Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo says First Nations in Canada will not stand down while Canada seeks to develop their natural resources while neglecting the treaty rights and human rights of the country’s one million Indigenous People. Atleo says the inherited responsibility of the First Nations to protect the land and the water Canada seeks to destroy for windfall profits is paramount–paramount over parliament and any laws Canada might pass.
In the wake of protests and demonstrations by First Nations across Canada on Friday, Atleo promises to challenge Prime Minister Harper and the Government of Canada in the courts, at the UN, and at the Organization of American States. As the ink dries on the anti-environment, anti-Indian legislation passed by Harper and the Canadian parliament last week, First Nations are preparing to fight for the rights and promises long neglected by Ottawa.
As Atleo notes, “This is our time, a moment in time when Indigenous Peoples are taking our rightful place.”