BC Assembly of First Nations http://bcafn.ca Thu, 13 Sep 2018 14:05:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.7 Court of Appeal Decision a Wakeup Call http://bcafn.ca/court-of-appeal-decision-a-wakeup-call/ http://bcafn.ca/court-of-appeal-decision-a-wakeup-call/#respond Tue, 04 Sep 2018 16:50:58 +0000 http://bcafn.ca/?p=4434 (Lheidli T’enneh Territory, Prince George, BC – Aug 31, 2018) – Yesterday the Federal Court of Appeal quashed the decision by the Trudeau government that approved the Kinder Morgan TransMountain Expansion Pipeline.  It is an important decision for First Nations who have been fighting a flawed National Energy Board process, and a broader issue of First Nations exclusion from meaningful decision-making about projects that impact their rights.

“This is a wakeup call to all levels of government in Canada.  First Nations have been winning legal battles in the courts for decades to protect their rights as true decision-makers and partners in Canada.  Yesterday’s decision by the Federal Court of Appeal, is yet another one that shows First Nations must be meaningfully involved in decision-making consistent with their inherent and Treaty rights, protected by Canada’s constitution, and international laws including the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples”, stated Regional Chief Terry Teegee.  He added, “Both the province of BC and federal government are modernizing environmental assessment review processes.  These new processes and laws must reflect consent-based decision-making, and will show the way to implement the UN Declaration.  First Nations will continue to fight and win these cases until the Crown wakes up.  First Nations will never give up.  This fight is not over.”

This decision also demonstrates that there are cracks in the federal governments’ approach to reconciliation with First Nations.  The Crown is failing on implementing and addressing various court cases won by First Nations, including the Tshilqot’in case on Aboriginal title.  The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action provides a framework for concrete actions to address the harms of colonization to First Nations in Canada.  First Nations continue to rebuild their languages, cultures and governing structures, including processes to review and assess projects that impact their territories.

 

Regional Chief Teegee stated, “New laws for project reviews must include provisions for First Nations processes and decision-making.  Such provisions will create greater certainty for First Nations, investors and the Crown, so long as they are consistent with attaining First Nations free, prior and informed consent.  We must beyond mere consultation – we are in the era of consent-based decision-making”

More information:

Court of Appeal decision: Tsleil Waututh Nation v. Canada (Attorney General)

For further information, contact:

Regional Chief Terry Teegee. Phone: (250) 981-2151

View Press Release PDF

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BC First Nations Leadership Council calls on Provincial Government to intervene with respect to Taseko Mines drilling in Tsilhqot’in Territory http://bcafn.ca/bc-first-nations-leadership-council-calls-on-provincial-government-to-intervene-with-respect-to-taseko-mines-drilling-in-tsilhqotin-territory/ http://bcafn.ca/bc-first-nations-leadership-council-calls-on-provincial-government-to-intervene-with-respect-to-taseko-mines-drilling-in-tsilhqotin-territory/#respond Wed, 29 Aug 2018 23:34:17 +0000 http://bcafn.ca/?p=4424 Coast Salish Traditional Territory/Vancouver, BC: Last week, the British Columbia Supreme Court dismissed the Tsilhqot’in Nation’s legal challenge to halt Taseko Mine Ltd.’s (TML) extensive drilling and excavation program in Tsilhqot’in Title Territory throughout the Teztan Biny and Nabas region. The BC First Nations Leadership Council strongly supports the Tsilhqot’in Nation’s call for the Provincial government to intervene and put an end to TML drilling work within these sites of great cultural and spiritual significance, and to find a permanent solution to this conflict over the future of the area.

The Province’s permitting of any further drilling in Tsilhqot’in Territory is clearly in contravention of its own Draft Principles that Guide the Province of BC’s Relationship with Indigenous Peoples. In particular, this action violates Principles 1 and 6, which affirm the priority of recognition in renewed government-to-government relationships and commit to implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, including the principles of free, prior and informed consent, the right of self-government and self-determination.

