First Nations rallying against federal Bill C-45
Some First Nations people on P.E.I. are rallying in front of Province House Friday afternoon to protest a federal omnibus bill, calling the bill a direct attack on aboriginal rights.
They say Bill C-45 proposes significant changes to the Indian Act, including changes to land management on reserves that make it easier for the federal government to control reserve land.
The bill is one of two Conservative omnibus bills forced through the House of Commons this year, altering hundreds of separate pieces of legislation.
"We are very concerned. Changes are being made to legislation affecting matters such as reserve lands, waterways, the environment, the fishery and the Indian Act. They are matters that go to the heart of aboriginal and treaty rights," said Don MacKenzie, director of Intergovernmental Affairs with the Mi'kmaq Confederacy of P.E.I.
"They basically tie in with land and resource use as well as the Indian Act. And the government is pushing these through. They are effectively ramming it through parliament very quickly, without proper debate and discussion and without hearing the voice of the First Nations."
Rallies are being held across the country opposing the legislation.