TIMMINS - (Editor’s note: The following is an open letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper.)

Re: The Financial Investment Protection Act. “First Nation lands and treaty territories cannot be sold out to foreign investors.”

As chief of Serpent River First Nation and an Anishinabek regional grand chief of the Lake Huron Region, I am taking this opportunity to make a set of clear statements and an advisement regarding your government's Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement.

As stated clearly by many First Nation leaders and I must flatly concur: Canada is breaching its fiduciary obligation to consult in accordance to Canada’s laws.

This is a constitutional imperative.

Aboriginal and treaty rights are the foundation of Canada’s relationship to Indigenous Peoples in this country — rejecting to meaningfully consult and engage them is an assault on the fabric of this country’s supreme law.

The international community, as you know and you have formally recognized, has adopted the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People.

There are a clear set of articles in the declaration that are intended to prevent the type of unilateral action that your government is taking on a number of major policy matters and legislations.

In this case trade policy with other nations, the act is not acceptable and conducive to the treaty relationship that this country has with First Nations.

Trade and investment treaties with other countries are a very critical and complex endeavours affecting access to lands and resources.

China or any other country cannot and should not legally be granted delegated access to treaty lands that are still under current arrangements with First Nation treaties in this country.

Prime Minister, the act not only targets the Alberta tar sands development, but major resource development in other provinces becomes subject to the protections that China has to access our territories and push development.

First Nations in this country have treaties that are diverse and distinct.

A blanket investment law giving access to outside foreign investment is flat out negligent.

It appears that the Conservative government is disregarding the principles by which it has stated it stands upon.

One of those clearly contradicts your unilateral action — human rights.

Further, it should be a clear reminder that earlier on this year, the Crown First Nation Gathering, Davos Switzerland, and your visit to China your were talking about concurrent economic themes and concepts that should have consistently included First Nation lands and treaty relationships.

Prime Minister, it would be injudicious for this government to proceed any further with the act.

The Serpent River First Nation's lodge.

In a recent War of 1812 commemoration event, First Nation leaders were invited into Rideau Hall as guests to accept medals and banners — as “allies,” Canada said.

We also talked about the “Covenant Chain” that is an integral foundation in the critical legal institution that we call, the “Honour of the Crown.”

We further spoke at this event and re-iterated that we must “polish the covenant chain” as it was agreed upon by the Crown and First Nations at the time of the Wampum Treaties.

Prime Minister, with all due caution and respect, you are again refusing to uphold Canada’s legal duty to consult First Nations.

Incursion on First Nation treaty lands and territories trade treaties with other countries will not be acceptable the Crown’s treaty partners in this country and should sharply be contested from the grassroots level to the international arena.

As a First Nation member and signatory Chief of the Robinson Huron Treaty of 1850, I must firmly oppose the act.

Further, I unequivocally request you cease advancement of this agreement, as it not only jeopardizes Canada and the provinces — as I have stated —it clearly contravenes existing treaty relationships with the First People in this country.


Chief Isadore Day, Wiindawtegowinini,

Serpent River First Nation

Chief Isodore Day of Serpent River First Nation

Responses to "First Nation chief opposes sale to foreign investors "

  1. jim says:

    Is it possible, and desirable, to seek an injunction against the Crown in this matter..? oppose and to stop the sell of tribal lands..? Ref:

  2. Unknown says:

    Go get chief! I wish you the very best of luck in this endeavor.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Who is making the money on this deal? That should be made public.

  4. Anonymous says:

    You have been heard around the world. We support you and wish you the very best.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Our so called Prime Minister has no respect for treaties or for anyone else in this country. Soon it will be mandatory to speal chinese in this country if one wants to work in industry.

  6. Anonymous says:

    We have to be careful to not slander others as we have been slandered. We must however, speak our minds when it comes to doing the right thing.
    Before any deal is made with anyone in regard to selling/signing over natural resources, etc, those elected officials must speak to all concerned parties.
    They must get agreement before proceeding with a deal that has far reaching consequence. A consequence that will in all likelihood affect the rights and well being of generations of Canadians, both native and non native.

  7. Anonymous says:

    i will be straight to the point. prime minister harper is becoming a dictator. he ran on the grounds he was going to have a open and transparent government and was going to listen to the voice of the canadian people. he has done neither. all canadians must band together and do what ever is necessary to stop him selling any more of our resources and land to the chinese. bot native and non native canadians must unite and share one voice demanding a immediate stop to the illegal activities the harper government is inflicting upon its people even if it comes to civil disobedience.

  8. Anonymous says:

    One voice proclaiming the Truth. Protecting Land from being stolen from another...Regardless of nation or resource. All treaties are sacred things to watch carefully. Against others who would like to hide behind the law.

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