BC Assembly of First Nations http://bcafn.ca Tue, 15 Jan 2019 18:15:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.7 BCAFN Concerned about the RCMP Injunction Enforcement http://bcafn.ca/bcafn-concerned-about-the-rcmp-injunction-enforcement/ http://bcafn.ca/bcafn-concerned-about-the-rcmp-injunction-enforcement/#respond Mon, 07 Jan 2019 23:40:08 +0000 http://bcafn.ca/?p=4825 The BC Assembly of First Nations (BCAFN) is expressing concern, along with a growing number of leaders and citizens, regarding the increasingly volatile situation developing in northern BC between the RCMP and First Nations protesting the TransCanada Coastal GasLink project. First Nations citizens, as all Canadian citizens, have a right to protest in a peaceful and safe manner. First Nations and the RCMP have a long history of mistrust as the RCMP have been tasked with enforcing Crown jurisdiction on First Nations lands. With the current situation, and that of the Kinder Morgan TransMountain Project, we will see 2019 as a potentiallyvolatile year of protests as questions of jurisdiction and reconciliation between Aboriginal title and Crown title progresses.

Regional Chief Terry Teegee stated, “The BCAFN is very concerned that the RCMP are questioning the ownership of Aboriginal title, and they continue to assume jurisdiction for policing in unceded First Nations territories. This is a major problem which requires political intervention from both Prime Minister Trudeau and Premier Horgan in order to protect the advances that have been made in the reconciliation process. The RCMP cannot be allowed to hold discretion or discuss the legal interests and rights of First Nations peoples in BC.”

In the recent RCMP news release (2019/01/06) regarding the enforcement of an interim BC Supreme Court injunction order against the protestors at the Coastal GasLink project, they have stated: “The Supreme Court of Canada decided that a new trial was required to determine whether Aboriginal title had been established for these lands, and to hear from other Indigenous nations which have a stake in the territory claimed. The new trial has never been held, meaning that Aboriginal title to this land, and which Indigenous nation holds it, has not been determined. Regardless of the outcome of any such trial in the future, the RCMP is the police agency with jurisdiction.” Regional Chief Teegee noted, “It is extremely inappropriate that the RCMP make such statements in an era of political, legal and legislative changes that seek to improve the relationship between First Nations governments and the Crown. As Regional Chief of the BCAFN, I take direction from the Chiefs in BC – we will also discuss this with other Regional Chiefs across Canada and the AFN National Chief, as this is a national justice issue and one related to the recognition, implementation and affirmation of First Nations rights and title.”

During this time the BCAFN calls for everyone involved to be peaceful and respectful. The Coastal GasLink project is one that is broadly supported by First Nations governments in BC, and there exists solutions to resolve everyone’s concerns. First Nations in BC have unique governance systems and authorities that have existed before colonization, and they continue today. These rights are protected under the Canadian law and are recognized under international law. Both Canada and BC are supportive of the full implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. First Nations governments in BC require further support for the implementation and affirmation of their rights and jurisdiction.

“First Nations Chiefs in BC are seeking resolution to the land question. Premier Horgan and Prime Minister Trudeau must intensify their reconciliation work in 2019 as progress will require leadership and courage. Let’s get to solutions between the Crown and First Nations regarding jurisdiction and legal orders otherwise we’ll see our volatile history repeated yet again,” stated Regional Chief Teegee.

More Information
Link to RCMP Press Release:
http://bc.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/ViewPage.action?siteNodeId=2087&languageId=1&contentId=57805

For further information, contact:
Annette Schroeter, Communications Officer. Phone: (778) 281-1655. Email: annette.schroeter@bcafn.ca

View PDF 

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Indigenous Intern Leadership Program http://bcafn.ca/indigenous-intern-leadership-program/ Tue, 18 Dec 2018 19:05:03 +0000 http://bcafn.ca/?p=4809

Winter 2018

The Indigenous Intern Leadership Program, made possible by the BC Assembly of First Nations and the Business Council of British Columbia through their joint Champions Table, brings together qualifying recent Indigenous Graduates with BC employers for two-year work opportunities.

