The AFN's demands -

The AFN’s demands


The Assembly of First Nations has released a statement and eight “items of consensus.”

The statement can be viewed here. The demands are as follows.

Emerging from First Nations dialogue and strategy sessions on January 9-10, 2013 in Ottawa the following are the elements of consensus as reflected at the conclusion of the discussion: 

-Commitment to an immediate high level working process with Treaty Nation leadership for establishing frameworks with necessary mandates for the implementation and enforcement of Treaties on a Treaty by Treaty basis, between the Treaty parties Nation-to-Nation. 

-Facilitating fair, expeditious resolution of land claims through reforming the comprehensive claims policy based on recognition and affirmation of inherent rights rather than extinguishment 

 -Resource Equity, Benefit and Revenue Sharing – building on treaty implementation and enforcement and comprehensive claims resolution there must be a framework that addresses shared governance of resource development and the fair sharing of all forms of revenues and benefits generated from resource development. 

-All legislation must be unquestionably consistent with s.35 of the Canadian Constitution and the UNDRIP. Legislation and provisions of legislation as in C-38 and C-45 that contravene our Treaty and inherent rights must be reconsidered and implementation of these provisions be put to a halt. We must have an environmental regulatory regime in this country that respects our rights. Legislation that tinkers around the edges of the Indian Act must stop and be replaced with support for First Nation government and nation re-building including a mechanism for our Nations to push away from the Indian Act as they determine. To fulfill the original relationship, Canada must put in place an ongoing process that all new bills and policies of the federal government must be in full compliance with section 35 and consistent with international human rights standards. 

-Fundamentally transformed fiscal relationship guaranteeing fairness and sustainability and removing all arbitrary caps and burdens on the current inefficient, ineffective and unfair funding relationship for First Nation programs and services. 

-Immediate Commitment to the establishment of a National Public Commission of Inquiry on Violence Against Indigenous Women and Girls, including special focus on murdered and missing Indigenous women, and the broader factors that lead to increased vulnerability among Indigenous peoples. 

-Guarantee, as in Shannen’s dream, of First Nation schools in every First Nation that each and every First Nations parent and child can be proud of, that fully reflects our languages and cultures and provides a safe and supportive place to learn. 

-In order to be effective, progress on these areas will require fundamental change in the machinery of government including direct political oversight, a dedicated Cabinet Committee with a secretariat within the Privy Council Office with specific responsibility for the First Nation-Crown relationship to oversee implementation. 


The AFN’s demands

  1. Point by point:

    -Suggests the Crown is breaking treaties, which isn’t the case: it’s Indians who are breaking treaties by blockading, which is prohibited by treaty. There exists an unfortunate meme that Canada breaks treaties with Indians – it’s just not true.

    -It doesn’t make sense to negotiate treaties in which Indians retain rights to all of the land and title is not extinguished; that’s the status quo.

    -Numbered treaties surrendered land & all claims to resources. They want something that isn’t theirs & that they signed away years ago.

    -UN declarations aren’t binding, nor should they be.

    -They demand more money, but also claim to want more independence. It’s one or the other.

    -Men, Indian and otherwise, are far more likely to be victims of violence than women; to be murdered, and to go missing too.

    -Federal funding per K12 reserve student is $13,500 and it is neither feasible nor a treaty obligation to put a school in every tiny hamlet. In any case, white teachers have been getting run out of reserves for years, maybe if they toned down the racism they could retain quality teachers.

    -We already have an aboriginal affairs minister, adding more committees & ministers isn’t a good suggestion.

    Ultimately, Native activists reject treaties. They reject treaties because they are land surrenders and out of pure greed they want the resources they signed away long ago. It is Natives, not the Crown, who break and seek to break treaties.

    • Vern, a little humility is required as your post reveals that you believe in myth and misconceptions. It is also clear you do not understand what racism actually is. It is NOT name calling and harassment, it IS a systemic oppression of a whole race of people which is happening still in Canada. Please do you research if you want to engage in this important discussion. Only some ppl have benefited from colonialism, the time is now to learn more about human rights, sustainability, confederation and a brighter future for our nation’s children.

