Tories Accused Of Eroding Collective Native Rights

Thursday, September 28, 2006 at 14:50



Northern Saskatchewan’s Member of Parliament says he worries Indian Affairs minister Jim Prentice may try to use the issue of matrimonial property on reserve to further a wider Tory agenda.


Early tomorrow morning, Prentice is scheduled to hold a news conference where he will announce the beginning of consultations to address the issue of matrimonial property on reserve.


Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River MP Gary Merasty says the issue is important, but he doesn’t know why Prentice is choosing now to tackle it.


Merasty says several reports still have to be completed by Aboriginal groups for the government, and feels it is premature to begin before they are done.


At the same time, Merasty says he worries Prentice will use the issue to impose what he sees as a broader agenda on First Nations — the scaling down of collective Aboriginal rights in favour of individuals’ rights.


Merasty says the government should be looking at existing First Nations dispute resolution methods before concocting its own version.