‘Chiefs Demand Say On Climate Change…Or Else’

“Alberta wants to develop more? Well, we will be there to stand in the way.”

“Athabasca Chipewyan Chief Allan Adams {leader of a ‘nation’ of 463 people} stormed out of the meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Canada’s premiers, and ‘indigenous’ leaders on ‘climate change’ in Vancouver on March 2nd, because he said it fell to shambles.

“I think Canada’s in a ‘crisis’ and it ain’t going to get any better now. Canada failed terribly, the provinces failed terribly in regards to addressing this issue”, said an infuriated Adam.

“According to Adam, the meeting didn’t include any talks of taking care of ‘mother earth’; instead, the focus was placed on economic development and transitioning to a ‘green’ economy.

{As was pointed out in a previous post, ‘Mother Earth’ is NOT an aboriginal concept:
‘Mother Earth’ (CBC ‘Ideas’) {October 6, 2014}:
https://www.facebook.com/ENDRACEBASEDLAW/photos/a.336196793149227.59519.332982123470694/546010295501208/?type=1 Athabasca Chipewyan Chief Allan Adams“Adam, whose community sits three hours north of the Alberta {misnamed} ‘tar’ sands, said he’s now prepping to take the federal and provincial governments to court {Of course. He has nothing better – or more profitable – to do…}.

“The time has come to say that we are done with this. We’ve had enough. We’re not going to stand around and wait for these guys to do what they’ve got to do. Alberta wants to develop more — well, we will be there to stand in the way. We will not sell out to corporations nor will we ever be silenced, ever. That’s our ‘right’,” he said.

“Requests from chiefs to acquire more time to engage in discussions on climate and attend the first minister’s meeting on Thursday were abruptly turned down by Trudeau, said Treaty 6 Grand Chief Tony Alexis.

“The question was brought forward to him (Trudeau) that the National Chief should be at the First Ministers meeting (tomorrow)… he said there’s a process and within that process, we will not be a part of it”,

said Alexis, who is advocating for Alberta chiefs to be at the front and center of talks on climate change {Of course – more power and importance for him, even though he has nothing substantive to contribute except hot air…}Treaty 6 Grand Chief Tony Alexis“Alexis sat in on the meeting after being invited at the last minute by the Alberta government to attend with the Alberta delegation, alongside Premier Rachel Notley.

“Alberta deals with the most impact, there’s more damage happening there than in any other part of the country and here we are, we had to hitch-hike to get here”, said Alexis. {We’ll bet that you flew first class…}

“Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day also expressed disappointment with the meeting…

“The process that the first minister’s meeting is proposing is that they’re going to now go away and determine what a declaration on ‘our issues’ {?} look like. That’s wrong, it’s not acceptable and might actually be to the peril of any ‘pan-Canadian climate change’ strategy”, said Day.

(PHOTO: Canadian Press-Aaron Vincent Elkaim)
(PHOTO: Canadian Press-Aaron Vincent Elkaim)

This is how delusional some Chiefs are now getting:

“Day is advocating for a ‘First Nations’-led climate change accord, to be established in response to the growing “crisis” of climate change.

“What it all boils down to is us going back to our communities now and having to explain that we didn’t really have any say or input and that there was nothing resolved”, said Day. “We are now going to be faced with the leaders at the local level within our treaty territories saying ‘listen, something else has to be done here’. We have no time to waste.”

(Photo: CBC)
(Photo: CBC)

“MKO Grand Chief Sheila North Wilson also attended the meeting and said there’s a whole lot of work to be done on improving the ‘Nation-to-nation’ relationship.

“Our ‘indigenous’ leaders need to be respected and given the space to share our concerns. We shouldn’t have to beg for time with the prime minister. We should have time to speak with him on a ‘Nation-to-nation’ basis that he keeps talking about, and we have yet to see that”, said North Wilson.

“Neither Trudeau nor any premiers attended a media availability following the meeting. However, Alberta’s ‘Indigenous Relations’ Minister Richard Feehan was on hand and aware of the concerns raised by Alberta Chiefs.

“Feehan said there wasn’t enough time to address the various interests within the meeting’s two-hour time period.