“This devastating decision clears the way for the destruction of an area of profound cultural and spiritual importance for the Tsilhqot’in Nation. This will open up construction to numerous kilometres of road, 122 drill sites, 367 trench and pit tests, and clear 20 kilometres of seismic lines near Teztan Biny. This is absolutely unacceptable and out of line with the Province’s commitments to uphold Indigenous Title and Rights, and respect the Tsilhqot’in Title area and their Indigenous laws. We will stand with the Tsilhqot’in in their fight to ensure that these areas remain protected,” stated Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs.

“This most recent court decision is just one of many in a long line of legal applications and disputes with respect to Taskeo Mines’ application to mine in the territory. It is clear that this project should not go through. The Provincial government must act, and fully adhere to their mandate letters which expressly articulate the commitment to implement and honour the Aboriginal Title and Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The Tsilhqot’in Nation have advanced the struggle for free, prior and informed consent as well as receiving a declaration of Title with the historic Supreme Court of Canada decision in Tsilhqot’in Nation v. British Columbia. Now is the time to act on this historic decision,” stated Cheryl Casimer of the First Nations Summit political executive.

“This continued injustice will continue to have long term and irreversible damaging impacts on the community and within the territory. BC First Nations will continue to stand in unity with the Tsilhqot’in Nation in their stance against Taseko Mines Ltd. We urgently call on the Provincial government and Premier John Horgan to act immediately with respect to this issue,” stated Regional Chief Terry Teegee, BC Assembly of First Nations.

The First Nations Leadership Council is comprised of the political executives of the BC Assembly of First Nations, First Nations Summit, and the Union of BC Indian Chiefs.

For further comment please contact:
Regional Chief Terry Teegee, BC AFN: 250-981-2151
Cheryl Casimer, First Nations Summit Political Executive: 778-875-2157
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President, Union of BC Indian Chiefs: 250-490-5314

See pdf news release

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BC First Nations being devastated by Wildfire Season of 2018, immediate resources needed http://bcafn.ca/bc-first-nations-being-devastated-by-wildfire-season-of-2018-immediate-resources-needed/ http://bcafn.ca/bc-first-nations-being-devastated-by-wildfire-season-of-2018-immediate-resources-needed/#respond Wed, 22 Aug 2018 21:31:28 +0000 http://bcafn.ca/?p=4420 Coast Salish Traditional Territory/Vancouver: BC First Nations leaders are calling on the federal and provincial governments to provide immediate and on-going supports needed by the numerous BC First Nations directly impacted by the 2018 BC Wildfire Season and to also create a BC First Nations Emergency Management Fund, which was proposed following the 2017 BC wildfire season.

Regional Chief Terry Teegee and Grand Chief Ed John met with Premier Horgan, and Defence Minister Sajjan yesterday in Prince George to discuss ongoing efforts and situation affecting northern BC, and the rest of the province.

“Once again, BC finds itself under a State of Emergency due to the serious nature of the impacts from the more than 550 fires burning across the province. The crisis in wildfire management continues to emerge year after year and is a direct result of a number of factors including climate change, chronic underfunding for wildfire response, deficiencies in current and historical logging practices, and other mitigating factors. What we have learned over the past few years is that Canada must respond to this current climate change impact with mitigation and adaptation measures as called for in the Paris Climate Agreement, to which Canada is a signatory”, added Grand Chief Edward John of the First Nations Summit Political Executive.

“We can’t continue being held in “no man’s land” between the two levels of government while they try to decide who will contribute first and how much. This has created a frustrating situation for impacted communities. Given the past few wildfire seasons, there should have been better preparation for the 2018 wildfire season to ensure communities don’t have to battle this political and bureaucratic nightmare. We must jointly take an assertive push to access the resources our communities need”, said Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs.

“First Nations in BC continue to be severely impacted by wildfires and we urgently request immediate and ongoing emergency management and financial supports to ensure safety, security and recovery within our communities. With BC’s First Nations spanning a spectrum of size, remoteness, governance and capacity there remains an urgent requirement to provide the necessary assistance and coordination for these First Nations communities to work with each other and to collaborate with local/regional governments and with federal and provincial agencies”, concluded Regional Chief Terry Teegee of the BC Assembly of First Nations.

