Call for Submissions
to the AFN’s Engagement on an Independent Specific Claims Process
The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) is now accepting written submissions from all Nations about how to realize an independent specific claims process to resolve outstanding claims. The AFN is accepting submissions until Friday, December 13, 2019, at which time they will prepare their recommendation to Canada.
We strongly encourage all BC Indigenous Nations to send a written submission to the AFN to share your ideas and recommendations for transformative change.
As background, in 2017, Chiefs-in-Assembly passed AFN Resolution 91-2017, Support for a Fully Independent Specific Claims Process, to eliminate Canada’s conflict of interest central to the current process and establish a truly independent process that adheres to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
This fall, the AFN facilitated regional discussions on the development of an independent claims resolution process. Two sessions were held in British Columbia: in Vancouver on October 8th and in Fort St. John on October 9th. Community members and their representatives in attendance at both sessions emphasized that a new process should include the following:
- a distinct process for the resolution of BC historic claims
- an approach to claims resolution which recognizes and includes the plurality of Indigenous laws and legal orders
- recognition of all forms of evidence to support a claim, particularly that derived by the community
- allowing communities to determine appropriate means of restitution for the full range of historic losses, including economic, political, and cultural losses
- equal access to financial resources for pursuing a claim at all stages
- equal access to information required to develop a claim
- clear and open communication about procedures, processes, and decisions about the claim throughout the process of bringing it to resolution
- ways for both the federal and provincial Crown to be involved in resolving the claim
To assist you in preparing your submission, we have created a toolkit including a template submission for you adapt and use if you wish.
For Step By Step Instructions, click here
This is an important opportunity to have your voice heard and put forward the positive changes that will benefit your community and others seeking justice for their historical claims. If you have any questions, comments or other materials you think we should include, please contact Jody Woods (firstname.lastname@example.org).