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Sask. First Nations' delegates meet with province to discuss commitments to inherent treaty rights

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Delegates from several First Nations met at the Saskatchewan Legislative building for a day of action focused on inherent treaty rights Wednesday.

Attendees are concerned the provincial government is not properly consulting First Nations on a number of issues such as hunting and trapping laws, crown land sales, as well as forestry and environmental affairs.

The past consultation policies have left nations frustrated and

“When it comes to adequacy and duty to consult it ensures that the nations have been adequately consulted, that their concerns have been properly looked at,” Terri Quinney, the duty to consult coordinator from Onion Lake First Nation said.

“With this current process and policy that’s not happening,” Quinney added.

Sask. Party MLA, Don McMorris, said there is no disregard for the duty to consult and every province has an obligation to consult with Indigenous groups and developments within their jurisdiction.

There has been a consultation framework policy in place for over a decade which was tweaked in January to give communities more time on the consultation process.

“If there are suggestions on how to improve, we would certainly revisit that. We’re not going to wait ten years till we revisit it again,” said McMorris.

NDP MLA, Betty Nippi-Albright said the policy is missing a major piece.

“This is about respect. Consultation is not done through email or only surveys. Consultation with inherent and treaty right holders needs to occur in their communities,” said Nippi-Albright.

More days of action will be planned in the future to continue bringing Indigenous issues to attention, while continuing to create respectful relationships between all parties.

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