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As Long as the Sun Shines - the spirit & intent of treaties

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Uploaded on Apr 22, 2008

AFN National Chief Phil Fontaine on treaties between First Nations and the Crown or Canadian government.

"By that very fact - treaty-making - it is clear that the Crown viewed our people as part of nations for only nations enter into treaties."

"First Nations should not be penalized for operating in good faith."

"They are not simply contracts to us, they are not merely a real estate transaction. They are sacred agreements that were intended to guide our relationship for as long as the sun shines and the rivers flow."

"Our elders negotiated the treaties to ensure that future generations, indeed seven generations and more, would be respected and protected. This is what we mean when we speak of honouring the spirit and intent of the treaties."

"Our treaties were not negotiated and designed to have one party impoverish the other party to the agreement. Sadly and unfortunately that has been our history with respect to our treaties."

(From opening remarks to "As Long As the Sun Shines," AFN-Canada Treaty Implementation Conference, Saskatoon, March 26, 2008 http://www.ainc-inac.gc.ca/pr/trts/af... )

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