This program provides an opportunity for an Indigenous graduate to hold meaningful employment within a business organization for the next two years. By giving them workplace skills and training beyond their program learning, graduates will build a foundation towards a lasting career while being supported as future leaders in business and BC’s economy. This opportunity will work to strengthen and increase the capacity within Indigenous communities. Long term, this will assist in advancing economic reconciliation, community development, cultural preservation, and respect.

To get started, or if you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch by emailing Patrick Brennan at patrick.brennan@viu.ca.

IILP Employer Info pdf

Program FAQ’s pdf

 

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HAPPY HOLIDAYS from BCAFN http://bcafn.ca/happy-holidays-from-bcafn/ Mon, 17 Dec 2018 18:36:51 +0000 http://bcafn.ca/?p=4803 Wishing you a wonderful holiday season surrounded by your loved ones
from the Board and Staff at the BC Assembly of First Nations!

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FIRST NATIONS LEADERSHIP COUNCIL DEMANDS OVERHAUL OF SYSTEMS FOR CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS http://bcafn.ca/first-nations-leadership-council-demands-overhaul-of-systems-for-children-with-special-needs/ Wed, 12 Dec 2018 17:54:53 +0000 http://bcafn.ca/?p=4799 Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm(Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and Səl̓ilwətaʔɬ/Sel̓ílwith (Tsleil-Waututh)/Vancouver: On Monday Dec.10, the Representative for Children and Youth released the report Alone and Afraid: Lessons learned from the ordeal of a child with special needs and his family, which exposes British Columbia’s deeply flawed system of services to support children with complex needs.

Kukpi7 Judy Wilson, Secretary-Treasurer of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, stated, “The report details stories which are disturbing and traumatic with long lasting consequences. Immediate action is needed by the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) to make profound changes to severely overburdened and underfunded systems and ensure the safety and well-being of our children with special needs.”

Significantly, the report recommends that MCFD ensure identification and involvement of an Indigenous child or youth’s family, community and culture at the first point of contact with any MCFD service and continue this involvement on an ongoing basis. This should include, in consultation with Indigenous communities and organizations, the creation of guidelines for social workers working with Indigenous families, with resources to help them do this work.

“Many of our First Nations children have special needs and some are found in vulnerable situations,” notes Regional Chief Terry Teegee. “The MCFD and other government ministries listed in this report have more than enough information to identify where the deficiencies in their services lie. It is now a time of action to significantly improve the quality of life for our children and families and make sure that not one child is missed.”

“The child who is the focus of this report is not only special needs, is also of indigenous ancestry.  MCFD clearly failed to recognize the Indigenous connection and reach out to his family and community. They also failed to provide critical supports to the mother who was struggling to provide adequate care to her son from the onset.  The suffering this child had to endure as a result of these systemic breakdowns could have been avoided if proper measures had been put into place by MCFD”, said Cheryl Casimer of the First Nations Summit Political Executive. “It is obvious that much more collaboration needs to take place between MCFD and Indigenous families and communities to ensure that children in care receive the adequate care and supports they are entitled to and that cultural connections be a contributing factor in the MCFD service plan.  This is yet another unfortunate example of a broken system that continues to fail our children and this has to stop”.

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 Assembly of First Nations: 250-981-2151
Cheryl Casimer, First Nations Summit Political Executive: 778-875-2157
Kukpi7 Judy Wilson, Secretary-Treasurer, Union of BC Indian Chiefs: 604-684-0231

View Press Release pdf

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BC First Nations Forestry Council’s CEO Departure Announcement http://bcafn.ca/bc-first-nations-forestry-councils-ceo-departure-announcement/ Mon, 10 Dec 2018 22:40:22 +0000 http://bcafn.ca/?p=4795

After over ten years of serving as CEO of the BC First Nations Forestry Council (FNFC), Keith Atkinson has announced his departure from the position to start the next chapter of his career. During his exceptional service in the leadership role, Atkinson has managed to create and cultivate relationships based on mutual respect, collaboration, and perseverance within the community of First Nations forestry. This leadership has supported our communities and helped in removing many barriers while developing relationships with provincial and federal governments, industry and stakeholders.

