(April 1, 2019) – The Alberta NDP have unveiled their election platform and although the entire platform has relevance for the First Nations, Metis, Inuit and other Indigenous Peoples living in Alberta, the party’s platform included a specific section on reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. It is excerpted below:
“Rachel Notley’s government has worked to build bridges, move reconciliation forward, and to make life better for Indigenous peoples in Alberta. Indigenous peoples are one of the fastest growing and most culturally diverse populations in our province, yet still face significant barriers and exclusion.
Over the past four years, the Alberta government has strengthened partnerships with First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities and people. Minister of Indigenous Relations Richard Feehan became the first Minister to visit every First Nation in Alberta.
“We believe that by working together in the spirit of reconciliation, we can move our province forward. That’s why Rachel Notley has worked diligently to renew our relationship with Indigenous peoples in Alberta and made sure that the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is considered in all policy deliberations.
“We became the first government in Canada to adopt Jordan’s Principle to ensure children at risk on reserve receive the same care and protection as other Albertans.
“We signed an historic and long overdue treaty with the Lubicon Cree.
“We signed protocol agreements with Treaty 8 and the Blackfoot Confederacy, and continued work on a framework agreement with the Métis Nation of Alberta.
“We are investing $120 million in affordable housing for Indigenous peoples. We invested $100 million to improve drinking water in First Nations communities.
“We apologized for Alberta’s role in residential schools and joined the call for a public inquiry into missing and murdered Aboriginal women.
“We introduced training for all public service employees on the history and unique needs of Alberta’s Indigenous population.
“We launched a process to engage with survivors of the Sixties Scoop to develop and craft a meaningful apology, and delivered that apology in the Alberta Legislature with a promise to continue working to make amends to the victims and heal the wounds of the past.
“We funded a job training program for Indigenous women to build skills as heavy equipment operators.
“We signed an agreement with the four Maskwacîs Cree Nations to outline the role of the government in providing education to the community.
“We created the first Indigenous Languages in Education grant in Canada, funding programs that assist and promote Indigenous Language Education in schools. We are ensuring all students in Alberta are taught about the legacy of residential schools in a way that reflects and respects the voices of survivors.
“We mandated that Indigenous partners be a part of our renewable energy plan. 25% of new capacity being brought onstream have Indigenous equity.
“As your Premier, Rachel Notley will continue to build a relationship of trust, respect and mutual benefit with Indigenous peoples because she knows it takes time.
“We are committed to doing the hard work of acknowledging past wrongs and crafting a positive future with First Nations and Métis peoples in the province.
“We will enter into negotiations with First Nation and Métis peoples to explore a renewed fiscal relationship between Indigenous peoples and the Government of Alberta.
“We will work with Indigenous groups that are seeking to purchase equity partnerships in pipeline projects by linking them with investors.
“We will accelerate the schedule to extend drinking water infrastructure to reserves so more Indigenous families can get safe, reliable drinking water faster.
“We will increase financial support to Native Friendship Centres so they can expand their work supporting lndigenous Albertans living off-reserve.
“We will continue to prioritize building Indigenous affordable housing to make sure more Indigenous Albertans have access to safe, quality housing.”