ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION ACT
Across the board, laws dealing with environmental, land and water protection tend to be regulatory in nature, complex and costly to develop, implement and enforce. On the other hand, they are an important aspect of governance of any jurisdiction, particularly for First Nations in Treaty 2 Territory because of the cultural values connected with the natural world.
Environmental protection is much more than a set of laws or rules. An effective regime must also include such elements as approvals, standards, monitoring, inspection, enforcement, mechanisms to encourage compliance, raising public awareness, all of which require capacity within the First Nations to do all of these things.
There are various options through we can exercise the law and thought should be given to the potential for relationships with other nations such as Canada or Manitoba, with other First Nations, conservation and stewardship authorities, rural municipalities, other First Nations aggregations, etc., contracting in and contracting out, including providing services to other First Nations. Into this picture enter questions such as economies of scale, ability to reflect First Nation values, harmony with surrounding jurisdictions, liability questions, capacity.
CONSULTATION AND ACCOMMODATION LAW
We wish to enact a law based on Inherent and Treaty Rights, Title and Interests that will guide the conduct of Crown-First Nation consultation and accommodation.We are the direct descendants, heirs, and successors of the Nations which entered into Treaty No. 2in 1871 with the Imperial Crown, and as a result their inherent rights and Treaty-confirmed – Title and Interests regarding lands, waters, and resources are recognized and affirmed pursuant to section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982.
We continue to assert and maintain the protection, promotion and enforcement of its inherent Rights, Title and Interests before Treaty, at Treaty, and over the years after Treaty continuously to the present day.
Pursuant to Supreme Court of Canada decisions in the Haida, Taku River and Mikisew cases, the Crown has a legal duty to consult and accommodate First Nations whenever it is contemplating or making any decisions or conducting an activity that may infringe onthose inherent rights and Interests of First Nations people.
We uphold and is guided by the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the doctrine of Free, Prior and Informed Consent in the determination of their rights. We are mandated in the coordination of the Crown-First Nation consultation with respect to their collective rights and to assist in the consultation process, which is both a procedural and substantive right, and the subsequent negotiation of accommodation measures regarding the adverse effects of projects.
Any proponent, including Municipalities and Crown corporations are encouraged to engage us when they have actual or perceived knowledge of any proposed activity that potentially infringes upon the exercise of Inherent and Treaty Rights, Title and Interests of the First Nations in Treaty No.2 Territory.