Prentice Insists Collective Native Rights Are Safe

Monday, October 02, 2006 at 14:43



The Minister of Indian Affairs says proposed changes to matrimonial property rights on reserves won’t infringe on the collective rights of Aboriginal people.


Last week, Jim Prentice announced consultations would be held across the country to deal with the thorny issue.


Currently, no federal standards exist to ensure that reserve women who experience a break-up don’t walk away empty-handed.


Prentice says he will work with Aboriginal groups to change that — without affecting the holding of communal First Nations property.


He says Canada’s legal system is “more than able to adapt to the fact that the underlying title here is a collectively-held title”.


Prentice adds the courts routinely deal with problems that are more complex than the matrimonial property issue.