Mikisew Cree First Nation Challenges Bill C-45

Fort Chipewyan, Alberta, December 14, 2012 – Chief Steve Courtoreillee and the Council of Mikisew Cree First Nation (MCFN) are proud to announce their unwavering opposition to Bill C-45 (Jobs and Growth Act > 2012). "We will never recognize any law which is passed by the Government of Canada which does not have our consent and any such law will not apply on our reserve lands and traditional territories", says Chief Courtoreille. "We have not been consulted and have no option but to reject this arbitrary action on the part of Prime Minister Harper and his government."

"Bill-C-45 will trample on the rights that accrue to us as members of
our First Nation."  The leadership of MCFN, like other First Nations
across Canada are concerned that the Government's omnibus budget bill includes new legislation regarding the leasing of reserve lands, First
Nations education, on-reserve voting rights, and the abolishment of
the Navigable Waters Protection Act, among others. "We will not sit
 idly by while the Prime Minister Harper and his government run rough
shod over our rights,"  says Chief Courtoreille.

In 2005, Mikisew Cree First Nation successfully argued in front of the
Supreme Court of Canada that the Canadian Government had failed to
consult with MCFN when it attempted to take up lands in Wood Buffalo
National Park. That case, one of an important trilogy of First Nations
consultation cases in Canadian jurisprudence, firmly established that
the Government must consult with First Nations when it contemplates
any action, which may impact on unproven or established First Nations

MCFN expects that the Government of Canada will consult the First
Nation regarding any proposed changes to the Indian Act or associated
legislation. "We would welcome the opportunity to meet with the
Government of Canada through an open, transparent, and mutually
respectful process," says the Chief. Chief Coutorielle will be
attending the protest against Bill C-45 in Edmonton, Alberta on
December 21. He encourages every citizen of MCFN to join him,  "Bring
the flags. We want every Mikisew member there."
Contact Steve Courtoreille Chief
(780) 838-0893 chief@mikisewcree.ca

 George Poitras
 Chief Executive Officer (587) 985-4954 ceo@mikisewcree.ca

"It would be easier just to fold our hands and not make this fight…,
to say, I, one man, can do nothing. I grow afraid only when I see
people thinking and acting like this. We all know the story about the
man who sat beside the trail too long, and then it grew over and he
could never find his way again. We can never forget what has
happened, but we cannot go back, nor can we just sit beside the
– Poundmaker, Cree Chief

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