The purpose of this meeting was to discuss progress to date, as well as determine the way forward on co-developed initiatives including:
- Closing the socio-economic gap and ensuring that investments are continually made and are needed each and every year to close the gap.
- Working towards a new fiscal relationship that provides sufficient, predictable, and sustainable funding based on real needs and that flows from the land and resource wealth we are sharing with all Canadians.
- Developing an Indigenous Languages Act
- Advancing the Recognition and Implementation of Indigenous Rights Framework. There’s a lot of uncertainty.
Because there are so many questions to be determined by First Nations rights holders. What structure do you want to use? Is it bands or reserves? Is it Treaty areas? How do you want to reconstitute our Nations and Tribes? How will the Rights Recognition Framework work with Bill C-262, the UN Declaration Bill? How will it impact our Treaties? Recognition of our inherent right to self-determination – that’s what we’ve got to get to.
- Policing as an essential service that still needs a lot of work. In January, the government committed $291M for First Nations Policing
- NAFTA – the three countries in these negotiations have all endorsed the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Now they must honour it by including an Indigenous Peoples Chapter.
- Pope Francis apology: The Catholic Church is the only one not to apologize. 70 per cent of children in Residential Schools were in Catholic run schools. We need him to say sorry. We also want him to make a strong statement against the Doctrine of Discovery, the Doctrine of Terra Nullius – those illegal, racist doctrines. That is how the Crown assumed jurisdiction.
- Implementation of proposed funding in Budget 2018 was also discussed.