5 months, 2 weeks ago
Mikisew Cree is preparing for litigation regarding the Public Land Administration Regulation (PLAR), and we are now in the evidence gathering stage. Some surveys have already been completed, and now legal is going to get further information by conducting a series of interviews with people making use of public crown land (outside Wood Buffalo National Park). The main participants thus far have been in the Fort McMurray area, and we are currently trying to find out other people in Fort Chipewyan who may also qualify to participate.
PLAR includes a number of restrictions on land use, all of which impair First Nations people from executing their Treaty Rights:
- Individuals are now required to obtain an access permit from Sustainable Resource Development (SRD) to go out on the land for more than 14 consecutive days for the purposes of hunting, fishing, gathering and camping, even when these activities are protected as Treaty or Aboriginal rights—the permit has to be renewed every 14 days
- Permits are also required for “events”, which is defined in such a way to include cultural, spiritual or harvesting activities that are done collectively
- Wheeled or tracked conveyances, such as ATVs, are not permitted on the shores of any waterways, even if they are being used in order to facilitate the exercise of Treaty or Aboriginal rights
- SRD is now able to set “disturbance standards” on lands, which could further restrict the exercise of Treaty or Aboriginal rights
- Authorizations are required for the construction or occupation of cabins
- A number of restrictions apply in public land use zones and public land recreation areas, including in relation to firearms, fires, vehicle use, camping, dressing game and removal of firewood
- Some areas of Crown land will be closed entirely under PLAR. The Crown says those closers will apply to First Nation land users exercising Treaty rights, just as the closures apply to all Albertans.
There is no honoraria available for volunteers, but travel expenses will be covered by Mikisew Cree Government and Industry Relations. To get on board with Mikisew Cree's litigation against PLAR, please contact Jocelyn Marten at (780) 697-3747 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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