UNITED NATIONS DECLARATION ON THE RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES
Factsheet on Canada’s commitment to endorse the Declaration
“A growing number of states have given qualified recognition to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Our Government will take steps to endorse this aspirational document in a manner fully consistent with Canada's Constitution and laws." – Speech from the Throne, 3 March 2010.
The time is now for Canada to join the overwhelming majority of states that have endorsed the UN Declaration and who are establishing a practice of implementing this Declaration as an important international legal instrument.
What is the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples?
1. The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is an international human rights instrument adopted by the UN General Assembly on 13 September 2007. It is much more than an “aspirational” instrument.
2. The UN Declaration elaborates on Indigenous peoples’ inherent rights. It does not create new rights.
3. In its preamble the UN Declaration is described as “a standard of achievement to be pursued in a spirit of partnership and respect.” Indeed, it reinforces the Treaty relationships that exist between Indigenous peoples and the Crown and which form “the basis for a strengthened partnership... [preamble].” The Declaration also states that the rights it contains “constitute the minimum standards for the survival, dignity and well-being of the indigenous peoples of the world [Article 43].”
4. In his role as UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, James Anaya has said that,
“The standards affirmed in the Declaration share an essentially remedial character, seeking to redress the systemic obstacles and discrimination that indigenous peoples have faced in their enjoyment of basic human rights.”
5. Like other international human rights declarations, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples provides an authoritative source of guidance for all institutions of society.
6. Declarations in themselves are not legally binding in the same manner as treaties, but they can have legal effect. They may reflect existing rights in treaties. They may also be declaratory of existing customary international law.
7. Courts are free to rely on declarations in interpreting human rights – as are Indigenous and non-Indigenous governments and human rights commissions. UN treaty bodies are increasingly using the UN Declaration in interpreting Indigenous human rights.
8. Unlike conventions, declarations do not need to be signed or ratified. They are considered universally applicable from the time of their adoption.
9. In a May 2008 open letter, 100 Canadian legal scholars and other experts on matters of law and Indigenous rights, stated that not only is the UN Declaration “consistent with the Canadian Constitution and Charter,” it is also “profoundly important for fulfilling their promise.”
Canada and the UN Declaration
10. Canadian government representatives played an important, supportive role in the final years of the negotiation of the UN Declaration. According to documents obtained through an access to information request, senior bureaucrats who reviewed the Declaration recommended that the government support its adoption by the United Nations.
11. In June 2006, Canada and Russia were the only states to vote against the Declaration when it was adopted by the UN Human Rights Council. Lobbying by Canada and its few allies contributed to a delay in consideration of the Declaration by the UN General Assembly. In September 2007, Canada, the US, Australia and New Zealand were the only states to vote against the Declaration at the General Assembly.
12. Australia and New Zealand have since formally endorsed the Declaration, while the US is holding consultations with Indigenous peoples concerning possible endorsement.
13. The Canadian government has offered a number of rationales for its opposition to the Declaration. All these rationales, like the claim that the Declaration contradicts Canada’s Constitution, rely on inaccurate and unsubstantiated interpretations of the Declaration’s provisions. Declarations are intended to be interpreted in the context of the extensive body of human rights protections under international law. Furthermore, the Declaration contains extensive, explicit balancing provisions: more than any other international human rights instrument. Canadian officials helped draft many of these provisions.
Endorsement and Implementation
14. Canadian government opposition to the Declaration does not affect its legal status in Canada. Whether or not the government endorses the Declaration, and regardless of the language it uses to do so, Canadian institutions can and should use the Declaration as a key tool in interpreting and upholding the rights of Indigenous peoples.
15. While Indigenous peoples and human rights groups have urged Canada to endorse the Declaration, these groups have also firmly rejected the notion of a qualified or conditional endorsement as implied by the Speech from the Throne and subsequent government statements.
