Elders Question Treaty Commissioner About Role

Thursday, July 24, 2008 at 14:46



Saskatchewan’s Treaty Commissioner was grilled about his mandate yesterday.


During his presentation at an elders gathering in Battleford, Bill McKnight took a number of questions from elders.


Many were frustrated that McKnight can’t implement the treaties himself.


But McKnight said his office was set up by the Canadian government and the FSIN — so all he can do is try to persuade both sides to implement the treaties.


He also reiterated his stance that Canada can’t move forward and implement the treaties until it gets rid of the Indian Act.


According to McKnight, the Act gets in the way of improving the lives of First Nations people.


He says that’s because every time some aspect of Aboriginal life is changed, the existing Act has to be repealed — and new legislation has to be passed.


McKnight also made a point of stating that both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people benefit from the treaties.