A new report from the Canadian Human Rights Commission says Ottawa is violating its obligations toward Indigenous Peoples during treaty negotiations with Labrador’s Innu Nation.
Report co-author Celeste McKay says the commission is calling on the federal government to abandon its negotiation positions and let the decades-long treaty talks finally be settled.
The report released today says treaty negotiations between Ottawa and the Innu Nation stalled in 1996 and an agreement recognizing Innu land rights and the nation’s relationship with the provincial and federal governments has not yet been signed.
It concludes the federal government should aim to conclude negotiations within three years and says Ottawa has a long way to go to meet its obligations to the region’s two Innu communities of Sheshatshiu and Natuashish.
Innu Nation Grand Chief Etienne Rich says Canada has been particularly stubborn on issues of taxation and self-governance, and he told reporters today the report gives him hope that Ottawa will come around.
Rich says negotiations have gone on too long and the Innu Nation wants to sign a fair treaty that will allow them to govern themselves, control their own land and deliver the same level of services to their people that other Canadians take for granted.
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