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Sask First Nation leaders unhappy with Duty to Consult process

Inherent Treaty Rights holders say the Duty to Consult framework was not developed by meaningful two-way conversations, since it relied on emails and online surveys instead of meeting in their communities.

Indigenous leaders from Onion Lake Cree Nation, Nekaneet First Nation, Yellow Quill First Nation, Waterhen Lake First Nation, Carry The Kettle First Nation, Key First Nation, and the residential school support team from Yorkton Tribal Council assembled at the Regina Legislature on Wednesday to express concerns about the manner of the provincial government’s consultation.

“We have yet to see and have very little faith in the process at this point,” said Chief Henry Lewis of Onion Lake Cree Nation who added that the government needs to provide examples of how the policy will enhance reconciliation as it claims.

Meanwhile, the Sask NDP who coordinated the forum echoed the point of more meaningful dialogue.

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“The policy is already set in stone and consultation is just a box to be checked,” said Betty Nippi-Albright, official opposition critic for First Nations and Métis Relations.

Also, the new framework came about with only 31 per cent of First Nations and 38 per cent of Métis locals being consulted, noted the minister responsible for First Nations, Métis and Northern Affairs.

The new First Nation And Métis Consultation Policy Framework was brought out in August and was rejected by the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations.

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