16. International human rights standards are vital tools in promotion of rights that states have failed to uphold. They are intended to help guide the reform of laws and policies. There is an inherent contradiction in the notion of supporting an international human rights instrument only to the extent that it is consistent with current national laws and policies.
Canada’s Contradictory Conduct
17. While promising to take steps toward endorsement of the UN Declaration, the Canadian government has continued its attempts to obstruct use of this human rights instrument or weaken its standards both in Canada and internationally.
18. In May 2010, government lawyers tried to persuade the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal that it should not use the Declaration as a source of interpretation of Indigenous rights in a case concerning the discriminatory underfunding of First Nations children’s services.
19. In September, Canadian representatives at the UN Human Rights Council attempted to obstruct passage of resolutions to renew the mandates of two important UN mechanisms for Indigenous rights. Canada sought changes in the texts to reflect Canada’s unsupportable position that the collective rights of Indigenous peoples, such as the rights affirmed in the UN Declaration, are not actually human rights.
20. Our organizations have called on Canada to endorse the UN Declaration without qualifications or restrictions and to commit to working with Indigenous peoples to ensure its full implementation. Nothing less is required to demonstrate leadership and commitment to human rights and equality for all peoples and individuals
This factsheet was endorsed by Amnesty International Canada, Canadian Friends Service Committee (Quakers), Chiefs of Ontario, First Nations Summit, Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee), Inuit Circumpolar Council (Canada), International Organization of Indigenous Resource Development, Indigenous World Association, Innu Council of Nitassinan, KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives, Native Women's Association of Canada, Quebec Native Women / Femmes autochtones du Québec, Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs, Ermineskin Cree Nation, Louis Bull Cree Nation, Montana Cree Nation, Samson Cree Nation
NOTICE OF POSITION: NEW RELATIONSHIP TRUST BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Applications are being sought from persons interested in participating as a Board member for the New Relationship Trust. The First Nations Leadership Council will be appointing two Board members for a two-year term commencing December 1, 2010.
The New Relationship Trust has a seven-member Board of Directors appointed as follows: one individual each appointed by the First Nations Summit, the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs and the British Columbia Assembly of First Nations, two individuals appointed by the First Nations Leadership Council, and two individuals appointed by the Province of British Columbia.
The New Relationship Trust Act reports on operations of the Trust through the publication of 3-year strategic plans, annual reports and annual audited financial statements, along with the obligation to conduct and publish a review every five years. The New Relationship Trust is independent of government and operates as a not-for-profit corporation.
Normally, the Board will meet six to eight times a year. The timing of the meetings is established by the Board, based on their availability. Regular Board meetings take place at Vancouver, BC.
Required Skills and Qualifications
• Operational or technical expertise relevant to the operation of a Trust fund, including: strategic management and organizational change; operations; internal control and accounting; technology and communications; and human resource management, risk management;
• Financial and/or legal expertise
• Knowledge of government;
• Knowledge of First Nations issues and communities in BC;
• Knowledge of accessing/attracting funds – specifically fundraising; and
• Knowledge and understanding of roles and responsibilities of a member of a governing Board.
• High ethical standards and integrity in professional and personal dealings;
• Appreciation of accountability to the public;
• Ability and willingness to raise/deal with potentially controversial issues in a manner that encourages/maintains dialogue;
• Flexibility, responsiveness and willingness to consider others’ opinions;
• Capable of wide perspective on issues;
• Ability to listen and work as a team member;
• No direct or indirect conflict of interest with a member’s responsibility to the organization; and
• Strong reasoning skills.
Applicants must meet the following eligibility requirements:
• Be of BC First Nations ancestry and currently reside in British Columbia;
• Have experience in Aboriginal business, employment and training and/or community economic development; and
• Be willing and prepared to attend 5 regular meetings annually and be willing to participate in sub-committees of the New Relationship Trust Board.
The deadline for interested applicants to submit a resume and cover letter stating their qualifications is 4:00 PM on Thursday, November 18, 2010.