“You can’t put all of your hopes and thoughts and dreams into one single event and hope that that’s going to make a transition. We are all in this (climate change) for the long term. This isn’t about something that’s happening today, it is happening to our world and it’s going to make a difference forever. We have to understand the resolution of this is going to be a long term”, said Feehan.

“He added that he plans to reach out to Alberta chiefs and other ‘indigenous’ groups to sit down with them to further engage on climate talks. 

(PHOTO: David Vincent-The Associated Press)
(PHOTO: David Vincent-The Associated Press)

“Meanwhile, the president of the ‘Metis National Council’, Clement Chartier, said he felt the Metis voice was heard in the meeting.

“We had an opportunity to make our presentation and our recommendations. But what’s important is the process itself. It was agreed that we would be engaged on this moving forward”, he said.

–‘Canada failed terribly, the provinces failed terribly,’
Chiefs disappointed after climate talks with PM, Premiers’,
Brandi Morin, APTN, March 3, 2016


COMMENT: “We are the ‘Indigenous People’ and this is our Land. We have a sacred obligation to defend this Great Land from any and all that would destroy her. The Mother is our Creator. The Creator of life is she. The spirit of the land is in every living thing on Earth. We each and every one of us have a sacred duty do defend Mother Earth, Land, Water, and Sky… There is a multi-national invasion of our Country. We are more than well aware of it. Our Lands are plundered we know of that too. If there is to be a respectful relationship it has to be based on a good historical narrative… The truth is this we are the tried and true Nations of these Lands and Territories as provided by nature and you are representatives of The Settler Government. We have no agreement or desire to talk about Nation to Nation relationships with any of these Provinces. The Government of Canada and previously The Dominion of Canada are Colonial Constructs and devices at whose hand we have endured…”
“Let us get on with our work and put them in their place once and for all. Leaders of our NATIONS take them on in the courts. We have already proven them racist; now let’s show them whose country they have thrived on. Enough is enough, eh?”
‘Indigenous’ leaders shocked by exclusion from climate change meeting’

“Two national ‘indigenous’ organizations are demanding an explanation from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau after they were excluded from a discussion on the role of {so-called} ‘indigenous’ people in ‘tackling climate change’ in Vancouver last week.

“Both the ‘Congress of Aboriginal Peoples’ (CAP) and the ‘Native Women’s Association of Canada’ (NWAC) were not invited to a meeting on March 2 between aboriginal leaders, premiers, and the Liberal leader.

“What this action of excluding us translates into is third-class treatment”, said National Chief Dwight Dorey of CAP. “We’ve just passed the 100-day milestone with our new government, and already ‘indigenous peoples’ are being left out of federal negotiations.”

National Chief Dwight Dorey of CAP“Dorey was invited by the federal government to attend ‘COP21’ negotiations on climate change in Paris {Why? What’s his expertise?}, but didn’t get an invitation to the exclusive meeting in Vancouver. Both CAP and NWAC have been considered among the five major organizations representing {so-called} ‘indigenous people’ in Canada since the days of the {failed, Liberal} ‘Kelowna Accord’, along with the ‘Assembly of ‘First Nations’ (A’FN’), the ‘Métis National Council’ (MNC), and the ‘Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami’ (ITK).

“The latter three groups were included in the meeting, but the paper trail offers very little explanation as to why the first two were not.

“On Feb. 10, CAP sent a letter to Trudeau’s office expressing “extreme disappointment” with its exclusion from the climate change meeting scheduled on March 2. The organization ‘represents’ {‘claims to represent’} more than 1 million ‘indigenous’ people living off-reserve, including status and non-status aboriginal people.

“… You committed to including all of the five National ‘indigenous’ organizations in high-level discussions when the issue impacted ‘indigenous people’,” the letter stated, referencing a December 2015 meeting between the prime minister and ‘indigenous’ leaders. “Undoubtedly, climate change is one of those issues that will affect our Peoples for generations to come.”

