Mr. Prime Minister:
The members of the West Kootenay Nelson Chapter of the Council of Canadians are committed to justice in Canada. At our meeting on January 12, 2013, the following motion was adopted unanimously.
The Nelson Chapter of the Council of Canadians declares our support for the Idle No More Movement and calls upon all levels of government to work with indigenous people and respect indigenous rights; to commit to meaningful discourse with First Nations peoples and their leaders.
We further declare our support for Chief Theresa Spence and thank her for her courage and determination to have the issues of indigenous people in Canada addressed.
Mr. Harper, we cannot state strongly enough, our belief that your government has no moral, legal or constitutional authority to pass legislation of any nature that negatively impacts indigenous peoples’ rights. Their inherent rights cannot be ignored, manipulated or bypassed in order to assist extraction industries or to limit federal obligations and responsibilities.
The Idle No More movement is the manifestation of both First Nations and those of us who descended from immigrants and settlers, who want to respect and protect our land and water from greed and misuse. The issues may be complex, but they boil down to the simple fact that constitutional, treaty and inherent rights of the people must be honoured.
Mr. Harper, we call upon you to step back from your aggressive legislative agenda and work with the First Nations people and their leaders and their allies among the Canadian population to address our collective concerns.
On behalf of the membership of our Chapter
Cindy McCallum Miller
Cc: Idle No More
Cc: Council of Canadians National Branch
Cc: Alex Atamanenko, MP
Cc: Katrine Conroy, MLA
Cc: Michelle Mungall, MLA