Please submit to:
Union of BC Indian Chiefs
5th Floor- 342 Water Street
ALL-CHIEFS’ TASK FORCE
The three Working Groups of the All-Chiefs’ Task Force are currently in the process of developing a Transition Framework/Plan in preparation for dissolution of the All-Chiefs’ Task Force at the upcoming All-Chiefs’ Assembly on November 30 and December 1, 2010. The Framework/Plan will be presented at the Assembly for approval by the Chiefs. Work will be transitioned to the Leadership Council and the three political organizations to work collectively, and the Chiefs that are members of those organizations will continue to work and maintain unity on issues that affect us all.
The Operational-Technical Working Group has coordinated the draft Leadership Council mandate statement and draft Leadership Council Terms of Reference, which are currently in circulation among all First Nations for review and comments by October 30, 2010. Feedback will be incorporated into a final draft Terms of Reference, which will be presented at the upcoming All-Chiefs’ Assembly. Please direct any questions and feedback to: Andrea Glickman (firstname.lastname@example.org), Tel: 604-684-0231.
The Operational-Technical Group is also preparing a draft Accountability Framework that will set out responsibilities of the First Nations Councils, Working Groups and Committees in relation to First Nations and the Leadership Council. A draft Process Document for All-Chiefs’ Assemblies is also being prepared, and both documents will be circulated among First Nations for review and comments, and presented for approval at the upcoming All-Chiefs’ Assembly.
The Coordinated-Action Working Group was struck to raise public awareness of First Nations issues at regional, national, and international levels. They are developing a transition plan for the Leadership Council that builds on Phase One of its workplan, and will focus on Title and Rights, and Social Justice issues. The Coordinated Action Working Group will identify key messages, tactics and suggested timelines for the Leadership Council to continue this work.
The Political-Legal Working Group was struck to develop recommendations to achieve: a) effective implementation of section 35 constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and treaty rights, court decisions, and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; b) revision of the comprehensive claims policy; and c) implementation of the duty of the Crown to negotiate in good faith and uphold its fiduciary duty.The Political-Legal Working Group is wrapping up phase two of its workplan and is developing a Framework/Plan with priorities for action on key political and legal issues for Leadership Council to act upon including: political and advocacy efforts; research requirements; collaboration and linkages with other organizations; and, potential resourcing required.
ABORIGINAL TOURISM BC
The BC Tourism Industry Conference (TIC) was held October 21st and 22nd, 2010 in Vancouver. AtBC Chairperson Sophie Pierre was invited to open the conference entitled “Tourism, the Next Generation”. She reiterated that the time for the tourism sector to work together as an industry has never been more important and that our industry needs to harness the afterglow of the 2010 Olympics. The presentation received an enthusiastic reception from an audience of over 400 delegates and helped set the stage for what was an excellent conference. AtBC continued to raise awareness throughout the conference that Aboriginal cultural tourism should be the highest priority for all tourism stakeholders in BC.
AtBC sponsored an award during the Eleventh Annual British Columbia Tourism Awards Gala in the evening on Thursday, October 21st as part of the TIC. The Cultural Authenticity Award went to Xwísten Experience Tours, who provides Aboriginal cultural interpretive tours near Lillooet and is a Stakeholder with AtBC. Xwísten Experience Tours provides employment in the community and show visitors that culture is still a major part of who their community is today.
The AtBC sponsored BC Cultural Authenticity Award was awarded in memory of Andrea Sanborn who was instrumental in her work over the years at U’mista Cultural Centre in Alert Bay.
Dancer at Klahowya Village in Stanley Park.
Photo courtesy of Aboriginal Tourism BC.
AtBC also held a successful Stakeholder Forum in Richmond, BC on October 22 and 23. More than 40 Stakeholders joined staff and the AtBC Board of Directors in two successful days of discussion, professional development, and networking.
