Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Challenges. Discussion »
FORT MCMURRAY, ALBERTA The Canadian Harper government on Friday passed Bill C-45, also known as the Omnibus Bill. The bill makes changes to the Indian Act, the Navigable Waters Protection Act and Fisheries Act.
Chief Allen Adam
Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation
The bill ultimately makes major amendments to environmental legislation removing the protection of a majority of rivers and lakes in Canada and contributes to the erosion of Treaty and Aboriginal rights.
The bill has been long opposed by many First Nations across Canada and sparked groups like Idle No More calling for national protests. Chief Allen Adam of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation has critiqued the bill in its infancy.
Chief Adam released the following statement on Friday:
“Today, history was made. The Harper government passed Bill C-45, a bill that strips down First Nations Treaty rights and protection and diminishes the democracy of this country.”
"We have seen the erosion of our people's Treaty rights throughout various forms of legislation in the past, but this bill is proof the government holds little stock in our rights and title and is attempting to create more loop holes for industry to continue annihilating our lands. We hope the public outcry against this undemocratic and racist piece of legislation will continue. I support our leaders on hunger strikes, our people putting up protests and all those doing what they can to ensure that our rights no longer fall between the cracks."
First Nations people across Canada have held protests in opposition to Bill C-45 during the past week.
posted December 15, 2012 9:50 am est