(September 13, 2017) – Indigenous Relations Minister Richard Feehan issued the following statement celebrating the 10th anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples:
“Two years ago, Alberta, for the first time, began looking at how to fulfil the principles of the United Nations Declaration in the work government does.
“Since then, Alberta and Indigenous peoples have worked together using the UN Declaration as an impetus for unprecedented actions to make life better for Indigenous peoples in the province.
“Each ministry in Alberta has been challenged to consider how their work contributes to reconciliation. We know it will not be one single policy change or investment that gets us there, but many, and together we have made significant progress.
“This work includes investments in Indigenous language learning and changes to Alberta’s school curriculum to better reflect the history and experience of Indigenous people in Alberta as called for by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.
“For the first time, Alberta has implemented a policy requiring industry and municipalities to consult with Metis Settlements when it comes to land and natural resource development. In partnership with rights holders, municipalities and industry, we are also taking steps to review how consultation is done in Alberta.
“Alberta is also investing $100 million to help connect First Nations with clean and safe drinking water, $120 million in affordable housing for those living off reserve and $151 million from the carbon levy to help Indigenous communities reduce their energy bills and transition to a more diversified, low-carbon economy.
“At its heart, the UN Declaration encourages all of us to celebrate and preserve Indigenous cultures and traditions and to partner with Indigenous peoples in support of their full participation in Alberta’s social and economic life.
“On this landmark occasion, we encourage people to find out more about the UN Declaration and its significance to Indigenous peoples and all Albertans.”