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Showing respect for Indigenous priorities can pay dividends – Net Newsledger

When corporations wait until government directs them to consult with Indigenous Nations, that relationship is then driven by federal and provincial laws and the lawyers they hire. And, as Chief Sophie Pierre says, “Corporations have to stop being dependent on lawyers.”

Lawyers see everything from the perspective of Canada’s civil law system, which is rooted in British common law traditions. Such laws are not based on Indigenous values, perspectives, and rights and title.

When the law is the foundation of the relationship, there’s little consideration of anything else.

Indigenous people worldwide are connected to the land. Everything that involves Indigenous cultural activities – governance, culture, values, beliefs and decision-making – relates to Mother Earth.

In Secwepemc traditions, tree is Mother. She is a life-giver and consequently is integral to Secwepemc spirituality. Coastal First Nations see water as land and the salmon as their ancestors.

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