BLOOD TRIBE COMMUNITY UPDATE
(RECOGNTION OF INDIGENOUS RIGHTS AND SELF DETERMINATION)
On July 5, 2018 the Blood Tribe entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Minister Bennet “to enter into discussions with a view to reconciliation of relationships and to address matters of importance to the Blood Tribe.” There was a joint press release issued that day and an article appeared in the Lethbridge Herald and was also covered by Global News and our local media.
The Blood Tribe took this as an opportunity to begin discussions on the renewal of the Tribe’s Funding Agreement which covers funding for many programs areas such Social Services, FCSS, Children’s Services, Public Works, Education and Administration. The discussion table was also utilized to resolve long outstanding issues with regard to land management such as the permits and to address any obstacles encountered in land claims and other negotiations. It also provided the Tribe an opportunity to further develop our Treaty Position so we can clearly articulate a response to present day challenges.
The tables that exist are specific to whatever topics or initiatives a First Nation wishes to discuss or pursue. When we entered into discussions we were very clear that we wanted to address 3 areas: renewal of our funding agreement, outstanding issues in land management and our treaty position.
The Blood Tribe has a long standing treaty position that was passed down to us from our ancestors, our past leaders and our elders that is based on the protection of our treaty and aboriginal rights and our land. We have a strong treaty position that we have never deviated from and we will continue to use it as our foundation and guideline for all projects, initiatives and future development in governance and all aspects of community.
We have always used our treaty position as a guide in responding to any federal initiatives or policies that may have a bearing on our treaty and aboriginal rights and our land. In land management we have never agreed to utilize the First Nation Land Management Act (FNLMA) because it is not a good fit for us, it does not fall in line with our principles and our position. We also rejected First Nation Oil and Gas and Money Management Act (FNOGMMA) for the same reasons.
In whatever we do we take measures to ensure that our rights and our lands are not adversely affected. Item 8 of the July 5, 2018 MOU is a non-derogation clause which states that: “Nothing in this MOU shall be construed so as to prejudice, abrogate or derogate from the Aboriginal or Treaty rights of the Blood Tribe or Blood Tribe members or any obligation of the Crown to the Blood Tribe or Blood Tribe members pursuant to treaties, statutes or the Constitution, including any rights protected by section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982.”
Blood Tribe Chief and Council