(Coast Salish Territory/Vancouver) On November 20, 2017, the Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, addressed the Symposium on Implementing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: Priorities, Partnerships, and Next Steps, formally announcing Canada’s support of Private Member’s Bill C-262.
The FNLC fully supports, and is encouraged that after months of protest, Minister Wilson-Raybould, under the direction and leadership of Prime Minister Trudeau, will support MP Romeo Saganash’s Private Members Bill C-262, United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act.
The UN Declaration is fundamental to the future of Indigenous-Crown relations, and is the very framework for how we may move forward to achieving lasting reconciliation between the Crown and Indigenous peoples throughout Canada.
Supporting a legislative framework for the full implementation of the UN Declaration is a crucial first step. Such a legislative framework is required to ensure a long-lasting, cross-government, nation-wide commitment to enact the standards affirmed by the UN Declaration, independent of partisan politics.
A comprehensive process of implementation must be immediately launched with the full participation of Indigenous peoples to ensure such standards are recognized and implemented. The FNLC maintains that the UN Declaration cannot be unilaterally adopted and implemented but must be implemented in accordance with the UN Declaration itself, through consultation and cooperation with Indigenous peoples in good faith.
The First Nations Leadership Council is comprised of the political executives of the BC Assembly of First Nations, First Nations Summit, and the Union of BC Indian Chiefs.