    • i just want to clear this up for you OK, the term is natives not Indians, Indians come
      over seas and second the treaties are being broken or violated by government. now before anyone gets all uptight an prissy like little Nancy’s. Go to your local library or online and educated yourself about what’s going on. And if that’s an issue then talk to us natives, we are always more than happy to educated the curious mind about our history and explain what has happened for the last 201 years.

      About non-native teachers in our schools, who is the racist one for pointing out the colour in your post? We don’t judge by colour of anyone’s skin, call around to native communities and ask before you judge.

    • Point by point…

      – pass…don’t know if blockading is expressly banned.

      – BS…all modern treaty negotiations take into account existing private property rights or offer compensation or landswaps etc., Fearmongering. Heard it before. Always bogus.

      – numbered treaty suspension[taken up clauses] have always been disputed by FNs. They say they always intended the land to be shared. There exists some evidence for this pov. Expect the courts to rule on this some time in the future.

      – UN …pass.

      – if they had the economic independence they demand, why would they continue to demand more money; why would we offer it? Non sequitur.

      – there are said by some to be in excess of 2000 Aboriginal women missing – your point is patently ludicrous, based on bogus pseudo social science.

      – schools – pass.

      – teachers driven out by racism…over generalized BS. My family taught on reserve. I saw no one driven out, or heard anecdotal evidence of it. Everyone left due to burn out and the band was more than happy for us to stay. We still call that community home and have been greeted as such on returning…’welcome home.’ there are bad reserves just as there are bad “white” communities, and bad people everywhere.

      – current AM is a doofus. Could replace him adequately with a lamp post.

      – conjecture based on false premise.

  2. Well, Harper has his ‘to do’ list….he’d best get at it.

    FN takes a dim view of ‘incremental’.

    • It is going to have to be incremental because #3 on the list is going to be very difficult. Harper does control the natural resources, the provinces do. He can hardly ensure that FN get to “govern or share the revenues and benefits”. They will have to negotiate deals with the provinces and with the corporations that extract the resources.
      Come to think of it Emily, wasn’t it you who insisted yesterday, that the FN weren’t interested in money from resources. In fact, you warned me not to believe the media reports that said the Manitoba chiefs wanted natural resource money. I guess those media guys/gals had it right all along.

      • No, I meant they don’t like the ‘incremental’ removing of their rights and lands. They see that as slow assimilation.

        Harper is the one ‘streamlining’ the approval process…without input from the natives.

        You have the most amazing ability to see only black and white HI. Revenue from resources on FN land is certainly important to them….but that’s not the MAIN or ONLY thing that is. Education and healthcare are far more important, but that doesn’t mean natural resources are given away for free….or sold for that matter if it wrecks their land.

        • Yes revenue from resources is important because then they can afford to upgrade their healthcare and education and housing without relying on the government. Resource development and ownership is a ticket to economic freedom with no government intervention in how the money is spent.
          How can you be so naive as to believe that this is not a MAIN objective for many FN communities?
          At this point, according to the treaties, they only control the top six inches of the soil on their land. The provinces retain the mineral rights, not the feds. If an oil company wants to drill, they negotiate a compensation package to pay for any land they might “wreck” during the excavation and removal process but the landowner gets no money from the oil they find unless they own the mineral rights.

          • HI.. OIl and gas aren’t new discoveries….

            The Mackenzie Valley pipeline involved 37 years of negotiations

            So they aren’t exactly in a hurry for ‘resource money’. It’s not a ‘gold rush’ ya know.

            Reserves are crown land….federal. And if the natives aren’t interested in ‘compensation’ for wrecked land….there won’t be any development.

            You are soooo keen for a ‘gotcha’ at me, you don’t reflect 5 seconds before posting.

