The meeting held in Saskatchewan was focussed on our treaties, it was a National Treaty Gathering,” Chief Glen Hare. “I don’t know if this gathering was held at the same time as the AFN meeting on purpose, but our National Chief Shawn Atleo was in support of this meeting.”

Chief Hare said, “the media has portrayed us as bad guys and is jumping all over the National Chief. But, as the Chief of Onion Lake said at the outset of our meeting, if the media does not want to write what is actually being said they could leave.”

“I have no problem with the AFN,” stated Chief Hare. “It was a good gathering of over 900 chiefs and band council representatives from across Canada.”

“Again, what needs to be done is our treaties need to be back in the forefront, the government needs to start recognizing and honouring our treaties,” said Chief Hare. He explained “groups such as the AFN and Chiefs of Ontario recently were told we are getting cuts in government funding. I think the time is now to at revenue sharing with companies that use our lands and resources. Prime Minister Harper needs to be part of setting this up, we need to start receiving some of revenues derived from companies using our resources.”

Tom Sasvari