There is no short way to state what must be done to fully, equitably and respectfully include our First Nations in Canada’s present and future prosperity. We must take every step necessary to recognize the Aboriginal role in the founding of Canada as a democracy, and redress the abysmal legacy of the Indian Act, residential schools and systemic discrimination. Exclusion from development potential in the natural resource sector is a major impediment to the creation of wealth and capacity at the regional and community level for many First Nations in Canada. Fair and equitable access to natural resource development opportunities will provide a catalyst for development. There must be investment in education, in health, and improved living conditions with adequate housing and safe drinking water to ensure the standard of living for Indigenous peoples in Canada is improved.
Many resource development undertakings in Canada exclude Indigenous peoples’ participation and there are many calls for meaningful consultation and increased participation in decision making with full, prior and informed consent.
Support for improved governance structures at the community level is needed. The Assembly of First Nations has called for an abolition of the Indian Act and a move to include grassroots citizen participation in the development of new governance models.
All policy decisions will be consistent with the principles within the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Greens will honour Aboriginal and Treaty Rights and renew the treaty relationships between Canada and Indigenous Nations, affording respect to the Indigenous peoples of Canada consistent with their status as the original inhabitants of Canada and we will accept responsibility for Canada’s legal obligations under the treaties. We will resolve all outstanding land claims fairly and expediently. We will honour and accommodate the right to self-government and self-determination, working in partnership with Indigenous Nations to support the reconstitution of their national governance structures. We will work with Indigenous representative organizations and Indigenous women’s organizations to ensure that Canada is a safe place for Indigenous women and their children to thrive in. We believe Indigenous Peoples are entitled access to natural resources consistent with recognition of their rights in order to build sustainable communities and economies and exercise their constitutionally protected Aboriginal and treaty rights;
The Green Party believes consultation with Indigenous Peoples must be informed and meaningful. We will accommodate Indigenous Peoples’ rights in land use policy. Indigenous Peoples in Canada are entitled to improved health care, living conditions and safe drinking water consistent with the same level of care and service provided to Canadians. We will fund First Nations education to ensure the educational gap is rapidly closed and educational outcomes meet those of the general Canadian population.
Green Party MP’s will …
- Work closely in partnership with Indigenous Peoples’ representative organizations and the provinces to develop a national Indigenous Peoples rights framework protocol for land use policy;
- Institutionalize a Health Transfer Accord with the federal representative Indigenous Peoples’ organizations based in principles of equitable sharing and respect and based on treaty and inherent rights to health as well as on the Crown’s fiduciary duty;
- Recognize the diversity of traditional Indigenous self-governance systems and institutions, and the role of women;
- Support the restoration of the $5.1 billion commitment of the Kelowna Accord reached between federal, provincial, territorial and First Nations governments in 2005;
- Invest in Indigenous Peoples community infrastructure (housing, water treatment, road, schools, health clinics) on reserve and off-reserve;
- Negotiate in consultation with First Nations the set-up of a permanent independent claims body;
- Work closely with provinces on a claims protocol;
- Invest in a joint national, provincial, First Nation Education strategy;
- Develop a national compliance report on federal treaty responsibilities;
- Consult with Indigenous peoples organizations and develop a national strategy to address racism and violence;
- Develop a national child care strategy to provide support to Indigenous mothers.