Background Content

Government Commitments to Truth and Reconciliation

AFN – Canada Bilateral Meetings

October 3, 2017

Items discussed in pre-meeting with Prime Minister Trudeau:

  • Forgiving B.C. Treaty loans and advances as part of reconciliation;
  • The need for the assumed sovereignty of the Crown to acknowledge, make space for, and respect First Nations inherent rights, title and jurisdiction;
  • The need for the participation of all relevant Ministers in our next meeting under the Memorandum of Understanding on Joint Priorities, set for November 20;
  • The need to discuss an approach to a legislative framework to support the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples that builds on Bill C-262;
  • Maintaining the priority for legislation to revitalize and rejuvenate our First Nations languages;
  • Establishing a process with First Nations for a joint review of federal laws, policies and operational practices;
  • Reminder of the need for the full $180 million to fix Child Welfare on reserve;
  • Access to capital is a major issue for First Nations – raised the potential for federal loan guarantees, government-backed bonds.

Items discussed with all Premiers in main meeting:

  • The need to ensure provinces are using transfers from the federal government for First Nations services efficiently;
  • First Nations being an underutilized workforce and Canada has a labour shortage; need to invest in human capital;
  • Provinces supporting an Indigenous Peoples Chapter in NAFTA;
  • Premiers, establishing roundtables for dialogue with First Nations about resource revenue sharing and revenue sharing, and respecting First Nations jurisdiction on taxation regimes;
  • Requesting a policy change – where Provinces are issuing permits or licences for major projects, insist that a company have a plan or strategy for procurement, employment of First Nations and revenue benefits sharing;
  • Access to capital – for example – equity ownership, government backing for bonds to back investments in First Nations ventures; government guaranteed loans;
    • Participation in the transition to a clean energy economy, balancing the environment and the economy – micro grids work;
    • Cannabis being an emerging element of the economy;
    • First Nations were shut out of the supply management system for dairy and eggs; therefore, a percentage of licenses should be allocated to First Nation entrepreneurs;
    • Support for urban reserves as zones for economic development;
  • Establishing bilateral forums with Chiefs and leaders in provinces and territories – where there isn’t one;
  • Supporting First Nations at federal-provincial tables;
  • The need for dialogue to address First Nations inherent rights, title and jurisdiction next to the assumed sovereignty of the Crown;
  • The need to root out the Doctrine of Discovery and the concept of Terra Nullius as racist, illegal doctrines;
  • Calling for a First Ministers Meeting in 2018 on First Nations priority issues, including, the need for a National Action Plan to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; the Crown’s consultation and consent obligations; land and resource issues and working together to address fiscal needs respecting child welfare, education, health and labour market based on need