During and following the 2017 BC Wildfire season BC First Nations leaders submitted a proposal (attached) to Canada entitled “A Proposal for a BC First Nations Emergency Management Fund to prepare for, prevent, respond to and recover from emergencies (2017). The proposal is based on the experiences of First Nations communities responding to the crisis arising from massive forest fires throughout the province of BC in the summer of 2017. Many lessons were learned as First Nations were scrambling from the onset of the 2017 fire season to protect their members, homes, infrastructure and their communities.

Additionally, the BC Assembly of First Nations, First Nations Summit, and Union of BC Indians Chiefs have also sent letters to Prime Minister Trudeau and Premier Horgan urging Canada and BC to:

    • Properly resource BC First Nations Communities to effectively and adequately respond to impacts of wildfires;
    • Provide any and all information regarding what resources are currently being provided to BC First Nations as well as what contingency funds BC and Canada have in place for impacted First Nations for response and recovery;
    • A request that new Provincial supports for housing and infrastructure recently announced should prioritize impacted First Nations, such as the Tahltan Nation and other directly affected communities;

Urge BC and Canada to fully implement recommendations from “From the Ashes: Reimagining Fire Safety and Emergency Management in Indigenous Communities, June 2018 Report of the Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs.”

There have been many gaps in emergency and disaster responses to First Nations needs and these need to be identified and plans developed to rectify these gaps. BC First Nations leaders are also requesting a meeting to discuss these critical issues with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who will be in Prince George tomorrow to assess the devastating impacts of the 2018 BC Wildfire season.

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The First Nations Leadership Council is comprised of the political executives of the BC Assembly of First Nations, First Nations Summit, and the Union of BC Indian Chiefs.

For further comment please contact:

Regional Chief Terry Teegee, BC AFN: 250-981-2151
Grand Chief Edward John, First Nations Summit Political Executive: 778-772-8218
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President, Union of BC Indian Chiefs: 250-490-5314

Background

List of the seven recommended actions contained in “A Proposal for a BC First Nations Emergency Management Fund to prepare for, prevent, respond to and recover from emergencies (2017)”;

  1. Review and, as necessary, revise, the status and adequacy of all 203 First Nations’ emergency preparedness, evacuation and response plans and their full and effective operational implementation.
  2. Support for the development of comprehensive strategic and operational level engagement and implementation plans of all BC First Nations with provincial, federal, regional districts and municipalities, as well as with government agencies such as Emergency Management BC and Wildfire BC for effective and coordinated response capacities;
  3. Support all First Nations’ acquisition and ongoing maintenance of necessary assets including infrastructures, equipment and supplies to respond fully and effectively to emergency situations such as floods and forest fires;
  4. Support for capacity development, including training and accreditation, of First Nations peoples who are responsible to manage and respond to emergency situations. Where trained, these response teams should be brought into situations where their skill and expertise are required;
  5. Support for those evacuated or relocated and for recovery, restoration and/or rebuilding of lands, homes, infrastructure in First Nations communities, as well as support for those evacuees returning, bearing in mind their dignity, health and well- being. In addition, there will need to be support and resources for the many communities, including First Nations communities, who opened their doors and welcomed all those who needed refuge and a safe haven.
  6. In 2017, Tl’etinqox village at Anaham served as a central gathering point for many on the Tsilhqot’in highway and should be supported as a response centre for Tsilhqot’in, southern Carrier and other communities.
  7. There have been and will continue to be broader impacts, such as loss of traditional food security due to inaccessibility of traditional food sources including fish, loss of hay and grazing land for livestock, and loss of cultural heritage, among many. Those who have lost livestock and other means of livelihood or food security should be supported in their renewed efforts for re-development.