          • Emily, you don’t think that they are making “new” discoveries of pockets of oil and gas? What about slant drilling or fracking…where they are able to remove more from already drilled holes? Have you still not read that the Manitoba chiefs main demand was for “natural resource money”?
            Do you understand that if 1 oil well comes in, the owner of the mineral rights can make $70 K per month? As for it being Fed land, DUH ya…that is why they are negotiating for a piece of the rights. With the treaty agreements, they would likely get the mineral rights and pay no taxes on the money they made.
            Take a look at how rich some of these bands are that have oil money….Slave Lake; Horse Nation.
            Why would I care about playing “gotcha” with you. I am just gobsmacked that you don’t “get” it.

          • Either you’re stupid, or you’re playing games.

            I don’t talk to either type….and frankly for some of your statements you should certainly be smacked.

          • Really??? Well you haven’t come up with anything to contradict what I have said. Given that this is your MO….to call people down or accuse them of playing games when they challenge your assertions, I am guessing next you will sign off with some ridiculous “Ciao”, so I will save you the trouble.

          • Yes really. If I was sitting next to you I’d box your ears for that kind of nonsense.

            I don’t have an ‘MO’….I try to have sensible conversations with sensible people….and there are damn few on here. LOL

            You want Ciao….you got Ciao

          • I have a feeling I am a lot bigger than you are…not to mention a lot younger. I don’t think YOU would be boxing my ears.

          • Oh I know you’re overweight….probably the jeans are a welcome relief….but yes, I would be boxing your ears.

            Now you wanted Ciao….take it and leave.

          • Or should I say Helena?

          • Helena who?

          • “I don’t have an ‘MO’…”

            yes you do.

            “.I try to have sensible conversations with sensible people..”

            No you don’t – and you have said precisely the opposite – that you are not on her to have discussions – many times. Please make up your minds; this schizophrenia of yours is getting out of hand.

          • Kindly MYOB

            PS a conversation is not a discussion.

          • A conversation is not necessarily a discussion, but any meaningful conversation is.

            And you’re a fine one to tell others “MYOB”. When have YOU ever?

          • Oh Elmo, you get it alright, it’s greed that drives you; that $3.75 an hour they pay you to spray garbage and misinformation.

            What a horse’s patoot life you must lead.

          • Emily, take your meds.

          • Nowt to do with you…MYOB

        • “You have the most amazing ability to see only black and white”

          Pot, meet kettle.

          • Or you either.

          • That’s odd; on many occasions you have dressed me down precisely for seeing shades of grey where you saw only black and white. Make up your minds, will you? Decide which of the voices in your head you like best and banish the rest.

          • Odd….I’m sure I wasn’t talking to you….or even thinking about you for that matter.

          • Hmmm…. I don’t recall that ever stopping you from sticking your nose in to make snide comments…

          • ‘Night Bram

          • ‘Night Emily; sweet dreams!

          • I don’t think you actually talk to anyone.

            You’re just one of Nature’s blunders. You have a seagull sphincter where your mouth should be and we’re all stuck with it.

            Nevertheless, the point here is that the FN Indians, as far as I’m concerned, can take their FN list and shove it.

    • And I, as a taxpayer, take a dim view of no FN invoices.

  3. Perfect – how does harper do it – the man is amazing as he is coming out of all of this as the reasonable one willing to discuss, talk, negotiate and come to a consensus as a good PM should. IDLE people come out looking like some strange clone of the occupy movement and god forbid if any of them commit a violent act because there will be karma to pay if they do The best part though is that in the meantime the ‘ Transparency ‘ act willl be coming right at those bands whose corrupt chiefs have abused their members and their privileges and soon their members will be able to see it all !! no wonder there are a few very afraid and very angry little chieftanships out there! In the meantime leaseholding will be VOLUNTARY and apparently 8 new Treaties signing on as I type this and 12 new treaties will soon be coming down the line – the man is brilliant at representing the average canadian and the aboriginals right now – what can you say – of course the usual haters will be gnashing theri teeth no doubt – must be frustrating for them!

