Moe’s Whitepaper

This week, Moe gave a press conference with the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), where he released a report on the cost of the federal government of Canada to Saskatchewan, and the history of the Saskatchewan-Canada relationship.

One problem:

They completely neglected to so much as mention First Nations as part of this relationship. It effectively whitewashes away their rights to the land and any benefits from its exploitation. According to APTN, the FSIN makes the point that there was little to no consultation in making this report with any First Nations or Métis group (despite Moe government claims to the contrary), and that the report “assumes that the province has the jurisdiction to make unilateral decisions about land that has at no point been surrendered by the Indigenous Nations of these territories”. This kind of brash, settler-centric report would never have been written if they had engaged with groups like the FSIN in the first place.

MLA Betty Nippi-Albright has a “Duty to Consult” private members bill that she has, in vain, tried to get passed with the support from the Moe government that would help with these kinds of matters but with the Moe/Sask Party in power will probably never get passed. This bill would require the government of Saskatchewan to actually engage with First Nations and take the first steps towards including them in questions that concern use of their land.

It is also telling that this report, announced during a long weekend did directly involve the CAPP ( @OilGasCanada on twitter ) Who is the CAPP? Briar Patch magazine has an interesting article about them this week: they are a group including Suncor and Cenovus explicitly concerned with manipulating the public into being pro-oil :

What the [CAPP] sought to create was a ‘subsidized public,’ that would facilitate and incentivize public shows of support for the industry.” – Briar Patch

This report is clearly a Saskatchewan taxpayer subsidized means towards this end. The whitepaper does so at the cost of straining our relationship with the First Nations, Métis and Indigenous people whose limited consent through Treaty 2, 4, 5, 6, 8 and 10 is what gives Saskatchewan access to the natural resources, including but not limited to oilsands in the first place.

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