His steadfast dedication to our First Nations communities has led toward numerous fruitful and transformational achievements. Atkinson has tirelessly advocated for increased participation and benefits to BC First Nations in governance and the business of forestry. He consistently moved forward with governance policy work that supported and strengthened the need for First Nations’ governance recognition and he saw the opportunity and need to build a number of programs to support workforce transformation for the increased participation of First Nations in the forest sector, which has resulted in the newly formalized BC First Nations Forestry Workforce Strategy.

“I am very optimistic with the role and the current position of the BC First Nations Forestry Council,” explains Keith Atkinson. “It is this favourable condition that helped me make this difficult choice as I feel that the organization is entering an exciting period: the staff is led by a committed Board of Directors, an excellent senior management team, while the programming, administration, and financial management are all in excellent standing. I believe that now is the moment to secure the future and make room for new leadership with a fresh vision and boundless energy.”

Keith Atkinson is officially departing from his role on Dec. 15, 2018, and will remain in an advisory capacity to support the new leadership. Dr. Charlene Higgins, who is currently the FNFC’s Senior Policy Advisor, has been appointed by the Board to take on the role of interim Chief Executive Officer. Charlene has worked with the FNFC since 2008 to advance the shared vision and goals of the Forestry Council.

“Keith has developed and led a committed team, each of whom plays an integral role in the everyday running of our successful not-for-profit organization,” said Bill Williams, Chair of the Board of Directors. “We will miss Keith but he leaves the FNFC in a very strong position for future growth, and we sincerely thank him for over ten years of executing this remarkable vision, leadership and his extraordinary contributions.”

For further information, please contact:
Bill Williams, President of FNFC | bill_williams@squamish.net
Charlene Higgins, A/CEO of FNFC | charlene@forestrycouncil.ca

View News Release pdf

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FIRST NATIONS LEADERS GATHER IN OTTAWA FOR AFN SPECIAL CHIEFS’ ASSEMBLY http://bcafn.ca/first-nations-leaders-gather-in-ottawa-for-afn-special-chiefs-assembly/ Mon, 10 Dec 2018 21:25:08 +0000 http://bcafn.ca/?p=4793 Chiefs from British Columbia, including Regional Chief Terry Teegee, travelled to unceded Algonquin Territory last week to conduct business at the Assembly of First Nations’ Special Chiefs Assembly. The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) advocates on behalf of First Nations on issues such as treaties, Indigenous rights, land and resources. They have the authority to review and enforce decisions and directions brought forward by proposed resolutions that are discussed and voted on at assemblies.

This event provided opportunities to acknowledge and honour individual contributions, receive updates on the federal government’s legislations and initiatives, and engage with all four leaders of Canada’s political parties. Some important issues advanced at this meeting include the Indigenous-Crown relations, climate change action, preservation of Indigenous languages and knowledge systems, protection for the environment and wildlife, economic development, housing and infrastructure, and support for a number of social justice initiatives.

“By coming together First Nations leaders forge solidarity and purpose as we work to address serious and timely issues and concerns experienced and brought forward by our peoples. It’s also an opportunity to celebrate achievements and navigate opportunities that will benefit First Nations,” states Regional Chief Terry Teegee.

Significantly, the Chiefs-in-Assembly rejected the Recognition and Implementation of the Indigenous Rights Frameworkand associated processes put forth by Canada’s federal government. Regional Chief Terry Teegee notes, “Chiefs from BC believe this decision was the best way to advance and maintain unity on this important issue that effects all First Nations in our province and Canada.” An immediate meeting was called for with the Prime Minister to assess and recommence the Nation-to-Nation Relationship.

