Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council

Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council

May 19, 2005 22:45 ET

CANADA CLAIMS THAT NUU-CHAH-NULTH FIRST NATIONS DO NOT EXIST

Attention: Assignment Editor, Business/Financial Editor, Environment Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor PORT ALBERNI--(CCNMatthews - May 19, 2005) - One year and four months after ten Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations initiated a court case to confirm their Aboriginal Title and Rights to their fisheries resources, Canada has finally responded denying every aspect of the Nuu-chah-nulth case.

Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council Co-Chairs Shawn Atleo and Archie Little were insulted and offended by Canada's Statement of Defence.

"Canada denies Nuu-chah-nulth aboriginal title, rights, governance, societies, inter-relationships, economies; according to Canada nothing existed until the European explorers arrived", said Atleo. "About the only thing Canada is willing to admit is that our First Nations are Indian Bands created by Canada under the Indian Act."

"Canada's defence is an insult to all First Nations", said Little. "Why has Canada been negotiating treaties with Nuu-chah-nulth for the last 10 years if they claim we have no rights? Canada's lawyers are demanding that Nuu-chah-nulth prove that we lived and fished in our territories. Canada would rather drag out a long court fight than deal honourably by settling Nuuchahnulth Title and Rights."

"Canada's defence flies in the face of Prime Minister Martin's commitment to improve the lives of aboriginal people", continued Atleo. "If Canada is serious about this commitment they would be negotiating in good faith, not forcing Nuu-chah-nulth to go to court to confirm our right to make a living from our sea resources."

Please contact satleo@nuuchahnulth.org for the following background material:
Nuu-chah-nulth Statement of Claim (December 16, 2003)
Canada's Statement of Defence (April 26, 2005)
May 4, 2005 memorandum re: Canada's Statement of Defence /For further information: Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council Northern Region Co-Chairman
Archie Little 250-720-7955 / IN: ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT, FINANCE, JUSTICE, POLITICS

Contact Information

  • Shawn Atleo, Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council Central Region Co-Chairman, Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council
    Primary Phone: 250-720-9003
    Secondary Phone: 250-724-5757