Call to Action: First Nations’ Rights Under Assault

The UK Tar Sands Network stands in solidarity with First Nations opposing Bill C-45. This destructive legislation, which was passed by the Harper government on December 14th 2012, dramatically erodes the ability of Indigenous communities in Canada to protect their territories and say no to development on their lands.

In the past few weeks there has been a flurry of activity as First Nations communities call for the Harper government to recognise grassroots voices, treaty rights and Indigenous sovereignty. Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence has been engaged in a hunger strike for over a week now to raise the alarm over the lack of consultation with First Nations in advance of the Candian government passing legislation which has such alarming impacts on the lives and lands of the Indigenous Peoples of Canada. First Nations are  appealing to the Queen as Canada’s formal head of state to rescind the bill which has to now go through royal assent before it formally becomes law.

“This is unacceptable.  The Canadian government have made a unilateral decision to remove the protection of waterways without adequate consultation with First Nations and communities that rely on river systems for navigation and cultural practices protected under treaty,”says Eriel Deranger, Communication Coordinator for the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation. “Shell Canada has proposed to mine out 21km of the Muskeg River, a river of cultural and biological significance. This ultimately gives the tar sands industry a green light to destroy vital waterways still used by our people.”

First Nations communities are calling for a day on international solidarity on December 21st in opposition to the bill which will see the devastating erosion of  Indigenous Peoples’ rights in Canada and the acceleration of tar sands expansion.  A solidarity action will take place in London at 8:30 am this Friday.

 Stay up to date with all of the developments!

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2 Responses to “Call to Action: First Nations’ Rights Under Assault”

  1. […] The Bill, which changes land use and resource policies and undermines environmental laws, dramatically undermines the ability of Indigenous communities in Canada to protect their land. […]

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