Go to the following link to view the Assembly webcast: https://livestream.com/afn/events/8466160/videos/184450920

For further information, contact:
Regional Chief Terry Teegee. Phone: (250) 981-2151. BC Assembly of First Nations

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BCAFN WELCOMES BRITISH COLUMBIA’S CLEANBC PLAN http://bcafn.ca/bcafn-welcomes-british-columbias-cleanbc-plan/ Sat, 08 Dec 2018 00:39:01 +0000 http://bcafn.ca/?p=4787 The government of British Columbia’s recent announcement of their CleanBC plan is welcomed by the BC Assembly of First Nations. It is necessary and timely to address the mounting devastating impacts of climate change. First Nations in BC will need to be part of the transition to the low carbon economy.

Regional Chief Teegee said, “First Nations are climate leaders and have legal rights to their resources and lands. The Chiefs in BC must be fully engaged and included as the international, national and regional environmental and economic landscapes begin to transform under this new vision.”

Opportunities that arise as the CleanBC plan unfolds the low-carbon economy must be co-created with First Nations in BC to realize the protection and implementation of First Nations inherent and treaty rights. Also, revenues generated from land and water-based carbon projects, as well as taxation of earnings generated from projects impacting First Nations’ resources and lands, must be shared with First Nations. These fiscal initiatives are required to be built into policies and legislation to affirm and guarantee First Nations peoples individual and collective rights, jurisdictions and right to self-determination.

Some of the highlights of the CleanBC plan which will directly impact First Nations governments include:

  • creation of new economic opportunities for people and a push for innovation to grow world–leading technology and clean energy sectors;
  • commitment to working in collaboration with Indigenous peoples to seize new clean economy opportunities and help communities adapt to the impacts of climate change. This will include collaboration on a climate change adaptation strategy to be developed for 2020;
  • provide an effective blueprint to grow the BC economy by directing a portion of B.C.’s carbon tax paid by industry into incentives for cleaner operations, encouraging partnerships, and building a safe industry for carbon capture and storage, etc.;
  • work with employers, Indigenous communities, labour groups and post- secondary institutions to analyze the labour market and identify where strong job growth will be and what skills will be needed.

BCAFN has developed a First Nations Sustainable Economic Development and Fiscal Strategywhich includes climate change adaptation and clean growth in First Nations communities. Some First Nations in BC have begun the movement toward low carbon communities with implementation of solar and wind technologies. Understanding the serious impacts of climate change and developing and implementing solutions have been a priority for First Nations for a number of years now.

“We are encouraged and hopeful with the CleanBC plan and see it as a positive step towards addressing the impending ecological and economic disaster that the United Nations and scientists around the world have been warning all of humanity about,” stated Regional Chief Terry Teegee. “We have a responsibility to open our hearts, our minds, and to listen… and then to make changes for this generation and those yet to be born.”

For further information contact:
Regional Chief Terry Teegee. Phone: (250) 981-2151. BC Assembly of First Nations

View pdf

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FIRST NATIONS LEADERS MEET WITH PRIME MINISTER AND FIRST MINISTERS http://bcafn.ca/first-nations-leaders-meet-with-prime-minister-and-first-ministers/ Sat, 08 Dec 2018 00:00:15 +0000 http://bcafn.ca/?p=4784 Regional Chief Terry Teegee joined First Nations, Inuit and Métis leaders as they met with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and First Ministers this morning in Montreal for a significant discussion on economic development issues. This annual First Ministers meeting provides an important opportunity for the four levels of government to meet to discuss important issues. National Chief Perry Bellegarde led the discussions alongside several executive members of the Assembly of First Nations.

Regional Chief Teegee stated, “These are important gatherings of leadership in Canada. The BCAFN highlighted the positive relationship First Nations leaders have cultivated with the government of B.C. I urge other First Ministers from the rest of Canada to model the development of their own Nation-to-Nation relationships on Premier John Horgan and the government of British Columbia’s commitment to work with First Nations. It’s not perfect but the path of reconciliation with First Nations is not an easy one and we have much work to do.”

