Related: Why Idle No More matters to us all
From indigenous poverty to enviro destruction and the violation of treaties, Idle No More has a lot issues in its sights. But its key targets currently are a number of Conservative government bills, framed with little First Nations consultation, which many aboriginal activists believe erode the very concept of native sovereignty. Here are some of the offending items.
BILL C-45, JOBS AND GROWTH ACT
Passed in December by the Senate, the omnibus bill:
• Deals with matters relating to native jurisdiction and disregards Crown obligations for consultation;
• Amends the Indian Act, allowing a majority of those attending a meeting - as opposed to a majority of a band list - to decide upon the leasing out, and some fear sale, of reserve land;
• Amends the Navigable Waters Protection Act, removing federal enviro oversight from most lakes and rivers, possibly including those impacted by pipelines.
BILL C-27, FIRST NATIONS FINANCIAL TRANSPARENCY ACT
• Applies standards to First Nations governments that surpass those for officials in many other jurisdictions and is overly punitive;
• Will increase already onerous reporting requirements and could jeopardize a First Nation that does not have the capacity to comply.
BILL S-2, FAMILY HOMES ON RESERVES AND MATRIMONIAL INTERESTS OR RIGHTS ACT
• Empowers provincial courts to hear disputes over the division of matrimonial property on reserves, which is considered to violate First Nations' authority over their lands.
Sources: Idle No More, Assembly of First Nations