AFN: Governments must resolve shale gas protests

Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn Atleo, speaks to the media at the National Press...

Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn Atleo, speaks to the media at the National Press Theatre in Ottawa Jan. 10, 2013. (Andre Forget/QMI Agency)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:00 AM ET

The Assembly of First Nations says the federal, New Brunswick and First Nation governments must resolve the issues surrounding the shale gas protests in New Brunswick.

A protest against shale gas and hydraulic fracking has been underway near Elsipogtog First Nation in New Brunswick since early June. The community says fracking threatens groundwater supplies and native treaty rights. Protesters set up a barricade on Route 134 on Monday but a judge ordered its removal on Thursday.

"This is about governments respecting and recognizing First Nations rights and that we have a right to free, prior and informed consent on any proposed development that could affect our lands, our waters or our people," AFN National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo said in a statement. "All parties must commit to a sustained process of engagement to set sustainable plans for responsible economic development that are acceptable to all. This is the approach we want to see going forward in all parts of the country."

AFN New Brunswick-Prince Edward Island Regional Chief Roger Augustine said Monday marks the 250th anniversary of the Royal Proclamation of 1763 that "recognized our rights to our lands.

"Now is the time to begin resolving this long, unfinished business so we can all move forward."

SWN Resources Canada says it is committed to its shale exploration program in the province and will continue to address concerns and questions from residents.


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