FSIN chief ramps up blockades after Saskatchewan First Act passes final reading

The Saskatchewan First Act, also known as Bill 88, has been the subject of controversy in the province, particularly among First Nation communities.

The head of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN), Bobby Cameron, has been a vocal leader against the law since it was announced last fall.

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Saskatchewan First Act passes final reading

The FSIN said it will take action, including blockades, to oppose the law as they believe it violates inherent treaty rights.

Focus Saskatchewan’s Nathaniel Dove sat down with Cameron in an exclusive interview to discuss the law after it was passed on March 16.

Q: The first act of Saskatchewan is progressing. I would like to know your reaction to the latest developments on this.

A: “Well, first and foremost, we’re definitely against it. They’ve made comments that it doesn’t violate the treaty, but yes it does. Scott Moe and you are MLAs, yes it does. You can stop saying that because our knowledge keepers, our people out in the country, know. You see this. You tell us.”

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Q: What is the status of treaty rights and their protection in this province?

A: “I would like to start by saying that the provincial government was formed in 1905. At that time it became the province of Saskatchewan. Treaties were signed and negotiated in the 19th century, long before the province of Saskatchewan was formed. We are international law. We have not signed a contract with the provincial government. We have not signed a contract with the federal government. It was with the British Crown.”

“And it clearly states that your way of life will continue in these lands and waters. And that’s all these lands and waters as far as we’re concerned. Those crown land sales they’re auctioning online are illegal. They violated the Natural Resources Transfer Agreement. And now we have taken legal action and are taking action against them. And they will lose. That’s how confident we are. So powerful are our sacred contracts.”

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Saskatchewan First Act passes final reading

Q: If I call the contract sacred, I think only your side is sacred to it. If the Saskatchewan government violates them, they are obviously not sacred. How do you get them to respect these rights?

A: “We have many First Nations who have come forward and are willing to protect their lands and waters. If that means blockages, if that means other paths, then you know, so be it. They do what is right for their First Nations communities. They are doing what is right and what they believe to be right, making sure our lands and waters are protected so future generations can and will enjoy our lands and waters.”

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Q: What can you tell me about the blockade plans?

A: “We will communicate with First Nations and there will be a coordinated effort to seek their input and direction to advance their initiatives. We all live in this province you call Saskatchewan – we call it in our traditional territories – and that’s what this is about.”

“And excluding one particular group, the First Nations, is not going to work. It just won’t happen. We will remain vocal and exhaust all possibilities, technically, politically and legally. And in the end, if need be, our people are ready. Our people are ready to protect their lands and waters like they did during the Oka crisis in the 1990s.”

Questions and answers have been shortened for clarity.

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https://globalnews.ca/news/9562145/fsin-chief-q-a-blockades-saskatchewan-first-act/ FSIN chief ramps up blockades after Saskatchewan First Act passes final reading


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