Assembly of First Nations Urges BC Government to Respect Aboriginal Title and Rights


Assembly of First Nations Release

Date of publication: 
4 August 2011

OTTAWA – Assembly of First Nations (AFN) British Columbia Regional Chief Jody Wilson-Raybould today expressed support for Kwakiutl First Nation as they take action to create awareness about the need to uphold Aboriginal Title and rights, including treaty rights, to forest resources on their traditional territory.

“On behalf of the Assembly of First Nations and the national executive, I support the leadership and citizens of Kwakiutl First Nation as they assert and uphold their title and rights as recognized in the Douglas Treaty,” said AFN B.C. Regional Chief Jody Wilson-Raybould. “The Province has failed to meet its legal duties to consult with and accommodate the Kwakiutl. Consultation and accommodation with the Kwakiutl, and obtaining free, prior and informed consent to these decisions is required under Canadian law and consistent with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. We support the Kwakiutl in their call for the B.C. government to immediately suspend forestry operations in Kwakiutl territory and commence negotiations with Kwakiutl to achieve fair and just accommodation for commercial forestry in their territory.

Kwakiutl First Nation is located on the northeast coast of Vancouver Island near Port Hardy and Port McNeil, B.C. The community has organized demonstrations for August 3 and 4, 2011 as a last resort attempt to urge the B.C. government to respect their rights as recognized in the Douglas Treaty. They currently have a legal challenge before the courts.

The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada.

For further information:

Don Kelly, Assembly of First Nations A/Communications Director
613-241-6789 ext. 334 or cell: 613-292-2787 or email dkelly [at] afn [dot] ca

Jenna Young, Assembly of First Nations Communications Officer
613-241-6789, ext 401 or cell: 613-314-8157 or email jyoung [at] afn [dot] ca