Blog Archives

Ottawa to amend Indian Act, eliminate ‘discriminatory’ clauses

montreal-que-august-11-2015-stphane-descheneaux-poses

Stéphane Descheneaux with his three daughters, Marie-Lee, 11 , Emmy, 8, middle and right, Audrey-Ann, 13, in front of a teepee outside the Abenakis Museum Odanak Indian reserve near Sorel. Marie-France Coallier / Montreal Gazette

by Christopher Curtis, Montreal Gazette, Feb 26, 2016

In a move that could affect thousands of aboriginal people across Canada, the federal government announced Wednesday it will amend sections of the Indian Act that discriminated against the descendants of bi-racial marriages.

News of the amendments comes six months after a Quebec judge ordered the government to revise segments of the law that violate the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The federal government’s lawyers had immediately appealed the Aug. 3 ruling and were set to fight it in court. Read the rest of this entry

Aboriginal Affairs spending shortfall amounts to $1B, internal document says

Graphic: APTN

Graphic: APTN

5-year federal analysis of ‘lapsed’ spending lists top underspending departments

By Dean Beeby, CBC News, June 5, 2015

The department that delivers programs for Canada’s indigenous people has held back more than $1 billion in promised spending for social services over the last five years.

That significant level of so-called lapsed spending — money promised but never spent — places Aboriginal Affairs among the largest “serial” offenders, that is, key departments that regularly spend less than budgeted in big dollar amounts year after year. Read the rest of this entry

Sudden resignation of Shawn Atleo cost AFN more than just its leader

Former AFN 'grand chief' Shawn Atleo with his political master, PM Stephen Harper, looking on.

Former AFN ‘grand chief’ Shawn Atleo with his political master, PM Stephen Harper, looking on.

By Steve Rennie, The Canadian Press/APTN National News, March 27, 2015

OTTAWA – Shawn Atleo’s abrupt resignation as national chief cost the Assembly of First Nations more than just its leader.

New documents show the federal government turned down the assembly’s request for an extra $324,000 to cover the unforeseen expenses that arose when Atleo quit his job last May.

Atleo stepped down amid fears that he’d become what he himself called a “lightning rod” for controversy as a result of having backed the Conservative government’s proposed reforms to First Nations education. Read the rest of this entry

Aboriginal Affairs shared wide range of information with spy agency to bolster Idle No More surveillance: documents

Idle No More rally in Ottawa, Dec 21, 2012.

Idle No More rally in Ottawa, Dec 21, 2012.

The federal Aboriginal Affairs department shared information with Canada’s spies and other federal law enforcement agencies to bolster surveillance of the Idle No More movement, internal government documents show.

The documents, obtained under the Access to Information Act, also reveal how easily Canadian authorities assume the possibility of violence when it comes to monitoring First Nation demonstrations.

The Harper government’s proposed anti-terror bill, Bill C-51, would make it easier for federal departments and agencies to share information on widely-defined national security grounds. Read the rest of this entry

Policy changes aimed at reviving B.C. treaty process, gaining support for natural-resource projects: Aboriginal Affairs

Aboriginal Affairs minister Bernard Valcourt.

Aboriginal Affairs minister Bernard Valcourt.

Lawyer Douglas Eyford named Valcourt’s “special representative”

OTTAWA — The Harper government announced Monday sweeping policy changes aimed at reviving the B.C. treaty process and convincing more First Nations they should support major natural-resource initiatives in B.C.

Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt’s new approach is in response to numerous criticisms over several years that the government has been inflexible in its approach to treaties, and that it has failed to adequately consult First Nations on controversial oilsands pipeline proposals.

Valcourt appointed Vancouver lawyer Douglas Eyford, the author of a critical government-commissioned report published last December, to lead a process to “renew and reform” a comprehensive treaty process that has produced just four deals in more than two decades of talks.

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Rogue Warriors

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Aboriginal Affairs minister calls chiefs ‘rogue’ and threats to national security

Federal minister of Aboriginal Affairs Bernard Valcourt.

Federal minister of Aboriginal Affairs Bernard Valcourt.

By Jorge Barrera, APTN National News, May 16, 2014
Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt moved aggressively to undermine the Confederacy of Nations Thursday, labeling the chiefs behind the organization as rogues who are “threatening” national security. Read the rest of this entry

Chief and council accused of stealing welfare money

Steve Rennie, Canadian Press/National Post, Dec 17, 2013 New Chief

OTTAWA — Members of a Saskatchewan First Nation are facing allegations they misused government money meant for social assistance to buy themselves vehicles, horses and trailers, newly released documents show.

A team of professional auditors is now looking into claims made against the chief and council of the Big Island Lake Cree Nation in the northwestern part of the province. Read the rest of this entry

Lubicon Cree Standing Strong Against Fraudulent Election

Release Date: February 20, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASELubicon Cree demand justice graphic

LUBICON LAKE NATION STANDING STRONG AGAINST FRAUDULENT ELECTION: DEMANDS ABORIGINAL AFFAIRS CEASE ASSIMILATION TACTICS IN NATION

Little Buffalo, AB – The Government of the Lubicon Lake Nation is a sovereign Nation within what is now Alberta, which has never signed treaty with Canada or the British crown ceding its rights over and title to its lands. The current Government of the Lubicon Lake Nation was formed as part of a custom resolution to previous disputes created by Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AAND-C) interference and the current governance has the written acknowledge support of the vast majority of Lubicon citizens. The Government of the Lubicon Lake Nation has not called, nor held an election and no changes have been made to the governance of our Nation. Read the rest of this entry

Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan resigns over inappropriate letter

Bill Curry, The Globe and Mail, Feb. 15 2013

Aboriginal Affairs minister John Duncan has announced his resignation.

Aboriginal Affairs minister John Duncan has announced his resignation.

Federal Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan has resigned from cabinet for writing an inappropriate letter to the Tax Court of Canada.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued a statement Friday confirming the decision.

“I would like to thank Mr. Duncan for his many contributions as Minister and for his service to the people of Canada. Mr. Duncan will continue to serve as the member of Parliament for Vancouver Island North in the House of Commons,” Mr. Harper said.

The Prime Minister said Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore will serve as the acting Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development until a new minister is named. Read the rest of this entry