AtBC’s third Stakeholder Forum has been part of an overall sector strategy led by AtBC to ensure a consistent and unified Aboriginal cultural tourism sector that can maximize benefits for Aboriginal tourism products. AtBC continues to be seen as a leader in Canada in their efforts to provide Aboriginal led training and awareness, product development, and strategic marketing.
Finally AtBC held their Annual General Meeting on Saturday, October 23, 5 Directors were elected to a 2-year term:
• Geraldine Thomas-Flurer, Northern BC Region (re-elected)
• Sharon Bond - Thompson-Okanagan Region
• Wade Grant - Vancouver Coast & Mountains Region
• Lori Simcox - Director at Large (re-elected)
• Gloria Valencia - Director at Large
They join the existing Directors on the 12 Director Board:
• Lillian Hunt - Vancouver Island Region
• Douglas Green - Cariboo Chilcotin Region
• Sophie Pierre - Kootenay Rockies Region
• Linnea Battel - Director at Large
• George Taylor - Director at Large
• Richard Krentz - Director at Large
• Dorothy Grant - Director at Large
• Brenda Baptiste - Ex-Officio
FIRST NATIONS HEALTH COUNCIL
Health Council meets with Health Authority CEO’s
The third meeting of the Provincial Committee on First Nations Health was held October 21st, 2010 in Victoria, BC. At the meeting BC Health Authorities committed to develop a work plan for implementing the Tripartite First Nations Health Plan, to meet bi-annually to report on progress and to engage with the FNHC to develop a strategy to connect regional health authorities to the work of Regional Health Governance Caucuses. The Provincial Committee on First Nations Health is comprised of the Deputy Ministers of Provincial Health Ministries, Deputy Minister of First Nations Inuit Health, BC Region, and the CEO’s of BC’s 6 Health Authorities.
DOI with Fraser Health
On July 19, 2010, the FNHS signed the Document of Intent (DOI) with Fraser Health which seeks to outline key responsibilities for Fraser Health in implementing the TFNHP in their region. Work will now begin to develop a detailed work plan and reciprocal accountability framework with Fraser Health over the next few months. In addition, as agreed to at the Provincial Committee on First Nations Health, the FNHC will move ahead to develop DOI’s with other provincial Health Authorities.
First Nations Health Council welcomes New Relationship with Health Ministry
Document of Intent Signing with Fraser Region.
Photo courtesy of the First Nations Health Council
The First Nations Health Council welcomes the BC Government’s decision to merge the responsibility for Aboriginal Health, formerly with the Ministry of Healthy Living and Sport, with the Ministry of Health Services.
The decision, during Premier Campbell’s recent cabinet shuffle, moves health promotion, injury and disease prevention, Aboriginal health, and other responsibilities formerly held with the Ministry of Healthy Living and Sport under the umbrella of the Ministry of Health Services. The First Nations Health Council welcomes the opportunity to build on past accomplishments in First Nations health with the new Minister responsible, Hon. Kevin Falcon and Deputy Minister John Dyble.
Warner Adam, Deputy Chair of the First Nations Health Council sees a great opportunity to further strengthen the working relationships between BC First Nations and the provincial government through this reorganization. “Having First Nations health under the same roof as the service providers is good news for our organization, and for our tripartite partnership,” commented Adam “Health Authorities are the arms and legs of the health system, this reorganization sets the table for direct dialogue on the Health Plan between Health Authorities and the First Nations that they serve. ”
First Nations Health Directors Association draft Strategic Plan
The First Nations Health Directors Association Board of Directors (FNHDA) met in October to develop a strategic plan. The Strategic Plan includes 5 strategic priority areas:
• Support FN Health Directors & mandated health organizations
• Provide technical input and advocacy to transform government systems
• Provide technical input and advocacy to government policy and legislation
• Work collaboratively with other FN Health governance partners
• Operate a high functioning Association for its members
In the coming months the Health Directors Association will host a series of regional meetings to verify the strategic plan with Health Directors in their respective regions.
