Forest spraying violates treaty: Huron-Robinson elders – by Helen Morley (Sudbury Star – September 5, 2019)

First Nations in northeastern Ontario to take federal government to court

Some 21 First Nations along the North Shore of Lake Huron are preparing to take the federal government to court over aerial spraying they say is harming the environment and human health.

However, the Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) Elders of Robinson-Huron Treaty territory say the spraying is only part of a larger issue: that First Nations are not being consulted about activities taking place on their land. The elders say this violates the Robinson-Huron Treaty of 1850.

Ray Owl, the spokesperson for the TEK Elders of Robinson-Huron Treaty territory, says the 21 First Nations will take the federal government to court for violating the Robinson-Huron Treaty. That court date will take place by October.

Native leaders contend the Robinson-Huron Treaty was created to protect First Nation lands from encroachment by European settlers. First Nations say they agreed to share the land with the understanding that each native community would occupy lands that they, and future generations, could traditionally use for hunting and fishing.

These rights were guaranteed, along with a yearly treaty annuity for each member of the band for the use of native land. They were also guaranteed non-interference in their way of life, they say.

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