    • How on earth can “leaseholding” [sic] be voluntary when C45 reduces the majority voting requirements on reserve?

      • Wouldn’t it be voluntary as a majority on a reserve would have to vote “yes”?

        • Sorry, didn’t get that. The changes propose for instance the majority of those who turn up for a band meeting can now lease land or possibly surrender it. The old rules required all of the band’s consent. How is this an improvement in democratic oversight?

          • But isn’t that how (almost?) all liberal democracies work for almost all votes? In order for your opinion to count, you need to take part in the vote. I don’t see why that is considered a step backwards for FNs.

            Also not sure what is meant by the word “surrender”. My understanding is that the changes would not allow the selling of reserve land. Is something different meant?

            [sorry for late response]

          • Surrender as defined in the indian act and most treaties refers to the ceding of band lands [they might be able to buy it back??] The changes do refer to leasing but there is some uncertainty if it might not also cover surrender. This could feasibly open the door to band members who favour say a pipeline going through reserve or claimed land, doing so with next to no community support. FNs prize consensus very highly.
            On the surface it looks fine. But i ask you would you be fine with your town selling off local land without a full quorum of council and an open and public process. Requiring the permission of all the band members is as far as i know quite within norms for cultures that respects consensus.
            The really strange thing about this is, i am told by a reliable source, is that mechanisms already exist for some bands [ Nipissing FN for instance] to lease lands efficiently under existing legislation.

  4. AFN stated demands may all be well and good. And I do believe that some leadership within the Native community is serious about finding solutions to their problems.

    But make no mistake about it: the main reason for the Native leadership to be challenged from within must be found in the upcoming meetings on the pipeline hearing scheduled for Vancouver next week.

    Idle No More ‘leaders’ such as Pam Palmater want to keep the strong protest action going untill at least next week. I believe she wants to milk the publicity as far as she can and she knows that the upcoming pipeline meetings in Vancouver will be an excellent venue for turning up the heat.

    Had people such as Pam Palmater thrown their support behind Chief Atleo today (as I believe she should have done), her chances for causing an uproar in Vancouver next week by means of INM would have been slim.

    For some leaders, is all about what’s to take place next week in Vancouver. Stay tuned when the INM will be joined in by a mob of enviromentalist. It’s all about jumping on each other’s bandwagon.

    I feel for Chief Atleo, to be undermined like this.

    • It is fascinating that the Idle No More movement said it was rising up because of fears about environmental damage to their lands and yet #3 on this list of demands is “resource equity, benefit and revenue sharing”. They heard Harper talking about developing natural resources and they want money from it.

      • Ah, yes, what else is new. The environmentalist play the very same inconsistency card. If we pay attention, it’s right there for everyone to understand.

      • It has been a demand of theirs long preceding Harper being PM. And it is not at all inconsistent with demands for good environmental regulations…you know, the kind that Harper ripped up with C38-C45.

        • Explain that to me how wanting to be part of increased natural resource development isn’t in conflict with environmental concerns?
          As for this bill that they are upset about, I understand that it gives them the right to lease their lands and make money that way without government approval. How is that problematic?

          • Are you saying it is not possible to be both for resource development and for good environmental regs? I’m sure your PM would agree with me, even as he contradicts himself with each new omnibus bill. FNs want consultation and essentially a right to say no to some development eg: Gateway.

            Changes to leasing does this in theory.[ your second point] It also allows for situations to occur in which very few band members can ok them – that is the objection of the chiefs currently. It is also possible this change in the majority voting requirements will allow for lands to be fully surrendered. There is also some evidence that some bands already have this ability to lease as they see necessary. IOWs Harper is trying to shove it down everyones throat at once.
            That’s principally their objections to the changes in bill C45 – that and the dumb decision to gut the environment act in the first place and the NWA. You know the stuff the opposition parties have been protesting against for so long now.

