The BRFN explains that if the government followed the consultation process set out in the EBA and resource management agreements, then Blueberry would consider them to have satisfied their constitutional consultation and accomodation obligations, an in exchange receive economic benefits. However, Chief Joe Apsassin says those agreements have been taken advantage of, and feels the province has "completely disregarded" the First Nation's requests for a cumulative impact assessment of existing and proposed developments.
"The Provincial government has misconstrued the consultation provisions in such a way that it refuses to seriously consider how the development activity it is authorizing is impacting our lands," he argues. "The Province wanted the certainty, which the EBA gave them, and we got the crumbs."
The First Nation maintains it is not opposed to resource development, as long as it is done properly and with consultation. However, the First Nation says it is concerned with the "level and pace" of resource development in the oil and gas, forestry and mining sectors. Councillor Wayne Yahey says they are willing to consult with industry and government, as long as they show respect to the elders' knowledge of the land.
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