View the PDF news release

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BCAFN Congratulates National Chief Perry Bellegarde http://bcafn.ca/bcafn-congratulates-national-chief-perry-bellegarde/ Thu, 26 Jul 2018 15:47:54 +0000 http://bcafn.ca/?p=4397 (Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil Waututh, Vancouver, BC – July 25, 2018) – The British Columbia Assembly of First Nations (BCAFN) would like to congratulate Perry Bellegarde as the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations. Today, over 500 First Nations Chiefs met in Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil Waututh territory (Vancouver) to elect the National Chief of the AFN. Under the AFN Charter, the National Chief is elected by Chiefs every 3 years. A member of the Little Black Bear First Nation, Bellegarde has served as Chief of the Federation of the Saskatchewan Indigenous Nations and will be entering his second term as National Chief.

Regional Chief Terry Teegee stated, “Congratulations to National Chief Perry Bellegarde. We look forward to working together with the Chiefs in BC, Chiefs across Canada and the Regional Chiefs. We are at historic moment in our relationships with the federal and provincial governments and now is the time to work with the Assembly of First Nations leadership to ensure that First Nations inherent rights and treaty rights are affirmed and implemented according to our terms.” He added, “First Nations in BC and Canada are reclaiming their rightful place on their lands and territories. We have strong, committed leadership at all levels to work towards the recognition and implementation of our Title, Rights and Treaty Rights.”

For further information, contact:

Regional Chief Terry Teegee
Phone: (250) 981-2151
BC Assembly of First Nations

See pdf news release

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First Nations Priorities Require Sustained Attention and Action by New Federal Cabinet – AFN National Chief http://bcafn.ca/first-nations-priorities-require-sustained-attention-and-action-by-new-federal-cabinet-afn-national-chief/ Fri, 20 Jul 2018 14:20:59 +0000 http://bcafn.ca/?p=4355 (Ottawa, ON) – Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde encourages continued attention, action and direct engagement with First Nations to advance priorities and reconciliation as new federal cabinet portfolios were announced yesterday.

“First Nations priorities are this country’s priorities, and regardless of who leads each portfolio we want to see action and momentum from cabinet members and all of government,” said AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde. “I encourage continued and enhanced efforts to work directly with First Nations to advance priorities based on respect for and implementation of rights, title, jurisdiction and the overall goal of reconciliation.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced changes to the federal cabinet at Rideau Hall in Ottawa yesterday. Changes impact 10 members of cabinet. It was noted that Minister Pablo Rodriguez is replacing Mélanie Joly as Minister of Heritage and Multiculturalism. That Ministry has been overseeing work with First Nations and Indigenous peoples on the Indigenous Languages Initiative and the Indigenous Languages Act. As well, Minister Carolyn Bennett is now Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, with the Northern Affairs portfolio under Minister Dominic Leblanc.

“I acknowledge Minister Joly’s work with First Nations to revitalize and strengthen First Nations languages, and the efforts to co-develop Indigenous languages legislation expected to be tabled this Fall,” said National Chief Bellegarde.  “We need to continue sustained efforts and engagement in this area to ensure legislation is ‘distinction-based’ and supports the diverse approaches of First Nations. The changes to the Crown-Indigenous Relations file can allow for more focus on this important priority, but we still need to ensure there is coordinated work for First Nations in the north both in cabinet and across the bureaucracy. First Nations Treaties and our rights, title and priorities cut across all cabinet responsibilities and all of government.”

The AFN is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada.  Follow AFN on Twitter @AFN_Updates.

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For more information, please contact:

Jenna Young Castro

AFN Communications Officer
613-241-6789 ext 201
613-314-8157 (cell)
jyoung@afn.ca

Monica Poirier

Bilingual Communications Officer
Assembly of First Nations
613-241-6789 ext. 382
613-292-0857
poirierm@afn.ca

View PDF Press Release

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Racism in Canada Must End – Canadians Must Do Better http://bcafn.ca/racism-in-canada-must-end-canadians-must-do-better/ Fri, 13 Jul 2018 22:20:06 +0000 http://bcafn.ca/?p=4335 (Lheidli T’enneh Territory, Prince George, BC – July 13, 2018) – The British Columbia Assembly of First Nations (BCAFN) is an advocacy organization which assists First Nations in BC in improving their livelihoods and also seeks to educate and raise awareness with on First Nations issues with Canadian society. Racism in Canada is the most invasive problem that hinders all Canadians in moving ahead together. The BCAFN calls upon Canada and all the leaders, teachers and parents to do more to educate youth and adults to end racism against First Nations peoples and minorities across Canada.

