Chief Cornell McLean of Lake Manitoba First Nation and Joseph Maud, a representative of Treaty 2 Land, Water and Resource Office, represented the First Nation in Treaty 2 Territory Government at a public hearing which was held Wednesday, October 31, 2018 in Winnipeg.
Joseph Maud, representing Treaty 2 First Nations and a territory of 22 million acres, said the government has yet to engage in “serious sit-down discussions” with First Nations.
“We have a lot to be talking about together. Why aren’t we talking?” he told MLAs at a public hearing.
Bill 29 – The Wildlife Amendment Act
(Safe Hunting and Shared Management)
This evening we are in the Treaty One Territory and I thank our fellow Treaty 1 Chiefs for allowing us to be here today as guests in their territory! It was because of Treaty 1 and 2 with the Queen of England and Ireland of which allowed for Immigration and Settlement only!
1. I am speaking not only for myself, but speaking for the First Nations in Treaty 2 Territory Government, when I tell you that this Committee, and the Government of Manitoba, would do the People of Manitoba a great favour if it would delay passage, delay any further process regarding this Bill. There is still time to just sit tight — and then do it right.
2. I am speaking for the entire Treaty 2 Territory and no one else. We go from west of Brandon to Berens River, from Pine Creek all the way to the east to the Winnipeg River. There are 22 million acres in that Territory. We have a lot to be talking about together. Why aren’t we talking?
3. Doing it right means engaging in serious sit-down discussions with the First Nations. These have not yet taken place. We are reasonable people, and we will find a reasonable solution which does not jeopardize the people of Manitoba and which does not contravene our rights and interests.
4. You have a law here in with the Province of Manitoba which says that you will act in accordance with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This Bill, as it stands, is contrary with the rights set out in the Declaration.
5. As this Bill stands, it is contrary to the Constitution of Canada. Why act in a way which will cause us to challenge this Bill in the Courts — to challenge it successfully at the end of the day.
6. Why set yourselves up for bad relations with us when we are seeking your friendship? Why do you refuse to sit down and talk? I ask you, Honourable Legislators, to do your duty to your people, to your Province, and set this Bill aside for the next six months while we work together to accommodate each other’s needs.
7. Our children, and your children, need to be able to live together in friendship. Do not leave them with bitter feelings when it would be so easy for us to work together?
Last modified: November 3, 2018