The 30-day cooling period is over according to Indian Affairs Minister Robert Nault and the consultations on the proposed native governance legislation will go ahead. This will happen without the consent or participation from First Nations leadership if they can’t come up with some sort of plan the Fed’s are willing to agree to. Nault rejected further delays but said that he is hopeful that the AFN will come up with a work plan. Nault resumed his consultations on September 1. Native leaders had threatened to blockade highways if Nault did not abandon his idea of consulting with individual First Nations Peoples. The AFN has said they believe the government is manipulating the results by going around the chiefs.

Nault dismissed the threat of blockades saying he didn’t feel people would go to those “extremes.”

Tensions though are rising already in Indian country. Burnt Church is once again the focus of the continuing lobster wars. In B.C. two First nations bands have managed to upset the provincial government by claiming the land on which legislature stands. Barriere Lake Algonquins have seen the closing down of all forestry operations in Northern Quebec.

Phil Fountaine the former National Grand Chief feels that First nations are looking to local economies and wants a more conciliatory approach. Dwight Dory of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples feels the same way and said the AFN strategy could backfire.

The Quebec Native Women’s Association has withdrawn from the consultation process saying they were refused by the federal government when they asked to do their own consultation process. The QNWA said that their process was more appropriate than the Fed’s plan was according to Suzy Basile, Vice-President of the Association.

Nault also was upset that National Grand Chief Matthew Coon Come is going to the World Racism Conference on “taxpayers” money. Coon Come will be meeting with Nault when he returns from South Africa.