The Assembly of First Nations won’t support resource development on Aboriginal land that disregards the legacy Canada owes its first peoples, newly-elected national chief Perry Bellegarde said last week.
“First Nations peoples will oppose any development that deprives our children of the legacy of our ancestors,” said Bellegarde, former chief of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations. “We will no longer accept poverty and hopelessness, while resource companies and governments grow fat off our land, resources, and territories.”
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Bellegarde referred to a unanimous Supreme Court decision in June, granting the Tsilhqot’in First Nation title to 1,700 square kilometres of traditional land, noting that federal negotiators “have to base everything on that now, recognition of Aboriginal rights and title.”