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Former top public servant calls on western premiers to settle outstanding Indigenous land claims – CBC

After more than 30 years working on Indigenous issues, former clerk offers lessons learned for next government

Dec 01, 2019

Canada’s former top federal public servant says uncertainty over Indigenous land title in the West is holding back the regional economy — and is calling on three regional premiers to commit to settling the issue within five years.

Michael Wernick, who retired in April as clerk of the Privy Council amid the SNC-Lavalin affair, recently delivered the frank advice during a Nov. 27 speech to the the progressive think tank Canada 2020 during a forum on Indigenous economic development, which he expanded on in an interview last week with CBC News.

“To premiers [Jason] Kenney, [Scott] Moe, [Brian] Pallister, uncertainty about Aboriginal title [is] pulling back economic growth in your provinces,” Wernick said.

“Let’s clarify who owns what across the West. Let’s expand the Indigenous land base to its rightful dimensions.”

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