OPEN LETTER: First Nations Organisations Endorse Call for Restoration of Research Funding

Dear Minister Bennett:

We write to follow up on our November 25, 2015 letter asking you to communicate your government’s intentions regarding an immediate restoration of specific claims research funding to claims research units (CRUs) and First Nations.

We also draw your attention to 50 letters and emails of support calling for specific claims research funding to be restored to previous levels. A list of endorsements is appended here and the letters themselves will be forwarded to you under separate cover. These letters represent almost 450 First Nations across Canada.

We respectfully remind you that the deadline for all CRUs and First Nations seeking annual specific claims research funding for the 2016-2017 fiscal year is January 15, 2016. We request that you inform us as to whether research funding levels will be restored as soon as possible so that we may inform the Indigenous communities for whom we conduct research what they may expect regarding progress on their claims and so that we may plan accordingly.

We reiterate that your government has stated that a meaningful reconciliation process requires at the very least that Canada fulfills its past promises as a concrete demonstration of good faith and the honour of the Crown. Immediate restoration of research funding will demonstrate clearly the seriousness of your government’s commitment and will allow First Nations access to justice previously promised and denied.

We await your timely response.


[Original signed] 

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip

Chief Robert Chamberlin

Kukpi7 Judy Wilson


Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice and Attorney General
Colleen Swords, Deputy Minister, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
Chief Maureen Chapman, Chair, BC Specific Claims Working Group
UBCIC Chiefs Council
National Chief Perry Bellegarde, Assembly of First Nations
AFN Chiefs Committee on Claims
BC Assembly of First Nations
First Nations Summit
BC First Nations
Federal Cabinet


First Nations Organisations Endorsing Call for Restoration of Research Funding

Claims Research Units and Tribal Councils
1. Algonquin Nation Secretariat
2. Alliance of Tribal Nations
3. Carrier Sekani Tribal Council
4. Council of Mainland Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia
5. Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations
6. Grand Council of Treaty 3
7. Mohawk Council of Kahnawake
8. Musgamagw Tsawataineuk Tribal Council
9. Nlaka'pamux Nation Tribal Council
10. Specific Claims Research Centre
11. Shuswap Nation Tribal Council
12. Sto:lo Tribal Council
13. TARR Manitoba
14. Treaty 8 Tribal Association
15. Union of BC Indian Chiefs
16. Union of Ontario Indians

First Nations

17. Adams lake Indian Band
18. Aundek Omni Kaning First Nation
19. Chawathil First Nation
20. Dokis First Nation
21. Douglas First Nation
22. Eabametoong First Nation
23. Eagle Lake First Nation
24. Gitxaala Nation
25. High Bar First Nation
26. Kwanlin Dun First Nation
27. Lhoosk’uz Dene Nation
28. Lower Nicola Indian Band
29. Lytton First Nation
30. Nakazdli Whuten First Nation
31. Neskonlith First Nation
32. Nicomen First Nation
33. Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation
34. Nooaitch Indian band
35. Nuxalk nation
36. Okanagan Indian Band
37. Opashkwayak Cree Nation
38. Osoyoos First Nation
39. Sagkeeng First Nation
40. Siska Indian Band
41. Skeetchestn Indian band
42. Spuzzum First Nation
43. Sq’ewá:lxw First Nation
44. Sts’ailes First Nation
45. Tsawout First Nation
46. Uchucklesaht Tribe
47. Xatsull First Nation
48. Wet’suwet’en First Nation
49. Whispering Pines First Nation
50. Williams Lake Indian Band