          • From what has been said in the media, there are quite a few bands that want to be able to lease their lands and that is how this option got onto the omnibus bill. As for “votes” required from band members…how many band members get to vote before the chief buys a Zamboni for a rec centre that isn’t open instead of completing new houses that have sat empty for two years while people freeze in tents? The truth is that people can vote out the chief if they don’t want to make economic headway by leasing out their land.
            I didn’t say it wasn’t possible to have good environmental stewardship while developing resources. It seems to me that people are always certain that Alberta is “raping” the land. I am just pointing out that there was NOTHING about environmental stewardship in FN list of demands, while resource development and equity were #3 on the list. As for the Gateway…please! The premier of BC has already offered to sell her vote for the pipeline for some “resource equity”. Maybe some other people’s vote’s are for sale too….for the right amount of “resource equity”.

          • As i said there’s some evidence that bands were already able to lease their lands in similar ways to the changes proposed in C45; so why the changes to the majority of a majority system suddenly?[ suspicious when you consider resource companies actually lobbied for those changes to environmental law] And the govt seems oddly silent now on their claim that FNs had asked for those changes. It makes absolutely no sense given how incensed chiefs are with C45 at the moment. I think it will prove to be the usual Harper fabrication – 4 or 5 bands wanted it… ergo they all wanted it…they asked for it in Harperspeak.
            As for FNs concerns about the environment. I don’t see how you can conclude there is no concern for the environment from them when part of their programme has been the roll back of parts of bill 38 and 45 as well as the NWA, that they find offensive. Those changes undermined environmental protection in many peoples eyes…including FNs. They are standing up for you and me and all Canadians who love this land more than money.

          • Since you are the people that already have money. Or at least, your money comes from somebody else, so you don’t have to pull it from the ground.

    • I’m almost certain Atleo has spoken out against Gateway. Your arguments only get more obtuse the longer they run.

      • When responding to my post , why not respond to its content.

        I’ve never said anything about Atleo’s stand on Gateway. I was talking about Palmater’s INM motives in regards to next week’s pipeline hearings.

        But in any case, you never take me seriously. You don’t have to believe me. The protest next week will clarify my point.

        • “But make no mistake about it: the main reason for the Native leadership
          to be challenged from within must be found in the upcoming meetings on
          the pipeline hearing scheduled for Vancouver next week”

          Well, this is what you said. What other inference can be drawn from it? If Atleo isn’t for the pipeline, what is the point you want to make?

          • “But make no mistake about it: the main reason for the Native leadership
            to be challenged from within must be found in the upcoming meetings on
            the pipeline hearing scheduled for Vancouver next week”

            Well, who is challenging Atleo’s leadership? Pam Palmater

            Why? Because if she and her following would have agreed with attending today’s meeting, considerable wind would have been taken out of the INM movement sails.

            Palmater did not want the winds to wind down because next week the pipeline meetings will come up and she is determined to step into demonstrating there with a full wind in her sail. She and her followers did not want for the meeting today to proceed, because if there would have been unison amongst natives about the meeting attendance, the winds would have slowed down before next week’s pipeline meetings, And the protests there will be big, and she and INM want to make a wild presence there.

          • So your theory is PP controls both INM and all the dissenting chiefs…how about the wind too?
            I have no doubt she is after Atleo’s job, but she isn’t an all controlling god you know.

          • How many times before (within other posts) have I asked you not to put words in my mouth? And still you keep doing just that,

            NO, I have not said that PP controls both INM and all the dissenting chiefs.

            Is she setting herself up as a leader/spokesperson for INM? Absolutely.

            Is PP motivated for not wanting to see today’s meeting go ahead? Absolutely.

            You may believe she is after Atleo’s job. You may believe whatever you feel her motivation is. I think differently.

          • Your ‘wind’ comment is a very childish comment. You know perfectly well how the saying goes.

            If you are an adult wanting to converse with adults, don’t act childishly.

