Government Commitments

Government Commitments to Truth and Reconciliation

Draft Principles that Guide the Province of British Columbia’s Relationship with Indigenous Peoples

May 23, 2018

Release of “Draft principles” that recognizes that:

  • all relations with Indigenous peoples need to be based on the recognition and implementation of their right to self- determination, including the inherent right of self-government.
  • reconciliation is a fundamental purpose of section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982.
  • the honour of the Crown guides the conduct of the Crown in all of its dealings with Indigenous peoples.
  • Indigenous self-government is part of Canada’s evolving system of cooperative federalism and distinct orders of government
  • treaties, agreements, and other constructive arrangements between Indigenous peoples and the Crown have been and are intended to be acts of reconciliation based on mutual recognition and respect.
  • meaningful engagement with Indigenous peoples aims to secure their free, prior and informed consent when B.C. proposes to take actions which impact them and their rights, including their lands, territories and resources.
  • respecting and implementing rights is essential and that any infringement of section 35 rights must by law meet a high threshold of justification which includes Indigenous perspectives and satisfies the Crown’s fiduciary obligations.
  • reconciliation and self-government require a renewed fiscal relationship, developed in collaboration with the federal government and Indigenous nations that promotes a mutually supportive climate for economic partnership and resource development.
  • reconciliation is an ongoing process that occurs in the context of evolving Crown-Indigenous relationships.
  • a distinctions-based approach is needed to ensure that the unique rights, interests and circumstances of Indigenous peoples in B.C. are acknowledged, affirmed, and implemented.