AFN Manitoba expresses support for Interlake Reserves Tribal Council Inc. in its judicial review against the province in relationship to the outlet channels project
November 4, 2021
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba – The Office of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) Manitoba Region, issues this joint statement in support of the Interlake Reserves Tribal Council (IRCT) and its member First Nations and their judicial review against authorizations of the Province of Manitoba for the Lake Manitoba, Lake St Martin Outlet Channel Project. The judicial review hearing will take place by video conference on November 8 and 9, 2021 starting at 9:30am.
The IRTC is asking the Court for:
- Important declarations on Manitoba’s duty to consult;
- A clear statement from the Court that Manitoba must consult before issuing permits that allow Crown land to be cleared. This is critical to the protection of Treaty rights; and
- A reconsideration by the Minister of Conservation of a decision to allow an access road Licence to stand.
First Nations members of the IRTC include: Dauphin River First Nation; Kinonjeoshtegon First Nations; Lake Manitoba First Nation; Little Saskatchewan First Nation, Peguis First Nation; and the Pinaymootang First Nation.
AFN Regional Chief Cindy Woodhouse said, “On behalf of AFN Manitoba, I offer my full and unconditional support for the leadership of the First Nations of the Interlake Reserves Tribal Council, as they seek a judicial review of the Province’s authorizations in relation to the Outlet Channels project. These authorizations were approved and initiated by the province of Manitoba without consideration for the duty to consult those affected First Nations. AFN Manitoba stands with all First Nations in the protection, promotion and the exercising of their Treaty and Inherent Rights. I call on the province of Manitoba to in good faith implement its duty to consult, and at the same time update its draft policy on the duty to consult First Nations. I further call in the court to uphold the important legal principle of the duty to consult.”
“This is an important judicial review and may set precedent and have important implications for all other First Nations in Manitoba. It is very disturbing that the province would unilaterally move ahead with these authorizations, which not only impacts the economic development rights of the IRTC First Nations, but also disturbs and alters their traditional territories, including sacred pre-contact village sites,” added Regional Chief Woodhouse.”
“These authorizations are being done despite the fact the province has not met all the requirements for the federal impact assessment for this major infrastructure project. For the benefit of all First Nations and all Manitobans, I urge the province to meet its duty to consult and to work with the affected First Nations so that the outlet channels project, which is the largest infrastructure project in the province to date, can move ahead to the satisfaction of all involved,” concluded Regional Chief Woodhouse.