The First Nations Health Directors Association membership drive is in full swing, to sign up please visit: http://www.fnhc.ca/pdf/TAB_2-_Health_Directors_Registration_Form.pdf
Three Year Report Released
The First Nations Health Council released a three year report to BC First Nations on September 20th, 2010. This report speaks of the reality of working with complex, large government systems and the challenges of achieving positive change. The three-year progress report enables First Nations to review progress since ‘day one’ and receive full financial accountability for Health Plan funding since the signing of the Tripartite First Nations Health Plan in 2007.
FIRST NATIONS FISHERIES COUNCIL
Fisheries Council Executive & Priority Areas Update
Chief Bob Chamberlin was confirmed as the First Nations Co-Chair for the First Nations Fisheries Council/ Fisheries and Oceans Canada Aquaculture Working Group.
The four working groups, in conjunction with both the First Nations Fisheries Council and Fisheries and Oceans Canada are all in the process of developing workplans which will outline priority work for the working groups. Communities will be providing input into the plans at the Fisheries Assembly 2010 happening in the first week of November in Prince Rupert.
New Pacific Aquaculture Regulations
On September 8th, 2010 the 60-day comment window for the draft Pacific Aquaculture Regulations closed. The regulations can still be viewed at http://www.gazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p1/2010/2010-07-10/html/reg2-eng.html
The Fisheries Council, along with many other B.C. First Nations and First Nations fisheries organizations have been active in corresponding with DFO with respect to concerns and recommendations. Any correspondence provided to the Council, and updated information relating to the Aquaculture Working Group is available to First Nations to view on the Fisheries Council’s website: http://www.fnfisheriescouncil.ca/index.php/mission-a-work-of-council/working-groups/aquaculture-working-group.
The federal and provincial government are also working on the development of a National Aquaculture Strategic Action Plan Initiative (NASAPI).
The public hearing segment of the Cohen Commission of Inquiry into the Decline of the Sockeye Salmon in the Fraser River has now concluded. The Commission will now turn its attention to a series of evidentiary hearings, which will take place October 25th through December 16th.
Hearings will be held Monday through Thursday (with some exceptions), from 10:00 am to 12:30 pm and 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm each day. Hearings are open to the public and will be held at the Federal Court at 701 West Georgia Street, 8th floor.
The hearings will cover a broad spectrum of issues, however, the hearings on Perspectives on the Aboriginal and Treaty Rights Framework Underlying the Fraser River Sockeye Salmon Fishery were held on Wednesday, October 26th.
For the complete schedule of the evidentiary hearings please visit: www.cohencommission.ca/en/schedule
Information relating to the evidence which is being put in front of the Commission is also available on the above website.
Fisherman in Moricetown Canyon.
Photo courtesy of Walter Joseph
Regional Fisheries Organizations Conference Calls
The next bi-weekly First Nations Fisheries Organizations conference calls for British Columbian First Nations Fisheries Organizations and technical staff (Tier 1 – internal to First Nations only) will be held:
Wednesday, November 17th
(9:00 am to 10:30 am)
Wednesday, December 1st
(9:00 am to 10:30 am)
Please contact the Fisheries Council for dial-in information and agendas, or refer to past meeting summaries on the FNFC website. Meeting summaries are available to First Nations only; therefore, access is permitted with the use of a username and password. A confidential login is available to anyone who is a member of a B.C. First Nation or who works on behalf of a First Nation in the area of fisheries.
Joint Working Groups
The First Nations Fisheries Council and Fisheries and Oceans Canada have established four priority area working groups, which include: Aquaculture, Section 35.1 FSC Fisheries, Economic Access, and Co-management. The working groups continue to meet, and will be developing joint work plans throughout the fall season. Meeting notes, working group terms of reference, and additional background information is currently available on the First Nations Fisheries Council website. The Fall Fisheries Assembly, happening in the first week of November in Prince Rupert, will provide an opportunity for First Nations to review and comment on the draft workplans.
