During the public hearing and proponent questioning, I observed a number of our public and elected leaders suggest First Nations consultation is not their responsibility because there is no legislation which compels them to take on this responsibility. I find this extremely disheartening and ineffective at engendering reconciliation in our shared community.
Reconciliation refers to the relationship between Canada and First Nations. Because Canada is not simply it's laws, but a culture made of everyone in Canada, including the provinces, municipalities, citizens, non-citizens, settlers, immigrants and even tourists. It is the responsibility of all of us to engage in reconciliation, regardless of whether or not there is a specific law that tells you, in your specific role, to do it.
Expecting an entire community of people with their own responsibilities, issues, and cultural practices to respond to your issues at the beck and call of an email, on a colonial imposed timeline, seems to me to be an ineffective means of consultation and does not display a genuine desire to engage in reconciliation.
When presenting options to council March 23, our CAO noted the option suggested by both John and Bill Snow for the Town to establish an Memorandum of Understanding with the Îyarhe/Îyethka Stoney Nakoda would take time. While the area structure plans were circulated to the Stoney Nakoda First Nation and it received no comments, Jackson Wesley, Roland Rollinmud, and John and Bill Snow suggest consultation should take place as early as possible. De Soto said the applicant could engage First Nations on future stages of the development, if approved by council.
I believe turning down the current ASPs, and requesting a new ASP with a priority placed on First Nations consultation as the first step, would be more effective.
chuwap chîmchiyân kude bi (Canmore)