July 4, 2019
Dear Mr. Matiation,
The BC Specific Claims Working Group (BCSCWG) writes today to present its follow-up report Canada’s Conduct at the Specific Claims Tribunal and the Need for Reform which analyzes First Nations’ feedback on Canada’s behaviour at the Tribunal and argues that the challenges with Canada’s conduct at this body are a result of institutionalized and systemic bias that exists across specific claims processes as a whole.
Open Letter to Minister Carolyn Bennett
Canada’s Inaction on Late Specific Claims Assessments
May 2, 2019
Dear Minister Bennett,
We write today to present a follow-up report prepared by the BC Specific Claims Working Group (BCSCWG) on your government’s inaction on late specific claims assessments. In November 2018, the BCSCWG brought to your attention your department’s failure to meet its legislated timelines to assess specific claims and communicate effectively with Indigenous Nations. We urged you to take immediate, transparent action on the report’s recommendations and you have not done so. We reiterate our call to address the backlog of claims by implementing the recommendations put forward by the BCSCWG in both reports.Read more
(Coast Salish Territory/Vancouver, B.C. – January 17, 2017) Last week, Canada applied for judicial review of the Specific Claims Tribunal’s decision regarding compensation awarded in the Huu-ay-aht First Nation logging rights case. Today, UBCIC calls on Canada to withdraw this application, which is an insult to the Huu-ay-aht First Nation, an attack on the authority and independence of the Tribunal, and a repudiation of the most basic principles of reconciliation.Read more
OPEN LETTER: MINISTER CAROLYN BENNETT - JOINT RESPONSE TO OAG REPORT "Taking Action, Building Trust"
January 5, 2017
Dear Minister Bennett,
We are a long-standing national group of specific claims research directors working on behalf of Indigenous Nations and committed to the just, fair, and timely resolution of specific claims in Canada. Here we present a response to the November 2016 report by the Office of the Auditor General (OAG), First Nations Specific Claims—Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC). This response, called Taking Action, Building Trust, translates recommendations from the audit process into concrete, tangible actions that Canada can undertake within the next six months.
(Coast Salish Territory/Vancouver, B.C. – December 1, 2016) This week the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) tabled its much anticipated report on its audit of the specific claims process.Read more
Open Letter: Canada Must Immediately Withdraw Its Application for Judicial Review of Tribunal Decision in the Akisq'nuk First Nation’s Specific Claim
Dear Ministers Bennett and Wilson-Raybould,
We write to urge you to immediately withdraw Canada’s application for judicial review of the Specific Claims Tribunal’s (“Tribunal”) decision in the Akisq'nuk First Nation’s specific claim and to honour the Tribunal’s decision as final and binding.Read more
(Coast Salish Territory / Vancouver BC – February 11, 2016) The Union of BC Indian Chiefs congratulates the Akisq’nuk First Nation on the just resolution of its specific claim at the Specific Claims Tribunal. On February 5, 2016 the Tribunal ruled that Canada breached its legal obligation to the Akisq’nuk First Nation by failing to correct an 1887 land survey error and again in 1915 when it failed to protect additional grazing lands from alienation. Both historical events resulted in significant losses of reserve lands and according to the Tribunal Chair, Justice Harry Slade, expose a series of “missteps, an outright betrayal, and inaction” on the part of Canada during the reserve creation process in British Columbia.Read more
Dear Minister Bennett:
We write to follow up on our November 4, 2015 letter and briefing note regarding the fair, just and timely resolution of specific claims. In that letter we recommend taking concrete measures to demonstrate the Government of Canada’s commitment to reconciliation through resolving specific claims and to carry out this work in partnership with First Nations. The most pressing of these recommendations is the immediate restoration of specific claims research funding to claims research units (CRUs) and First Nations.Read more
OPEN LETTER: Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada Managers and Staff Declaring Band Council Resolutions Invalid
November 18, 2015
Dear Minister Bennett:
We write to respectfully urge you to address an important matter which is impeding the ability of First Nations to access information from your ministry for the purposes of filing specific claims. Specific claims deal with Canada’s failure to fulfil historical lawful obligations to honour its treaty promises to First Nations and to protect reserve lands and assets from illegal alienation and mismanagement.Read more