“Recent events in the Secwepemc Territory should be very concerning to all. It seems that ignorance and bigotry against First Nations hasn’t changed in this era of reconciliation”, stated Regional Chief Terry Teegee. He added, “First Nations people have inhabited their homelands since time immemorial. The idea of this country we call Canada, is founded on principals of cultural genocide and policies that have taken away our jurisdiction, lands, resources and customs. Canadians, both new and old, must understand that prior to colonization we had our own distinct languages, cultures and systems to govern our peoples and lands.” In Secwepemc territory (Kamloops area) a sign posted by the Shuswap Tribal Council regarding mushroom picking laws was vandalized several weeks ago with racist comments. The BC government has already condemned and denounced the actions, but the RCMP have not laid any charges and ask that the public be vigilant. Meanwhile in Fort William First Nation territory, in Thunder Bay, Ontario a First Nation man was randomly attacked by a non-First Nation man this week; RCMP are seeking more information into the incident, which is considered racially motivated. There have also been recent court decisions regarding First Nations people seeking justice in the case of Colten Boushie, Tina Fontaine and Jon Styres which demonstrate perhaps Canadian law is not ‘blind’.

Racist attitudes are no longer the foundational values that are needed by Canadians if we want to live in a tolerant and just society. In a time of reconciliation and beyond, all Canadians must do better to ensure this generation of youth (First Nation and non-First Nation alike) have the education and skills to work and live in multi-ethnic society and a country that was founded on First Nations lands and resources. We all must do better to eradicate hatred and racism. We cannot repeat history, nor will First Nations leaders and citizens let this attitude carry on.

Regional Chief Teegee said, “We are all here to stay. Changes are urgently needed in school curriculums, training manuals and public spaces to reconnect Canadians with accurate information and the truth about First Nations peoples and their cultures. In BC alone, there are over 18 First Nations language groups and 32 distinct dialects that make up over 60% of all the indigenous languages in Canada. While there are significant differences in attitudes and values from even a generation ago, there still exists dangerous misconceptions, lies and bigotry about First Nations rightful place in their homelands.” Regional Chief Teegee concluded, “The BCAFN will be launching a series of information bulletins for Canadians to learn more about First Nations in BC in the coming year. We will also outreach to partners in the public and private sector to build awareness about ending all forms of racism against First Nations peoples.”

For further information, contact:

Regional Chief Terry Teegee.
Phone: (250) 981 2151
BC Assembly of First Nations

View PDF news release

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FNLC Supports Broughton Area LoU re. Fish Farms http://bcafn.ca/fnlc-supports-broughton-area-lou-re-fish-farms/ Fri, 29 Jun 2018 22:50:40 +0000 http://bcafn.ca/?p=4309 (Coast Salish Territory/Vancouver – June 28, 2018) The First Nation Leadership Council (FNLC) applauds the Broughton Area Letter of Understanding (LoU), signed yesterday between the Kwikwasut’inuxw Haxwa’mis, Namgis and Mamalilikulla First Nations and BC.

Yesterday’s LoU represents a strong commitment to engage in a consent-based government-to-government process to reach agreement related to the ongoing and grave concerns many First Nations have expressed regarding the future of the fin-fish open net-pen aquaculture industry in the Broughton area. Further, this LoU, by following a truly collaborative development process, exemplifies how equitable partnerships and consent-based negotiations, allow for proactive and innovative decisions that benefit both parties.