Regional Chief Teegee brought forward regional priorities to be immediately addressed including implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, fisheries, environmental assessment reviews, trade missions, employment, education and skills training, and housing. Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna, Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Canada’s ambassador to the United States, David MacNaughton, joined the group for these discussions.

The Regional Chief Teegee, together with National Chief Perry Bellegarde and the AFN Executive Committee, will meet again with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in January 2019.

For further information, contact:
Regional Chief Terry Teegee. Phone: (250) 981-2151. BC Assembly of First Nations

View pdf

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SAVE THE DATE for the 2019 First Nations Business Forum February 19 & 20, 2019 http://bcafn.ca/save-the-date-for-the-2019-first-nations-business-forum-february-19-20-2019/ Wed, 05 Dec 2018 19:27:23 +0000 http://bcafn.ca/?p=4768 The BC Assembly of First Nations (BCAFN) will be hosting a First Nations Business Forum in Lheidli T’enneh Territory, Prince George at the Uda Dune Baiyoh/Hall of Our Ancestors (355 Vancouver Street).

The Chiefs of BC have provided BCAFN with the mandate to advance the work of the First Nations Sustainable Economic and Fiscal Relations Strategy. An important aspect of this strategy is a commitment to host a business forum and provide space to discuss and learn about cultivating of our own local economies and  escalating our significant contributions to BC’s larger economic sectors. As part of this important event, the session aims to specifically set a day to highlight and learn from women in business.

For First Nations leaders, entrepreneurs and youth interested in learning more about the latest in the economic potential of First Nations and their people.

BCAFN will provide reimbursement for 1 (one) official delegate per First Nation community (member of the BCAFN). This participant may be a leadership representative or an Economic Development staff member.

Register

*An agenda for the event will be posted once confirmed.*

For more information please contact: Derek Hansom, Economic Development Policy Analyst at derek.hansom@bcafn.ca

View announcement pdf

 

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B.C. government, First Nations will share gaming revenue, co-develop legislation to implement UN declaration http://bcafn.ca/b-c-government-first-nations-will-share-gaming-revenue-co-develop-legislation-to-implement-un-declaration/ Fri, 30 Nov 2018 00:08:11 +0000 http://bcafn.ca/?p=4755
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British Columbia Press Release
Office of the Premier

Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation

COAST SALISH TERRITORIES/VANCOUVER – B.C. First Nations will share in provincial gaming revenue to support self-government, strong, healthy communities, and services that make life better for families. This funding will be a central piece of Budget 2019 to support reconciliation.

The BC Assembly of First Nations, First Nations Summit and Union of BC Indian Chiefs, working together as the First Nations Leadership Council (FNLC), and the Province announced they are co-developing new legislation for introduction in 2019 to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UN declaration) in B.C.

“Undoubtedly this is a momentous occasion for all First Nations in the Province of B.C.,” saidGrand Chief Joe Hall, First Nations lead negotiator and past chair of the BC First Nations GamingCommission. “We have worked at this for many, many years and now we have finally arrived atan agreement that will see much-needed revenue from gaming shared with all the First Nations communities of B.C. The countless stories that we heard about how the revenue will make a significant difference in our communities was both heart-warming and inspirational. Our negotiating team is so pleased that this government has by demonstration addressed and resolved this specific long-standing unfairness. It bodes well for the reconciliation efforts in this province.”

“UN declaration legislation and gaming revenue sharing are important steps forward to advance true and lasting reconciliation, and create certainty and opportunity for First Nations and the province as a whole,” said Premier Horgan. “Sharing gaming revenues will mean First Nations have the ability to invest in the services and infrastructure healthy communities need –child care, supports for new mothers, housing, road upgrades and economic development to create a better future for everyone in B.C.”

