AMC supports Treaty 2 First Nations assertion Province failed on the duty to consult
Treaty One Territory, MB. _ The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs fully supports Treaty 2 First Nations in their assertion that the Province of Manitoba has failed to properly consult them in their recent announcement of two water diversion mega projects.
The Province of Manitoba announced two engineering firms have been given the contracts to build two diversion channels, approximately 23 kilometres long, which will run from Lake Manitoba, Lake St. Martin and Lake Winnipeg.
Premier Brian Pallister has said the province consulted First Nations, however, First Nations maintain proper consultation did not happen. The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs maintains the province did not properly consult First Nations.
“If they had they would know that the proposed channels will negatively affect fisheries which in turn affect the livelihood of First Nations. There is also concern around contamination of the waters and the quality of life for our citizens who live in these areas,” said Grand Chief Arlen Dumas.
In 2011 when the provincial government decided to flood Lake St. Martin to save Winnipeg from flood waters, the entire community of Lake St. Martin First Nation was evacuated to the city. Seven years later some community members are still living in hotels.
“They didn’t consult First Nations then, and they aren’t properly consulting First Nations now,” said Grand Chief Dumas.
“Traditional knowledge of the land and waters needs to be considered when making plans that will change the landscape. Our Elders hold a lot of knowledge and history and that must be listened to,” said Grand Chief Dumas.