The FNLC is greatly encouraged by the LoU’s acknowledgment of the environmental impacts of fish farms, including impacts to in/out migrating wild salmon to watersheds beyond the Broughton area, as well as the impacts to First Nations’ title and rights, alongside the LoU’s recognition of the important role Indigenous traditional ecological knowledge will play in the work identified by the agreement.

“This agreement represents an important and significant step towards the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UN Declaration) and the realization of the Indigenous right to free, prior and informed consent,” stated Chief Bob Chamberlin, Vice-President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs. Chief Chamberlin continued, “The realization of Indigenous free, prior and informed consent in decisions which pertain to First Nations’ title and rights, will ensure a prosperous and sustainable future for Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities alike.”

Regional Chief Terry Teegee, of the BC Assembly of First Nations, exclaimed, “This is an important step in reconciliation and for the protection and restitution of our fish habitat and economy. For too long First Nations waters and lands have been subsidizing industry, we applaud the leadership taken by Premier Horgan.”

As per resolutions passed by each of the FNLC member organizations, the fin-fish open net-pen industry must be relocated to land-based closed containment facilities in order to safeguard our surviving wild salmon stocks and to protect our environment from the cumulative impacts of this industry.

“Considerable work lies ahead if we are to successfully re-establish healthy and abundant wild salmon stocks across BC. First Nations are well situated to inform and facilitate this work but must be engaged as full partners in this process with their right to free, prior and informed consent being recognized and respected”, said Robert Phillips of the First Nations Summit Political Executive. “As per the recommendations of the Cohen Commission of Inquiry into the Decline of Sockeye Salmon in the Fraser River, decisive action must be taken beyond the Broughton Archipelago to watersheds throughout BC to protect wild salmon for the benefit of future generations.”

The First Nations Leadership Council is comprised of the political executives of the BC Assembly of First Nations, First Nations Summit, and the Union of BC Indian Chiefs.

For further comment please contact:

Chief Bob Chamberlin, Vice-President, Union of BC Indian Chiefs: 250-974-8282
Robert Phillips, First Nations Summit Political Executive: 778-875-4463
Regional Chief Terry Teegee, BC Assembly of First Nations: 250-299-2030

See pdf news release

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BC Regional Chief Terry Teegee Acknowledges and Celebrates National Indigenous Peoples Day http://bcafn.ca/bc-regional-chief-terry-teegee-acknowledges-and-celebrates-national-indigenous-peoples-day/ Thu, 21 Jun 2018 14:06:24 +0000 http://bcafn.ca/?p=4276 (Lheidli T’enneh Territory, Prince George – June 20, 2018) – On June 21, the summer solstice marks a significant day for Indigenous Peoples across Canada. Recognized as a day to celebrate and acknowledge the successes, accomplishments and achievements of the Indigenous Peoples in Canada.

“June 21st is a day to recognize all that our families, communities and Nations have achieved through hard work, tenacity and resilience. Indigenous Peoples have overcome generations of colonialism, racism, oppression, and acts of genocide and we continue to survive and thrive. We must acknowledge the path our ancestors laid before us and continue to work to create a better life for our families and communities,” stated Regional Chief Terry Teegee. “We have a momentous opportunity in front of us, with new standards and principles of engagement established by the Provincial and Federal governments, the work of reconciliation is not easy but it is not without its reward. As Indigenous Peoples, we will continue to advance our Title, Rights and Treaty rights and I look forward to the work ahead.”

The BC Assembly of First Nations encourages First Nations and British Columbia citizens to partake in the many celebrations occurring across the province. Regional Chief Terry Teegee will be in Lheidl T’enneh Territory with his family to celebrate and mark this day.

For further information, contact:

Regional Chief Terry Teegee
Phone: (250) 299-2030
BC Assembly of First Nations

View PDF news release

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Communique to BC First Nations http://bcafn.ca/communique-to-bc-first-nations-june-2018/ Tue, 19 Jun 2018 14:15:06 +0000 http://bcafn.ca/?p=4271 Re: BC Environmental Assessment Reform

As many of you know the BC First Nations Leadership Council (FNLC) have engaged with the Province under the Commitment Document beginning in 2015 with the Environmental Assessment (EA) reform as one of the three initial priority areas for legislative and policy reform.

