Coast Salish Traditional Territory (Vancouver) – Leaders of the First Nations Summit (FNS) congratulate Prime Minister-Elect Justin Trudeau and the members of the Liberal majority government following yesterday’s federal election.
“We encourage Prime Minister-Elect Trudeau and his majority government to work with Aboriginal communities and citizens across Canada to ensure our issues are given the top priority they deserve within the new Liberal government’s agenda,” said Grand Chief Edward John, of the FNS Political Executive.
“Prime Minister-Elect Trudeau has created very high expectations with a platform based on change and his commitments on key Aboriginal issues during the campaign. Now the real work will begin for his government to come to the table and work with First Nations to implement those commitments in an effort to close the socio-economic gaps faced by our communities and citizens,” added Cheryl Casimer of the FNS Political Executive.
“We will now look to the Liberal government to stand up and honour its fiduciary obligations and commitments to uphold Aboriginal and Treaty Rights in Canada and to make the resolution of fair and equitable treaty agreements in BC a top priority,” concluded Robert Phillips, also of the FNS political executive.
Key Liberal commitments that FNS leaders expect the new Trudeau government to act on as soon as possible include:
1. Undertake a full review of regulatory law, policies, and operational practices, in full partnership and consultation with First Nations to ensure that the Crown is fully executing its consultation, accommodation, and consent obligations, including on resource development and energy infrastructure project reviews and assessments, in accordance with constitutional and international human rights obligations;
2. Work in partnership with First Nations, to implement all 94 recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, starting with the implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples;
3. Immediately launch a national public inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls in Canada;
4. Work with First Nations to renew and revive the Paul Martin Liberal government’s $5 billion Kelowna Accord;
5. Establish a Federal Reconciliation Framework, created in full partnership with First Nations, which will include mechanisms to advance and strengthen self-government, as well as resolve grievances with Treaty implementation and modern land-claims agreements;
6. Conduct a full review of the legislation unilaterally imposed on First Nations by the federal government, and reverse measures in conflict with Aboriginal and Treaty rights, or that are inconsistent with good governance;
A full list of commitments can be found in the Liberal Party of Canada October 8, 2015 letter to the First Nations Summit, Union of BC Indian Chiefs and BC Assembly of First Nations.
The FNS looks forward to Prime Minister-Elect Trudeau naming his Cabinet in the coming weeks and will be requesting early meetings with him and his Cabinet to discuss the new federal Aboriginal agenda.
The FNS also sends congratulations to former BCAFN Regional Chief Puglaas, Jody Wilson Raybould on being the first Aboriginal women from BC to be elected as a Member of Parliament following her election in the riding of Vancouver-Granville. The FNS looks forward to working with her in her new capacity as a member of the new Liberal government.
Finally, the FNS is pleased that following a concerted effort by First Nations leaders across the country, the Aboriginal vote was instrumental in deciding many ridings across the country.