Shawn Atleo, National Chief of the Assembly of Fist Nations, called for the abolishment of the Indian Act and the federal Department of Aboriginal Affairs on Wednesday. Atleo said there should be a return to the “original intent” of treaties between the federal government and aboriginal communities. That would entail “mutual respect, mutual recognition and shared prosperity of the land,” said Atleo at the annual meeting of the pan-Canadian aboriginal organization in Moncton, N.B. In place of the Department of Aboriginal Affairs, Atleo says there should be two entities. One would focus on the relationship between First Nations and the Crown, and the other would continue providing services. The national chief’s comments come after a five-year-old boy was shot and killed on a Samson Cree reserve about 100 kilometres south of Edmonton. Atleo said the incident highlights the need for a new relationship between Canada and its aboriginal communities.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011