The Assembly of First Nations is planning a “proactive resistance” to bills C-7 (The First Nations Governance Bill), C-6 (Specific Claims Bill), and C-19 (The First Nations Statistical Management Act).
The action plan is in two phases. The first calls for the First Nations to convince Canadians and the federal government to withdraw all three bills. Secondly, AFN wants the First Nations to encourage Ottawa to enter into an alternative dialogue on Aboriginal issues that is built on past progress and legal principles.
AFN is even reported to be planning a command centre at its Ottawa headquarters to coordinate efforts against the bills as the House of Commons begins three weeks of national public hearings on the legislation.
AFN National Chief Matthew Coon Come is scheduled to provide testimony on the Governance Bill on Jan. 28 to the House of Commons standing committee on Aboriginal affairs. Coon Come and other critics of the bill say it reduces the First Nations from sovereign nations to municipalities that do not have control over how their own governments are elected or even who is allowed to run for office.