Indigenous Relations - References
Indigenous and Treaty Rights
Are recognized and affirmed in Section 35 of the Constitution Act (1982). Indigenous Rights have been interpreted to include a range of cultural, social, political, and economic rights including the right to land, as well as to fish, to hunt, to practice one’s own culture, and to establish treaties. Treaty Rights include rights that now exist by way of land claims agreements or may so be acquired. Indigenous peoples include the First Nations, Inuit, and Metis peoples of Canada.
United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
In September 13, 2007 the United Nations adopted the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). The Declaration is a comprehensive statement addressing the rights of indigenous peoples. The document emphasizes the rights of indigenous peoples to maintain and strengthen their own institutions, cultures and traditions and to pursue their development in keeping with their own needs and aspirations. The Declaration addresses both individual rights and collective rights, cultural rights and identity, rights to education, health, employment, language and others. Indigenous peoples have the right to self-determination and can freely determine their political status and pursue their economic, social and cultural development.
In 2015 Prime Minister Trudeau gave the Mandate for the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs and other Ministers to implement the Declaration. In May 2016, Canada became a full supporter of the Declaration.
Truth and Reconciliation: Calls to Action
In 2017 British Columbia’s Premier John Horgan gave the mandate to his ministers to implement UNDRIP and to action the “Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (2015).” On February 12, 2019 in the Throne Speech, Premier Horgan went on to commit his government to be the first province in Canada to legislate the implementation of the UNDRIP.
There are 94 “Calls to Actions” within the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Call number 92 (i), (ii), and (iii) concern business and reconciliation. It calls upon the corporate sector in Canada to adopt the UNDRIP as a reconciliation
framework and to apply its principles, norms, and standards to corporate policy and core operational activities involving Indigenous peoples and their lands and resources. Subsection (ii) is particularly relevant to Triple J Pipelines Ltd. and calls for “certainty in equitable access to jobs, training, and education opportunities in the corporate sector, and that Indigenous communities gain long-term sustainable benefits from economic development projects.”