In December 2017, the FNLC met with BC Minister of Environment, George Heyman on moving forward with EA reform. The Minister has made assurances that he has the full mandate in these discussions. Pursuant to that mandate the First Nations Energy and Mining Council (FNEMC) has providing support to the FNLC and First Nations in BC by organizing and hosting information workshops throughout BC regarding First Nations perspectives on reforming and revitalizing the provincial and federal environmental assessment processes. It has also provided the opportunity for First Nations to highlight their own laws, policies and processes that provide their consent for major projects in their territories.

Today, the government of BC released a Discussion Paper regarding the revitalization of the BC EA process. An independent EA Advisory Committee has also released their report, which provides further information for First Nations, the public and industry regarding how EA needs to be reformed to address various factors including the implementation of First Nations policies and laws related to consent and decision-making.

FNEMC will continue to provide strategic technical support to the FNLC and information for First Nations to consider. The BCAFN and FNLC will continue to provide advocacy support to First Nations in BC, and work collaboratively with the Crown to ensure that EA processes, federally and provincially, uphold First Nations rights, treaty rights, title and decision-making authorities. The BCAFN, FNLC and FNEMC continue to emphasize that this process does not replace direct consultation and engagement with proper Title and Rights holders and we strongly encourage all First Nations to review and comment on the materials released by the provincial government. We have an opportunity to change EAs to benefit all.

For more information visit the follow websites:

View BC Government Public Engagement – EA Revitalization

View EA Revitalization Discussion Paper

Visit BC First Nations Energy and Mining Council Website

View PDF of Communique

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Province Opens the Door to Housing Investment on Reserves http://bcafn.ca/province-opens-the-door-to-housing-investment-on-reserves/ Mon, 18 Jun 2018 18:08:17 +0000 http://bcafn.ca/?p=4265 PRINCE GEORGE – British Columbia will become the first province in Canada to invest provincial housing funds into on-reserve housing.

“Everyone in British Columbia deserves a good home, including people who live on-reserve,” said Premier John Horgan. “That’s why we’re opening the door to all Indigenous communities to join us as we make housing better and more affordable for people in every part of the province.”

Through the new Building BC: Indigenous Housing Fund, the British Columbia government will invest $550 million over the next 10 years to build and operate 1,750 new units of social housing for projects, both on- and off-reserve.

BC Housing will send out a request for proposals to identify prospective partners, including Indigenous non-profit housing providers, First Nations, Métis Nation British Columbia, and non- profit and for-profit developers, wanting to partner with Indigenous housing providers and First Nations.

In addition to funding under the new Indigenous Housing Fund, Indigenous organizations and First Nations will be able to access provincial support, under the new housing funds announced as part of Budget 2018 and the 30-point housing plan.

The new housing will be developed in partnership with the Aboriginal Housing Management Association, Indigenous housing societies and First Nations.

With National Indigenous Peoples Day coming up on June 21, 2018, this investment to support affordable housing for Indigenous peoples is one of many areas where the Province is advancing reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.

The Province’s focus on building a true and lasting vision of reconciliation is anchored by a cross-government commitment to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, and case law.

The provincial government is making significant new investments in Indigenous priorities and reconciliation, with more than $250 million allocated over the next three years, in the areas of affordable housing, language revitalization, child care, mental health and addictions, reducing poverty, improving access to justice, skills training, emergency management and revitalizing the environmental assessment process.

Quotes:

Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing –

“We know that Indigenous peoples often face extraordinary housing challenges. With these new provincial housing funds now available to more people, we are taking a major step forward in making sure Indigenous peoples everywhere in British Columbia have access to the safe and secure housing they need.”

Scott Fraser, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation –

“Our government recognizes the rights of Indigenous peoples to be actively involved in developing and determining housing policies and programs affecting them. We’ll be working closely with the Indigenous housing sector every step of the way, to make sure Indigenous peoples are partners in building this new housing. This is one of the ways we are moving forward on reconciliation with First Nations and Indigenous peoples in B.C.”

