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Chiefs of Ontario assert control over resources

Friday August 8, 2014

Chiefs of Ontario gave formal notice to Canada, the province, resource developers and the general public through a Notice of Assertion that First Nations inherent and treaty rights will continue to be asserted across the province.

“…The First Nations whose territories and lands are within the boundaries of the Province of Ontario (hereafter: First Nations),” the notice of assertion reads, “give formal notice to the Province of Ontario and Canada, to other governments, to resource users and developers, to neighbours and the general public that First Nations inherent and Treaty rights are currently and will continue to be asserted over traditional and historical territory, and ancestral lands.”

“These rights include, but are not limited to, those re- affirmed by Section 35 of the Constitution of Canada and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”

Ontario Regional Chief Stan Beardy said the purpose of the notice is to assert that treaties still govern the relationship between the Crown and First Nations

“This notice does not lay out an exhaustive list of rights; rather, it sets forward several principles and understandings related to lands and resources,” Beardy said in a media release.
“It is based upon the Treaties and Covenant Chains established with the Crown which were made between sovereign independent nations.”

The notice states resources include, but are not limited to: fish, trees, wildlife, mines, minerals, waters, biological resources, medicines and plants.

The notice says First Nations have the right to access, manage and develop these resources, and that First Nations have the right to derive benefit from these resources.

First Nations have the right to determine third party use of these resources and the conditions under which third parties may access or use these resources. First Nations have the right to grant or withhold free, prior and informed consent on any activity that may affect First Nations resources or their rights or title related to these resources.

The notice was adopted by Ontario chiefs by resolution during an assembly on June 11.

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