Treaty 6, 7 and 8 Chiefs Reject Premier Danielle Smith’s Sovereignty Bill
UNCEDED TREATY SIX TERRITORY (November 18, 2022) The Treaty Chiefs are united in opposition to any claims being made over our peoples, lands, and territories. We take offence to Danielle Smith’s forthcoming Alberta Sovereignty Act and outright reject it.
Danielle Smith’s mandate letter to Justice Minister Tyler Shandro directs him to draft a sovereignty bill in response to the “unconstitutional federal encroachment on provincial jurisdiction”. The mandate letter is based on the false assumption that the province has title to our lands and territories, the chiefs said
“Smith’s proposed Bill undermines the authority and duty of the Sovereign Nations that entered into treaty,” said Treaty 8 First Nations Grand Chief Arthur Noskey. “How can the province make a sovereignty bill when our treaties were made before the creation of Alberta?
“Our treaties with the Crown are peace and friendship treaties that did not release any of our lands and territories. Danielle Smith’s ploy to implement her Free Alberta Strategy undermines our rights already protected in their Constitution Act,” said Chief Darcy Dixon of Bearspaw Nation.
“Our Treaties were made with the Crown and are international agreements,” said Chief Tony Alexis of the Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation. “Our primary responsibility is to uphold our Treaties for the future generations.”
If Danielle Smith and her UCP government want to erect invisible firewalls around Alberta, they can attempt to do so but our territories will stay intact because we are not giving our free prior and informed consent. Further, if industry and government want to do business in our territories, they should come directly to the Chiefs of the Treaty Nations who have jurisdiction and authority over our lands and resources.
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Athabasca Chipewyan First