For more information about the First Nations Fisheries Council, please visit our website at www.fnfisheriescouncil.ca.
You can also reach the Communications Coordinator for the Fisheries Council at email@example.com.
JOINT WORKING GROUP ON FIRST NATIONS HERITAGE CONSERVATION
Nesika Cultural and Heritage Society Online Auction Fundraiser
Nesika Cultural and Heritage Society will be hosting an online fundraising auction with the Joint Working Group on First Nations Heritage Conservation to support the First Nations Heritage Forum as well as the ongoing work of Nesika. The auction will take place from November 12 to 21, 2010.
The First Nations Heritage Forum will present an opportunity for First Nations in BC to gather and share experiences, as well as discuss issues, concerns and alternative approaches to protecting precious heritage resources in BC. The Forum is scheduled to take place February 22-23, 2011 in Vancouver.
The online auction is an opportunity for you to support the Forum and the work of Nesika while doing some of your Christmas shopping or treating yourself from the comfort of your computer!
Bookmark our eBay auction page for November 12! http://members.ebay.ca/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewUserPage&userid=nesikachs
For a sneak preview of some of the auction items, check out the Nesika website at www.nesikasociety.ca.
FIRST NATIONS ENERGY AND MINING COUNCIL
BC Clean Energy Act
BC is now discussing the terms for the creation of the First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund. The $5 million BC commitment was approved by Cabinet and they have also suggested to revenue share on all new independent power projects (IPPs). BC Hydro projects, other Crown projects, and projects that are already approved are not eligible for revenue sharing. FNEMC has concerns with BC’s position as all projects should share revenues with the impacted First Nations.
BC has sent out a list of questions to all First Nations and we encourage you to respond.
Free entry reforms
FNEMC has attempted to engage with the BC government for more than 1 year to reform the mining free entry system. The Takla First Nations released a report in June titled, Bearing the Burden: The Effects of Mining on First Nations in British Columbia. FNEMC fully supports at Takla’s findings and continues to attempt engage with BC. FNEMC has also supported the TNG request for mining reforms in light of the Prosperity Mine proposal that suggested destroy Teztan Biny (Fish Lake). This proposal was turned down by the federal government on November 2nd.
The following are a series of documents that can be found on our website: Environmental assessment solutions paper; Sharing the wealth policy document; Traditional ecological knowledge protocol; Mining free entry solutions paper.
First Nations Boreal Meeting
On May 14, 2010 nine Environmental Non-Government organizations (ENGOs) and 22 Canadian forest companies belonging to the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) announced the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement (CBFA), a three-year agreement to end conflict between them and to work towards improving sustainable forest management practices, advancing forest conservation, improving economic prosperity for forest dependent communities and increasing market recognition for participating companies. First Nations governments were not included in the negotiations of the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement and are not parties to the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement.
The Carrier Sekani Tribal Council and other BC boreal First Nations organizations began to engage with ENGOs on July 7-8, 2010 in Prince George, BC to gain a better understanding of why First Nations were not involved in the negotiation of the agreement and to determine a way forward.
The impacts to the boreal are not just forestry-related and are cumulative from mining, oil and gas, electricity transmission and pipelines, water and wind development, etc.
A national meeting of the boreal First Nations was held in Prince George from October 19-21. The Chiefs from the boreal (north of 55 degrees latitude in BC) discussed how to work collaboratively to ensure that Aboriginal rights and title are protected.
FIRST NATIONS EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL
The First Nations Early Childhood Development Council (FNECDC) was created in order to support BC First Nations children, parents, and communities in generating a coordinated approach to early childhood development (ECD) programs and services. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed in March of 2010 by signatories agreeing to work together to improve ECD opportunities for First Nations children.
