October 04, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Since the 2013 LPC leadership race, the federal election of 2015, and the subsequent win of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the Liberal Party of Canada and members of the Indigenous Peoples’ Commission (IPC) have long been committed to a new and renewed relationship with Indigenous nations that Canada shares these lands with.
At the AFN Special Chief’s Assembly in Gatineau, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the following:
“It is time for a renewed, nation-to-nation relationship with First Nations peoples: One that understands that the constitutionally guaranteed rights of First Nations in Canada are not an inconvenience, but rather a sacred obligation; one that is based on the recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership; one that is guided by the spirit and intent of the original treaty relationship; one that respects inherent rights, treaties and jurisdictions; and one that respects the decisions of our courts.” (The Star, December 8, 2015)
Additionally, in a statement by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, on behalf of the Government of Canada, accepted the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
“[W]e will, in partnership with Indigenous communities, the provinces, territories, and other vital partners, fully implement the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, starting with the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.” (December 15, 2015)
Furthermore, at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York (March 10, 2016), Indigenous and Northern Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett, on behalf of Canada, adopted the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) “without qualification.” Minister Bennett went on to state:
“Through Section 35 of its Constitution, Canada has a robust framework for the protection of Indigenous rights,” she said. “By adopting and implementing the declaration, we are excited that we are breathing life into Section 35 and recognizing it as a full box of rights for Indigenous Peoples in Canada.” (CBC, May 10 2016)
The IPC strongly believes that by abiding the TRC Calls to Act and the full endorsement of UNDRIP, Canada is looking to chart a path of reconciliation with Indigenous nations by not only formulating a better consultative process and recognition of Indigenous lands and rights, but also decolonization – all which strengthen our commitments to a better future and partnership in these territories we share.
It is in the spirit of these words and a longstanding ethic of the IPC of the Liberal Party of Canada that we live and stand by the need for decolonization and a renewed/equal nation-to-nation relationship between Canada and Indigenous nations. This includes the need to fully and properly consult, include, and obtain approval from each Indigenous community impacted by the potential development of resources within their territories. The IPC will not only continue to push for this as an organizational body made of Indigenous peoples of many different nations but also continue to work with, and support, the Liberal government in their plans to bring forth such change while maintaining other commitments made to First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples.
For more information: Indigenous Peoples’ Commission: email@example.com