“The organization asked for an immediate invitation to the discussion and nine days later, the prime minister responded. His letter, however warm, did not extend an invitation or provide an explanation as to why CAP was excluded… Native-Womens-Association-of-Canada“Although NWAC did not issue its own request for invitation, it has still not heard from the federal government about its exclusion from the meeting, despite media coverage detailing its disappointment. When questioned by National Observer as to why NWAC and CAP were intentionally left out, the Prime Minister’s Office forwarded the question to the Office of ‘Indigenous’ and Northern Affairs, which issued the following statement:

“The Government of Canada is committed to a renewed, Nation-to-nation relationship with {so-called} ‘Indigenous Peoples’, based on recognition of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership. This meeting does not in any way preclude ongoing discussions, as committed to by the Prime Minister in December 2015, with all five National Aboriginal Organizations. Over the coming months there will be additional opportunities for further dialogue for all Canadians, including ‘indigenous’ and ‘non-indigenous’ {Everybody else…} organizations to share their comments and engage in this issue that affects all Canadians.”

“When the meeting between premiers, the prime minister, A’FN’, ITK and MNC finally occurred last Wednesday, Dorey was barred from entering. The president of NWAC however, Dawn Lavell-Harvard, did manage to attend by personal invitation from the Ontario government. NWAC President Dawn Lavell-Harvard“Still, she said she was not able to speak, “relegated to the back row” as a ‘guest’ rather than a participant.

“They’ve all been talking about ending violence against women and girls, but to be unilaterally excluded from this meeting — to have our voices sidelined on an issue that is in fact very important and very much impacts aboriginal women, is ‘symbolic violence’,” she told National Observer. {What melodramatic nonsense…}

“We didn’t have a chance to defend ourselves or make a case for why we should be there.”

“Other provinces brought ’indigenous’ leaders to the meeting as well, including British Columbia. Dallas Smith, president of the ‘Nanwakolas Council’, came as part of B.C.’s delegation and said no one outside of A’FN’, ITK and MNC was permitted to speak, despite the best efforts of Premier Christy Clark…

“Though the Prime Minister’s Office has not given a firm answer as to why NWAC and CAP were excluded from the climate change discussion, A’FN’ National Chief Perry Bellegarde, who attended the meeting personally, offered his speculation to National Observer:

“My take on that is that the prime minister, when it comes to rights and title, in Canada’s constitution it refers to Indian, Metis and Inuit, and that’s who we had at the table”, he explained. “It doesn’t preclude him on meeting with CAP or NWAC on any issue in the future, but when it comes to rights and title, the rights and title holders have to be represented at the table and that’s who was there.”

“His organization has specific youth, elder, and women’s councils that form part of the executive council team, and Bellegarde said A’FN’ strives to represent them to the fullest at all times.

“But A’FN’ doesn’t —and can’t —represent everyone, Dorey insisted, given the special focus of both CAP, which includes non-status Indians and ‘indigenous’ people living off-reserve, and NWAC, which represents thirteen native women’s organizations from across Canada…

“These are things that allow us to see the impacts of climate change upfront, to be more aware”, Lavell-Harvard insisted. “There’s a lot of ‘traditional knowledge’ that can be brought forward, a lot of practical knowledge about how climate change is impacting our families and communities that was summarily dismissed.”

“’Indigenous’ women can’t afford to be excluded from a conversation about aboriginal people and climate change, she argued, and joined Dorey in calling on the prime minister to keep NWAC and CAP at the table from here on in…

“Both the CAP and NWAC representatives hope their exclusion doesn’t form a pattern, but Dorey isn’t optimistic. Earlier this year, both he and Lavell-Harvard were left out of a health accord discussion in Vancouver with the federal, territorial, and provincial health ministers, and other three NAOs.

“They have not received an explanation for that exclusion, either.

“I had a lot of hopes with this prime minister when he first got elected and the things he was saying and committing to in the campaign”, he said. “I see it all unraveling now.”

“In December, Trudeau committed to including all five NAO groups at the table. In the months leading up to that, his government vowed to renew relationships with ‘indigenous’ people. Given these promises, Lavell-Harvard called on the other groups in the NAO to speak up when any of its members are excluded.

“It’s the classic united we stand, divided we fall [scenario]”, she said. “I’m really disappointed to see that sneaking into politics. It’s supposed to be about people, about making sure our voices are heard.”

–‘Indigenous’ leaders shocked by exclusion from climate change meeting’,
Elizabeth McSheffrey, National Observer, March 7th, 2016

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