The joint announcement was made by the provincial government and First Nations Leadership Council at the annual B.C. Cabinet-First Nations Leaders’ Gathering in Vancouver, where more than 650 meetings between First Nations leaders, cabinet ministers and deputy ministers will be held over the next two days.

“This is a historic and progressive action by the provincial government to address the ongoingissues regarding jurisdiction and gaming revenue sharing,” stated Regional Chief Terry Teegee of the BC Assembly of First Nations. “We see this as a positive first step and look forward to thisnew fiscal arrangement. We will see a growth in the number and quality of community projects, including business ventures that will consequently contribute to increased economic prosperity for all British Columbians.”

The FNLC and provincial government have been working together to develop a set of concrete actions to advance reconciliation together, with new legislation and gaming revenue sharing as top priorities. The First Nations Gaming Commission has been in negotiations with the Province over the past year on a model to implement gaming revenue sharing. For decades, First Nations leaders have advocated for a share of gaming revenue.

“We are pleased the Government of B.C. has committed to the implementation of the UNdeclaration and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, but now we need toput these commitments into concrete actions,” said Cheryl Casimer of the First Nations Summit Political Executive. “After many years and attempts to create a mutual agenda and roadmap for an improved relationship, and moving substantially forward on reconciliation, B.C. First Nations and the government have finally landed on a renewed vision and plan for reconciling Aboriginal title and rights, with asserted Crown title and jurisdiction.” She continued, “The Commitment Document sets out a progressive shared vision and plan with the Province. It recognizes our inherent rights of self-determination and jurisdiction, as well as our rights related to our lands, resources and territories. This new path and our collective work must be based on a new set of principles and values rather than the old colonial standard of denial.”

“We are committing to work together with First Nations throughout B.C. in ways we never have before, to take bold steps that truly support self-government and self-determination,” said Scott Fraser, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation. “For the first time, the B.C. government will be sharing gaming revenues with First Nations, for the benefit of every nation across this province.”

The Province’s commitment to gaming revenue sharing starts with $2 million in immediate support to establish a B.C. First Nations gaming distribution limited partnership, which will manage the new revenue.

“Today’s historic announcement marks a significant achievement in the Government of B.C.’s journey to reconcile its colonial history with the unextinguished Title and Rights of Indigenous peoples,” stated Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, president of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs. “First Nations in B.C. continue to experience the ongoing impacts of colonization, including a lack ofrecognition for our rights and disproportionately poor living conditions. We are hopeful thatthe joint work we commit to with the Province will improve the lives of our people and for all British Columbians. Jointly-developed, recognition- and rights-based legislative, policy and operational changes are needed to get out of this colonial hangover. B.C.’s commitment to developing a legislative framework for the full implementation of the standards and principles of the UN declaration, and its commitment to share gaming revenue, is a significant step towards the realization of Indigenous peoples’ right to self-determination and the revitalization of Indigenous governments and a nation-to-nation relationship. We cannot reiterate enough, the UN declaration must be the framework for reconciliation in B.C.”

“This is an enormous step forward on the path to reconciliation and truly recognizing the right to self-determination for First Nations,” said Carole James, Minister of Finance. “First Nations know better than anyone what their communities need to thrive. When First Nations can focus on their priorities, it creates new opportunities for communities to flourish both today and for the generations to come.”

Quick Facts:

  • All First Nations will be eligible for a portion of the new gaming revenue fund. A new limited partnership, comprised of a First Nations-appointed board of directors, will oversee the distribution of the funds.
  • First Nations will determine the best use for the new funding from a share of annual provincial gaming revenues. Funding will focus on priorities in the following framework: health and wellness; infrastructure, safety, transportation and housing; economic and business development; education, language, culture and training; community development and environmental protection; and capacity building, fiscal management and governance. Within that framework, First Nations governments will determine their own priorities for these funds.
  • Gaming revenue sharing will be provided in addition to existing revenue sharing. Currently, economic benefits agreements between the Province and First Nations are primarily resource based and provide approximately $125 million annually to First Nations whose land and rights are affected.
  • The B.C. Cabinet and First Nations Leaders’ Gathering is being held at the Vancouver Convention Centre Nov. 29-30, 2018. It is organized in partnership between the FirstNations Leadership Council and the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation. The annual gathering offers opportunities for First Nations leaders to meet one-to-onewith B.C. cabinet ministers as well as participate in plenary and breakout sessions onissues of importance to their communities.

