APTN National News
Assembly of First Nations national Chief Shawn Atleo says the energy and mining industries represent the “new fur trade” for First Nations communities, according to a report in New Brunswick’s Telegraph-Journal.
“There are about 120 different First Nations agreements with the mining sector, there’s an explosion in the area of the green economy by First Nations with different forms of alternative energy. But First Nations are also involved in traditional, non-renewable resources as well in energy and mining,” said Atleo, according to the newspaper.
Atleo was speaking in Fredericton as part of the “Big Thinking” speeches to the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
The congress is co-hosted by the University of New Brunswick and St. Thomas University.
Atleo said there was over $300 billion worth of natural resource projects on Indigenous territories, according to the newspaper.
“We will have a say,” said Atleo. “We have to get organized about what that looks like. There is a real opportunity to help shape a vision for the future of energy and mining in this country and at the same time, create jobs in our communities.”
Atleo’s speech comes in the lead up to the AFN’s Indigenous Summit on Energy and Mining in Niagara Falls, Ont., from June 27 to 29.
The summit is being held in conjunction with the National Congress of American Indians from the United States and the British Columbia First Nations Energy and Mining Council.
The summit will have workshops on clean energy projects, carbon credits and the impact of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
A summit brochure says that there will be presentations from South American Indigenous representatives along with Chinese and German trade officials.