Open letter to the National Chief
Canadians want to know where you stand, Mr. Atleo, given all the recent turmoil served up by hunger strikes, Idle No More protests, opposition to major resource export projects.
Please inform us as to why this vortex of controversy remains totally unaddressed:
Q: Why is it appropriate not to meet with the Prime Minister and not work on solutions that would benefit First Nations and the rest of Canada? On March 24 you had this emphatic exchange on CBC The House with host Evan Solomon:
Q. Solomon: Have you set up a meeting date with Stephen Harper yet?
A. Alteo: No I have not set up a meeting date with Stephen Harper. To be abundantly clear, resolution to these big issues is not going to be something that the prime minister and I will work out. Firstly, I am not the head of First Nations government. My role is to support them. It’s up to the Prime Minister to ‘make good’ on the express political will made both last January and in the budget and get on with transforming the relationship and not repeating the kind of patterns that we’ve experienced. (26 min/mk)
Q: Why is it appropriate to align with US tribes in choking off Alberta’s energy economy? On April 19 (less than one month later) you were official witness to the following signing ceremony in Vancouver that prompted this dire press release:
April 19, 2013 /CNW/ – A group of influential Indigenous leaders joined Chief Maureen Thomas and Council of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation in the signing of an International Treaty to protect land, water and indigenous way of life against the tar sands projects. With ratification from Keystone XL, Enbridge Northern Gateway, Enbridge Line 9 and now Kinder Morgan opposed nations, the International Treaty to Protect the Sacred from Tar Sands Projects effectively closes off all exits for tar sands oil to international markets.
Q: Why do you not show leadership in maximizing the native legal winning streak?
With almost 180 native legal wins in the resources sector, isn’t it time to lay
out a negotiating position in order to help get the national economy up-and- running for the benefit of First Nations and the rest of Canada?
First Nations and Canada both have to replace confrontation with reconciliation. Based on the foregoing scenarios the ball is clearly in your court to make out your case and promote economic solutions – negotiated from your legitimately earned legal empowerment – which will hopefully elicit a positive response from the PMO.