Chiefs Continue “Duty To Consult” Discussions

Friday, May 25, 2007 at 15:34



The impacts of mining in the Far North were front and centre this morning at the final day of the Prince Albert Grand Council’s First Nations Summit.


Black Lake Chief Freddy Throassie spoke at length about the frustration his band feels over development on its traditional lands.


Throassie estimates there are more than 50 abandoned mines in the Athabasca region, and the cost of decommissioning them is huge.


Throassie also worries mining companies could pose a threat to caribou migration, bird nesting areas, and the Denesuline traditional lifestyle.


He insists he’s not against development, but believes his people have not been respected enough by government or industry in the past.


Saskatchewan Party Leader Brad Wall says his party would address these problems if elected.


He says the NDP has not consulted First Nations enough in the past about development in their areas.


When addressing today’s gathering, Wall didn’t go into details about what changes he would make — saying only that his party would consult more.


Leaders at the summit say the “duty to consult” issue will come up again at next week’s FSIN assembly in Saskatoon.