Alberta News in Brief July 15

Friday, July 15th, 2016 7:15pm

Alberta Chiefs caution against abolishing Indian Act without full examination

July 15, 2016. At the Assembly of First Nations annual general assembly on Thursday, the Chiefs of Alberta voiced their interest in the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs’ resolution to move beyond the Indian Act, but cautioned against its wording. “When an act such as the Indian Act is abolished it creates a legal vacuum that would radically impact the existing legal protection currently in the … act. Every assurance must be in place to protect First Nations citizens, lands and territories now and for the future,” said Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation Chief Tony Alexis. Discussion must go beyond the Indian Act and include other issues such as child welfare, education, health care, resource rights, which are tied to Treaty, said the Chiefs. An Alberta Assembly of Treaty Chiefs resolution, passed May 25, called for the establishment of a review committee to look at the impacts of abolishing the Indian Act including, but not limited to, reserved lands, lands to be protected for the future generation, and tax implications. The Alberta Chiefs also urged the federal government to fully engage Treaty 6, 7 and 8 before proceeding with any actions that impact the First Nations.



New directive sets out tailing ponds to be reclaimed

July 15, 2016. New directives set by a technical advisory committee established by the Alberta Energy Regulator will see oilsands tailings ponds reclaimed within 10 years of the end of a mine’s life. The new rules also include performance reporting. The technical advisory committee was made up of representatives from industry, environmental nongovernmental organizations, First Nations, Métis, municipalities, and the AER. The new directive represents an outcomes- and risk-based approach that holds operators accountable for managing their fluid tailings. A second phase of the directive, which will be developed once applications are submitted by industry, will ensure strict surveillance and compliance requirements.