To advance the intentions of the FNECDC the Ministry of Child and Family Development (MCFD) brought together the FNECDC and the Aboriginal Early Years Advisory Circle (AEYAC) to collaborate on a $5 Million Aboriginal Early Childhood Development Reinvestment fund. On October 25th the FNECDC, together with the AEYAC signed off on the Terms of Reference, committing to work together as a Joint Steering Committee.
In the coming weeks the MCFD will prepare a public announcement with respect to this reinvestment and the FNECDC will further develop action plan priorities for the disbursement of the $5 million reinvestment.
Building upon a decade of consultations and research with First Nations communities, the FNECDC has developed a draft Framework that is intended to provide guidance on actions that are needed to develop a comprehensive system of ECD programs, services and supports. The ECD draft Framework document has been circulated to all First Nations leaders, service providers, community members and families. Everyone is invited and encouraged to review the document and provide feedback as soon as possible. Gathering this data will help to identify ECD funding priorities for all First Nations communities. The Framework and survey can be found on the First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC) website at http://fnesc.ca/ecd/ecd.php
The final draft Framework will be provided to First Nations leadership in the winter of 2010 for their consideration and ratification.
The FNECDC will continue to provide updates to First Nations leadership and communities through existing FNECDC council representation. Should your community like to sign the MOU and become a part of the FNECDC you’re encouraged to do so. For more information feel free to contact Tyrone McNeil chair of the FNECDC at firstname.lastname@example.org
FIRST NATIONS CHILD AND FAMILY WELLNESS COUNCIL
To date the Wellness Council has met the short-term goals of the Indigenous Child at the Centre Action Plan. The Terms of Reference have been endorsed by the member organizations of the Leadership Council, and the Wellness Council is now incorporated under the BC Society Act. The Wellness Council is the permanent body that will implement the Action Plan.
To continue with the implementation of the Action Plan, the Wellness Council is in the process of developing a 5-year strategic plan to identify long-term deliverables and has determined that the priorities for the remainder of this fiscal year will be to build strategic relationships.
One of the initiatives of this strategy will be to host community engagement sessions in each of the five regions. A key objective of this initiative is to build representation and governance models to establish a fair, transparent, inclusive, and accountable appointment process. Another is to fill the vacancies on the Wellness Council.
A second initiative of the strategic relationship process will be a facilitated meeting between the Wellness Council, Director’s Forum of the Delegated Agencies, Caring for First Nations Child Society, the Chiefs of the Nations represented by the Delegated Agencies, the Chiefs of the 15 Nation-based projects, and the First Nation Early Childhood Development Council. The First Nations Summit has agreed to facilitate this meeting.
A driving element of this strategy is to create a voice for all that are involved with First Nation child and family wellness matters and will include an Indigenous Child at the Centre Forum to provide an update to BC First Nations Leadership and an Indigenous Caucus to work with the technical working group on systemic and legislative issues.
One of the challenges that the Wellness Council faces is financial support. Though the Wellness Council has met the short-term deliverables of the Action Plan, the provisions of the Protocol Agreement with the Ministry have not been fully realized. The Wellness Council has taken two steps to address this matter: (1) incorporation as a legal entity under the Society Act to create more autonomy for the organization; and (2) seeking a Memorandum of Understanding directly between the Wellness Council and MCFD.
The Wellness Council as an independent body strives to uphold the values of transparency, inclusivity, and accountability. To keep everyone informed of the Action Plan updates, the minutes of the Wellness Council meetings will be posted on our website: www.fncfwc.ca. The Wellness Council will continue to strategize and implement ways of providing information updates on an ongoing and timely basis.