Adam Olsen, MLA for Saanich North and the Islands –

“This is an important investment that will increase the quality of life for Indigenous peoples in B.C. Levels of Indigenous homelessness are unacceptable, and there is a direct link to a lack of housing on reserves. This is a smart investment, and recognizes that healthy, safe communities start with healthy, safe homes.”

Terry Teegee, Regional Chief, British Columbia Assembly of First Nations –

“We have never seen such a commitment from a provincial government for on-reserve housing investments. I applaud the leadership of Premier Horgan and his ministers. Housing is a fundamental human right, and impacts a wide range of societal needs, including security, health for families and employment. First Nations in B.C. seek to improve a major gap in housing needs. This is an important step for building stronger First Nations’ communities.”

Chief Bob Chamberlin, vice-president, Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs –

“Today, we are encouraged by this first step of the provincial government to respond to the need for affordable housing for Indigenous peoples. For true reconciliation, steps like these are crucial, but Indigenous peoples must be involved every step of the way. With a growing need for social housing, there is much work left to be done.”

Cheryl Casimer, political executive, First Nations Summit –

“We welcome today’s announcement of the creation of the Indigenous Housing Fund by the Province of B.C. This fund will provide a significant investment that will have immediate positive impacts in addressing the acute shortage of affordable housing units, especially for those Indigenous peoples in B.C. living below the poverty line. This fund will also assist Indigenous peoples with greater opportunities to access housing within their own communities, rather than being forced to move to urban centres.”

Clara Morin Dal Col, president, Métis Nation British Columbia –

“Métis Nation B.C. is excited about the housing opportunities for Métis people in British Columbia through this new program. These funds have the potential of helping to provide Métis people long-awaited access to housing, and as a result, provide substantial benefits to

the health and well-being of our communities. We are very pleased with the Province’s investment and commitment to this provincial housing plan. This is a significant step toward government’s efforts of nation-to-nation relationships and reconciliation.”

Margaret Pfoh, CEO, Aboriginal Housing Management Association –

“Today’s announcement is a positive step in the right direction to alleviating the housing challenges of our Indigenous peoples. We are over represented in every housing need category. The Aboriginal Housing Management Association, and our members, look forward to partnering with First Nations and Indigenous housing organizations to create the housing that we so desperately need.”

Quick Facts:

  • Budget 2018 launched the biggest investment in housing affordability in B.C. history — more than $7 billion over 10 years.
  • All programs announced in Budget 2018 will be open to Indigenous organizations and First Nations, for housing both on- and off-reserve, including:
    • Building BC: Community Housing Fund – close to $1.9 billion over 10 years to build and operate 14,350 affordable new rental homes, through partnerships with municipalities, non-profit housing providers, housing co-ops and Indigenous organizations.
    • Building BC: Women’s Transition Housing Fund – $734 million over 10 years to build and operate 1,500 new units of housing including transition houses, safe homes, second-stage and long-term housing.
    • Building BC: Supportive Housing Fund – $1.2 billion over 10 years to build and operate 2,500 units of supportive housing for those that are homeless, or at risk of homelessness.
  • Currently, more than 4,600 subsidized housing units are specifically designated for Indigenous peoples in B.C. More than 700 Indigenous housing units are in development or under construction throughout the province.

Learn More:

Read Homes for B.C., government’s 30-point plan to address housing affordability for British Columbians: bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2018/homesbc/2018_Homes_For_BC.pdf

To find out what the Province is doing to improve housing affordability, visit:

news.gov.bc.ca/factsheets/bc-government-addressing-housing-affordability-challenges

Contacts:

Sheena McConnell
Press Secretary
Office of the Premier
250 886-8587

Lindsay Byers
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
250 952-0617

Sarah Plank
Communications Director
Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation
250 952-1889

Rajvir Rao
BC Housing
604 456-8917

See PDF news release

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