Alberta First Nations ‘unanimously’ support Bill C-69? Hardly – by Roy Fox (Globe and Mail – December 10, 2018)

Roy Fox (Maikiinima) is Chief of the Kainaiwa (Blood Tribe). He is a pioneer in First Nations self-management of their resources, and a former CEO of the Indian Resource Council.

I have spent more than 45 years advocating for my people, working to battle on-reserve poverty and focusing on generating resource revenues to provide the employment and education that my community has every right to obtain.

I have been deeply involved in the process that allowed communities like mine to begin to take over the management and control of our oil and gas resources from Ottawa. I care greatly about the future of my people and their ability to access natural-resource revenues. I believe that the Canadian energy discussion could use some hard messages right about now.

So a false impression exists – that Alberta First Nations unanimously support Bill C-69, which the federal government says will change how pipeline projects are assessed, regulated and consulted upon. While I can’t explain where the communication broke down, I and the majority of Treaty 7 chiefs strongly oppose the bill for its likely devastating impact on our ability to support our community members, as it would make it virtually impossible for my nation to fully benefit from the development of our energy resources.

We are on record as very strongly opposing Bill C-69 in its current form. And we are greatly concerned that it spells reductions in earnings, profits and royalties from our lands.

While the Kainaiwa continue to fight against high unemployment, as well as the social destructiveness and health challenges such as addiction and other issues that often accompany poverty, my band’s royalties have recently been cut by more than half.

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