CASNP. 4 June 1998. The Canadian Alliance in Solidarity with the Native Peoples today issued a statement supporting the Indigenous Nations of New Brunwick in their dispute with the provincial government. An important clarification should be made. The Indigenous Nations do not get their rights to their forests by way of a treaty. Aboriginal title to land and resources is through Aboriginal title since time immemorial. The Indigenous nations gave the newcomers a right to live on their land to the depth of a plow to feed themselves. Now the newcomers say the Indigenous nations have no rights to their land and resources.
The fact that the New Brunswick government is offering 5% of the logging to the Indigenous nations means the province recognizes Aboriginal title and are confirming that the Indigenous people own 100% of their land and resources. In fact the province has no right to dictate to the Indigenous Nations on what to do with their possessions. Therefore, the Indigenous people do not have to accept the 5% being offered to them by the New Brunswick government while the newcomers take 95% of the harvest.
The generous counter offer by the Indigenous nations to give 70% of the harvest to the newcomers does not mean they are giving them 70% of land. The land still belongs to the Natives. They are merely allowing the newcomers to share some of the harvest. The land is still totally Aboriginal land and always will be. The Indigenous people realize they have a smaller population and are sharing with the newcomer society 70% of the harvest, but are not relinquishing their title to the land.
Canadian Alliance in Solidarity with the Native Peoples (CASNP)
427 Bloor Street West, Toronto, Ontario M5S 1X7