ATC Calling On Federal Government To Amend Indian Act

The Athabasca Tribal Council is calling on the federal government to make changes to the Indian Act.

They state multiple sections still allows them to operate and regulate schools for Indigenous children without their consent.

“The Indian Act Canada still has the power to run our schools without our consent which is the same way it was with residential schools,” said Peter Powder, ATC Board of Director and Chief of Mikisew Cree Nation.

“How can we be expected to move forward, to heal and to reconcile while Canada maintains this power?”

Hundreds of unmarked graves have been discovered at former residential schools over the past several couple of months. The first came in late-May when the remains of 215 Indigenous children were found buried at former Kamloops site.

To ensure similar injustices never happen again, the ATC is calling on the federal government to amend the Indian Act by adding the phrase ‘the requirement of free, prior and informed consent.’

“As we shine a light on the tragic legacy of residential schools, the ATC is calling for real change and for us an important first step is the Athabasca Tribal Council Amendment,” added Karla Buffalo, ATC CEO.

Meanwhile, the ATC is also creating the ‘Orange Path‘ which they state is a national effort to raise awareness and support for reconciliation across Canada.

As a first step, they’re hoping to get the Indian Act changed with help from Canadians through a petition.

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