          • Good job i didn’t go on to talk about how you should…

            weally wrap up with the windy words, or wisk weally looking like a wacked out witless wonder

  5. Pity, they are one demand short.

    The ability for individual residents on reserves to own private property on the reserve, or to expand the reserve by buying adjacent private property to be owned by individuals. Without private property from which to derive individual resources from, you have no other rights and cannot bring grassroots reforms to First Nations governance.

    • And if they implement those reforms willy nilly they will, at least in some cases, be at risk of cultural assimilation or dissipation; it’s pretty much why so many FNs are against private property rights on reserve lands. Obviously it is holding them back, but there it is.[ consider this an answer to your earlier post please.]

      • Balderdash. They are less at risk of cultural assimilation if they have their own money and their own property to patronize their culture. Cultural funding and support that comes from a bureaucrat’s pen will the bureaucrat’s culture, not their own. That’s why get all that rubbish about “magic noble savages” crap that comes from the mind of racist white guys being passed off as native culture.

        Likewise with assimilation. The policies of assimilation that the government implemented were also able to be brought to bear by taking advantage of the native’s lack of resources. In some cases, like the destruction of native owned farms were a part of government policy to ensure they would be dependent, and thus less able to resist those policies.

        • “Cultural funding and support that comes from a bureaucrat’s pen will the bureaucrat’s culture, not their own. That’s why get all that rubbish about “magic noble savages” crap that comes from the mind of racist white guys being passed off as native culture”

          Talk about balderdash and crap…

          Look rather then get into an interminable polemical argument with you, i’ll give you a link i’m trying to get through since i have an interest in native issues. The first couple of pages on the fee simple proposal and the opposition to it in FNs communities should give you some idea how complex and contentious the matter of private property rights are. Note that opponents to fee simple do have alternative solution to enable them to be both business friendly yet retain aspects of their collective culture. It isn’t just a matter of wide open market economy or socialism. We agree however that the bureaucracy must go. We just don’t agree how.

          • There definitely needs to be careful safeguards put in place to ensure that aboriginal land doesn’t just get frittered away or bought out from under First Nations people, but that can be done. If I lose a piece of property, it does not become disassociated with the province or the municipality that it is in. So why should First Nation’s land no longer be associated with the nation, if a piece of property falls out of the possession of an individual?

            The last part of Arthur Manuel’s spiel though, where it stated that the land and resources of the band can be managed collectively for the betterment of all, without the First Nations residents of the reserve having any property of their own, that is MADNESS. Complete and other madness that will only continue to bring more suffering. That collective allocation of resources are why most reserve houses aren’t built to code, won’t allow the building of private businesses, and encourages corruption. You have no rights without property rights.

            Pretending the usual racist white guy crap that natives are somehow more spiritual and close to the earth, and that’s what makes them naturally better socialists isn’t going to change that.

          • Well thanks for taking the time to read it anyway.

            As for natives being spiritual people and revere the earth, i beg to differ. I don’t mean the silly European romanticism of Karl Mai. But it is still there [ even after your church among other tried to beat it out of them.] I’ve lived on reserve. Nothing magic about it. The reserve i lived on had no difficulty accepting both the church [ most were christian i think] and whatever shreds of their old culture as still remained to them. You are quite wrong. No bureaucrat signed off on their nativist beliefs, quite the opposite in fact.

  6. David Akin

    Press release earlier today: Harper Govt Provides 8 More FN with Greater Control Over Land and Resources #j11

    David Akin

    69 First Nations now operating under Framework
    Agreement which lets them opt out of 34 land-related sections of Indian

  7. It really should not be all that complex for Prime Minister Harper to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People so that we can be true friends with our First Nations people.

  8. Well it appears that the Conservative Government is finally accepting the wisdom and direction of First Nations Chiefs and the grass-roots Idle No More Movement. And good for
    Bob Rae in counselling and caring about Chief Spence to end her hunger strike since she was certainly an effective spark in the First Nations, socio-economic-political movement.
    I have hope that extreme poverty and lack of opportunity for First Nations Youth will be resolved. The government can not afford not to deal with these issues.