One of the leaders in attendance, Doig River First Nation Chief Trevor Makadahay, praised Poilievre for increasing collaboration in their joint endeavor to "make Canada great again."
"What's important to us is to keep to our traditions," Makadahay began."From the beginning of time we've always done the same thing as our forefathers, and I'm sure our future generations will be doing the same thing."
"I've always thought that we need a place at the decision-making table," he continued," and Mr. Poilievre, I commend you on having the foresight and seein' that for us to go together and make Canada great again, we need to do it in partnership and government-to-government."
Makadahay went on to explain that First Nations' economic opportunities are all too often limited by the "ineffective, inefficient and very expensive" regulatory process developed by Ottawa.
"When I first heard of the First Nations Resource Charge, I thought yes, this will cut administrative costs and save time. We want to focus on building positive relations with industry, creating certainty for all, preserving our lands and treaty rights through sustainable resource development, not adversarial and paternalistic negotiations."
Poilievre billed the opt-in policy as a "First Nations-led solution to a made-in-Ottawa problem," noting that it would lead to "more earnings for grassroots First Nations communities, not Ottawa gatekeepers."
"For hundreds of years, First Nations have suffered under a broken colonial system that takes power away from their communities and places it in the hands of politicans in Ottawa," he lamented. "The First Nations Resource Charge cedes federal tax room so communities will no longer need to send all their revenues to Ottawa and then ask for it back."
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