Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Saskatchewan Showdown

Fifth Session
Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
United Nations
May 15-26, 2006
Statement for Agenda Item #4a

Madame Chairperson, Human Rights violations come in many different forms and today's governments and corporations have refined ways to violate the basic Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples. ...

We consider ourselves the caretakers of our land, something that we have done for thousands of years. Our Traditional Territories are being invaded by corporations intent on resource extraction. Today, we face not only legislation that impairs our self-development, but also a system designed to bring to an end our traditional life as we know it.

I now quote an excerpt from a letter from our Chief to the Prime Minister of Canada dated May 18, 2006:

"On October 17th 2005 Chief and Council passed a Band Council Resolution to the Federal and Provincial Government informing them that Buffalo River Dene Nation has retaken our Traditional Territory, our land, our natural resources and water. No development will happen within our Traditional Territory until we are consulted and the free, prior and informed consent of the Buffalo River Dene Nation is obtained.

We are aware that the Federal and Provincial Governments and multinational corporations are poised to begin development in our Territory. At this point, we are restating to you that no development will be allowed in our Territory without our free, prior and informed consent. We would like to make it clear that we, the people of Buffalo River Dene Nation are prepared to defend our position by any means necessary."


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