Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

With natives feeling ignored on key treaty rights, Shawn Atleo, the newly re-elected Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, says the advocacy organization will take the conversation directly to businesses on resource development.

Michelle Siu/The Canadian Press

National chief Shawn Atleo wants the premiers to recognize first nations as full and equal partners in developing natural resources, but he says such recognition should not have to wait for politicians to agree on a national energy plan.

The head of the Assembly of First Nations and other aboriginal leaders are meeting today with premiers in Lunenburg, N.S., in advance of the annual Council of the Federation summit on inter-provincial relations.

The premiers, like Mr. Atleo, are consumed with devising better ways to develop natural resources so that more people can benefit, and so that the environment does not pay too steep a price.

Story continues below advertisement

But details of what a national energy strategy would look like are vague, and buy-in from all the provinces is uncertain — especially now that Alberta and British Columbia are sparring openly over the Northern Gateway pipeline.

Mr. Atleo says the premiers don't need to reach agreement on a strategy to recognize and support the fundamental concept of first nations having the right to have a say and share in the wealth that comes from exploiting natural resources.

"We have to be full partners," he said in an interview from Halifax on Tuesday night.

That means engaging with first nations early and often, obtaining their consent in the plans for development, and devising ways to share the spoils, such as through equity stakes or investment in communities, he said.

At their annual general meeting last week, first nations chiefs made it clear they will insist on playing a larger role, either through negotiation with the provincial and federal governments, through the courts or through protests and blockades, Mr. Atleo said.

Indeed, many individual first nations are in the midst of opposing some of Canada's largest resource developments: the Northern Gateway pipeline to take Alberta bitumen to the West Coast; the Plan Nord for Quebec and the Ring of Fire mineral deposit in northern Ontario.

The conflict "becomes a familiar pattern that we're trying to break out of," Mr. Atleo said.

Story continues below advertisement

With the Canadian Council for Chief Executives indicating earlier this month that aboriginal communities should be fully included in energy and mining developments, and with the premiers agonizing over similar issues, Mr. Atleo says the time is ripe for crafting a broad framework that takes into account all interests.

"I hope we're at a turning point," he said.

For the national chief, a successful meeting with the premiers today would be one in which the premiers recognize first nations as full partners, with still-valid historical rights to health care, education and the land.

On education, he wants premiers to agree to work with first nations educators so that native children can have their schooling recognized in provincial systems.

And on violence against women, he hopes to see premiers back the call from aboriginal groups for a national inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women.

Mr. Atleo is meeting the leaders of the other aboriginal groups this morning so they can form a common front on how best persuade premiers to join them in mitigating violence against women.

Story continues below advertisement

"There isn't any one us in any one community who has not been touched by this issue," he said. "I know what it's like to feel unsafe in a community as a child."

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies