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Municipalities talk about duty to consult with First Nations

Karen Best
Dunville Chronicle
Local News - Wednesday, June 21, 2006 @ 05:00

[SISIS note: The following mainstream news article is provided for reference only, as an example of how mainstream media treats indigenous resistance to genocide. Mainstream media often presents biased and distorted information, lacking pertinent facts and/or context. Inclusion of this article on our site should not be considered an endorsement by SISIS.]

Officials from several communities along the Grand River met last week to discuss the impact of Supreme Court of Canada rulings on the duty to consult First Nations.

The Ontario government chaired the workshop where this duty was explored, said Haldimand County chief administrative officer Bill Pearce. He joined representatives from Waterloo, Kitchener, Cambridge, Waterloo Region, Brant and Brantford.

In a closed meeting, they discussed duty to consult and accommodate treaty rights of First Nations when developments are proposed in their territories.

When asked if the duty to consult would have an impact on development in the county, Pearce said he would have to know more about it to have an opinion on it or to comment.

At a recent county official plan public meeting, Six Nations resident Wes Elliot advised council to learn about three Supreme Court of Canada decisions upholding duty to consult before projects are commenced.

In two British Columbia cases, the Haida Nation appealed logging on Queen Charlotte Islands and the Tlingit First Nation challenged construction of a mining road. The Mikisew Cree Nation in Alberta took legal action on construction of a winter road through trapping grounds. In all three cases, the Supreme Court ruled that businesses and governments must consult with First Nations.

All 21 municipalities along the Grand River are unaware of these decisions, Elliot said.

On separate occasions, he and Six Nations band council chief David General dismissed the Grand River Notification Protocol. Established in 1996 and amended in 1998, the protocol requires native and non-native communities to notify each other about developments. When planning applications on the Douglas Creek Estates subdivision were sent to Six Nations band council for comment, that body notified the county about a land claim on the property.

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