UBCIC Opposes Conservative's Bill C-8 Matrimonial Real Property

For Immediate Release
May 19, 2009
The Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) joins with the Native Women's Association of Canada, Assembly of First Nations, Assembly of First Nations Women's Council and Nishnawbe Aski Nation in the collective expression of deep serious concern regarding the Conservative's Bill C-8, An Act Respecting Family Homes Situated on First Nation Reserves and Matrimonial Interests or Rights in or to Structures and Lands Situated on those Reserves.

The UBCIC supports the collective position that Bill C-8 will not solve the issues associated with Matrimonial Real Property (MRP) on-reserve. The failure to consult and accommodate First Nations' interests by the Conservative government has fundamentally flawed Bill C-8 and as a result should not move forward to Committee. The Bill has not meaningfully engaged First Nations communities, and particularly First Nations women, who will be affected the greatest by this flawed Bill.

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, remarked "The Conservative government has totally ignored the work of the Native Women's Association of Canada who held meetings with women resulting in a vitally important document a 'Peoples Report' which proposed viable solutions to address MRP. In fact, it appears that the Conservative government has also completely ignored the work and recommendations of the Minister of Indian Affairs' Ministerial Representative on MRP, Wendy Grant John, who stated in her report that a unilaterally imposed federal legislation is not the answer."

"The UBCIC fully supports the position that traditional law and jurisdiction must be considered in determining an appropriate process to deal with issues such as matrimonial real property. As soverign Indigenous Peoples, we enjoy the full rights and measures of self-determination," stated Grand Chief Phillip.

"The Parliament of Canada does not have the right to interfere or infringe upon our jurisdiction to exercise our inherent rights. Therefore the Union of BC Indian Chiefs categorically reject Bill C-8 due to the complete lack of meaningful consultation with our Indigenous Governments and their citizenry."


For more information, please contact

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President, Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs
Primary Phone: 250-490-5314
Secondary Phone: 604-684-0231

UBCIC is a NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.