BC Green Party

A promise made…

In the May 2017 election, only two of the main parties committed to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. BC Liberals were uncomfortable with clauses related to informed consent that would interfere with business of their corporate donors.

10 – Indigenous peoples shall not be forcibly removed from their lands or territories. No relocation shall take place without the free, prior and informed consent of the indigenous peoples concerned and after agreement on just and fair compensation and, where possible, with the option of return.

19 – States shall consult and cooperate in good faith with the indigenous peoples concerned through their own representative institutions in order to obtain their free, prior and informed consent before adopting and implementing legislative or administrative measures that may affect them.

32.2 – States shall consult and cooperate in good faith with the indigenous peoples concerned through their own representative institutions in order to obtain their free and informed consent prior to the approval of any project affecting their lands or territories and other resources, particularly in connection with the development, utilization or exploitation of mineral, water or other resources.

John Horgan’s NDP Government and Andrew Weaver’s Green Party committed to a different approach. This was affirmed in today’s Throne Speech and we are left to hope the promises are not hollow, as were similar ones by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The work begins by setting a strong foundation, starting with a government-to-government partnership with indigenous peoples. Working with First Nations and all indigenous communities, your government will embrace the United Nations declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples and address all of the calls to action issued by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission into residential schools. These are important commitments, which your government takes very seriously.

We cannot continue to push these actions further down the road to a day that never comes. Together with First Nations and all indigenous peoples, your government will seek to bring these principles to life. We must build a true partnership based on rights, respect and reconciliation. We can only move forward together.

Melanie-Mark-1 480

The entire United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is linked here.

2 replies »

  1. Although I’m proud and happy Premier Horgan has committed our government to moving ahead on Aboriginal issues, his statement that we can’t continue to keep kicking the can further down the road needs a bit of qualification: action is no longer optional for anyone since it has, in fact, already already begun with the first wave of fish-farm occupations by FNs on unceded territories.

    Unlike the seminal Idle-No-More movement, these occupations are backed by the William (Tsilhqot’in) SCoC decision, meaningful consultation with First Nations that are still without treaties is now unavoidable, and, if improperly issued fish farm licenses are not found to conflict with Aboriginal Title—that is, in the longterm—then negotiation about the disposition of resources in any FN-claimed territory will have to take place regarding royalties to accrue to each of the shared sovereignties, the Crown (the province has exclusive jurisdiction over resources) and FN, interim to treaty settlement.

    There is now no way back for any government, so it’s heartening to see the Premier ready to co-operate with this newly confirmed negotiation process, which should not be confused with negotiating final settlement of treaties. That too, of course, will require some positive commitment by both Canadian and BC governments.

    Like

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