Learn More:

Shared vision, guiding principles, goals and objectives: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/BC_FNLC_Vision.pdf
Concrete actions: transforming laws, policies, processes and structures: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/BC_FNLC_Actions.pdf
British Columbia –
First Nations Proposed Commitment Document 2015: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/Commitment_Document.pdf
BC Assembly of First Nations: https://www.afn.ca/
First Nations Summit: http://fns.bc.ca/
Union of BC Indian Chiefs: https://www.ubcic.bc.ca/
Factsheet: provincial government actions, investments to support reconciliation: https://news.gov.bc.ca/18576

A backgrounder follows.

Contacts:

Jen Holmwood
Deputy Communications Director
Office of the Premier
250 818-4881

Ellena Neel
Communications Coordinator
Union of BC Indian Chiefs
604 762-1812

Annette Schroeter
Communications Officer
BC Assembly of First Nations
778 281-1655

Sarah Plank
Communications Director
Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation
250 208-9621

Colin Braker
Communications Director
First Nations Summit
604 328-4094

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BACKGROUNDER

Office of the Premier
Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation
BC Assembly of First Nations First Nations
Summit Union of BC Indian Chiefs

B.C., First Nations Leadership Council agree to joint concrete actions for reconciliation

New legislation and a share of provincial gaming revenues for First Nations top the list of priorities recently agreed to between the provincial government and First Nations Leadership Council (FNLC) under a set of concrete actions that form a joint work plan to implement the 2015 Commitment Document. The joint work, guided by a shared vision, will strengthen government-to-government relationships with First Nations as the Province continues its work to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UN declaration) and Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action.

The joint concrete actions include:

  • Developing legislation by fall 2019, similar to the federal private member’s Bill C-262, to establish the UN declaration as the framework for reconciliation in British Columbia.
  • Developing new fiscal models of sharing provincial revenues to support First Nations self- government, including a new model to share gaming revenue by 2019.
  • Establishing an independent Indigenous commission within three years that supportsFirst Nations, upon request, with self-government, including boundary resolutions,developing constitutions, making laws and policies, and land-use planning, as identified in the 2015 Commitment Document.
  • Reforming legislation and policies through a joint review table to reduce barriers to reconciliation, with a plan for changes in child welfare, environmental assessment and forestry within a year as identified in the 2015 Commitment Document.
  • Developing a multi-year strategy to promote education, both within the school system and more broadly, to British Columbians on the history and contributions of First Nations within a year.
  • Designing principles for new, innovative and creative models for negotiation and disputeresolution between the provincial government and First Nations within a year.

The 2015 Commitment Document set an agenda for achieving an effective Crown-First Nations relationship in B.C., and working collaboratively to improve social and economic outcomes for First Nations communities. It is seen as a key tool for advancing Aboriginal title and rights, and as a means for First Nations to work toward establishing their own jurisdictions, governance, laws and responsibilities. The vision and concrete actions documents help to mobilize this agenda by outlining a clear approach and a shared work plan for achieving meaningful progress.

Contacts:

Jen Holmwood
Deputy Communications Director
Office of the Premier
250 818-4881

Ellena Neel
Communications Coordinator
Union of BC Indian Chiefs
604 762-1812

Annette Schroeter
Communications Officer
BC Assembly of First Nations
778 281-1655

Sarah Plank
Communications Director
Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation
250 208-9621

Colin Braker
Communications Director
First Nations Summit
604 328-4094

See PDF news release

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