INDUSTRY COUNCIL FOR ABORIGINAL BUSINESS
December 3 Breakfast Meeting
Tsawwassen First Nation (TFN) and Matcon Civil Contracting: Best Practices in First Nations – Industry Joint Ventures
In the fall of 2008, Tsawwassen First Nation (TFN) and Matcon Civil Contractors Incorporated formed the TFN Construction / Matcon Civil Joint Venture (TMJV). TFN Economic Development Corporation (TEDC), which is wholly owned by TFN, is the majority owner of TMJV. The partnering of these two companies has allowed TMJV to successfully bid on a number of profitable First Nation projects and allowed TEDC to access Matcon's capacity and reputation as a leading civil construction firm that specializes in large scale excavations, land remediation, heavy road construction and underground utility installations. One of TMJV's fundamental mandates is to encourage the participation of TFN Members and Members' businesses. As such, TMJV provides employment opportunities for TFN Members and training opportunities in civil construction and heavy equipment operation.
Join Chief Kim Baird and Matcon Principal Ron Amos as they share their experiences in establishing the TFN Construction / Matcon Civil Joint Venture. Chief Baird is the elected Chief of the TFN, a position she has held for six terms, since 1999. Mr. Amos who has over 23 years as an Estimator, Project Manager and General Manager is a founding partner in the Matcon Group of Companies which employs between 250 and 300 people.
Best Practices in Aboriginal Procurement for Industry and Business
On January 13, 2011, ICAB will bring together business and industry leaders as well as government representatives to share best practices in Aboriginal Procurement. In order for BC Business and Aboriginal firms to do business with each other, there has to be an increased understanding of what is needed by both sides. The capacity of industry to engage with Aboriginal business can be greatly increased by providing business with information, support and models that work. Once corporations have a better understanding, they will have a greater commitment to engage with Aboriginal business.
ICAB Leadership Exchange DVD Launch
A first in Canada, the Leadership Exchange provided ICAB and SFU’s Learning Strategies Group (LSG) with the opportunity to design and facilitate a unique program that provided six corporate executives and First Nations leaders with the space to develop deeper relationships based on mutual respect and understanding. Join ICAB and the LSG on January 26, 2011 as they share the story of a unique group of leaders: Chief Kim Baird of the Tsawwassen First Nations teamed with Ian Anderson, President of Kinder Morgan Canada; Chief Willie Charlie, Chehalis First Nations, linked with Donald McInnis, Vice Chairman and CEO of Plutonic Power; and Chief Harold Aljam, Coldwater Indian Band partnered with Graeme Barrit, President of Coast Hotels and Resorts.
Dialogue Forum 2011
Canada’s truth and reconciliation process is “a profound commitment to establishing new relationships embedded in mutual recognition and respect that will forge a brighter future.” What role does business and industry have in forging this future? How can Canadian business and First Nations leaders engage in dialogue that considers reconciliation in the work of economic development? Join ICAB in welcoming Justice Murray Sinclair, Chairperson of the Truth and Reconciliation Canada, as keynote speaker for the January 27 2011 Dialogue Forum as he introduces considerations for this important topic.
Regional Procurement Workshops – April 2011
Following on the sessions to build industry capacity to engage with Aboriginal business, ICAB and key industry, business and government partners will be hosting regional sessions that will bring BC Business and Aboriginal firms together to discuss upcoming opportunities, as well as procedures for accessing contract awards for services and/or supplies.
For information or registration, contact Brenda at email@example.com
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
• First Nations Fisheries Council 2010 Assembly: November 2-4, 2010 (Prince Rupert)
• UBCIC Chiefs Council: November 29, 2010 (North Vancouver, Chief Joe Mathias Centre)
• ACTF All-Chiefs Meeting: November 30-December 1, 2010 (North Vancouver, Chief Joe Mathias Centre)
• First Nations Summit Meeting: December 2-3, 2010 (North Vancouver, Chief Joe Mathias Centre)
PDF COPY: http://www.ubcic.bc.ca/files/PDF/LC_Information_Bulletin_No43_Nov_10.pdf
UBCIC is a NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.