The Indigenous and Northern Affairs (INAN) Committee has started a pre-study on Bill C-15, which requires that the government implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP) and report on their progress.
Peace River – Westlock MP Arnold Viersen is concerned that the Liberal Government is not taking into account the full legal implications of Bill C-15.
“I am concerned that this Bill could relitigate long-established Indigenous rights and undermine the existing democratic authority held by Chiefs and Band Councils.”
“The government is enshrining UNDRIP into Canadian law before we have developed a common understanding of what concepts like free, prior and informed consent mean in Canadian law. There is currently a lack of consensus in the legal community, and without a common understanding we risk creating uncertainty and misunderstanding in the future.”
“All Canadians need to be aware that the lack of clarity and common understanding about key concepts in the bill could have unpredictable and far-reaching effects that could undermine reconciliation in the long term.”
“I am inviting all constituents, organizations, and councils to provide feedback on Bill C-15.”
The Conservative Party supports treaty rights and the process of reconciliation with Indigenous peoples of Canada and believes the path to reconciliation lies in taking meaningful action to improve the lives of Indigenous peoples and ensuring that they can fully participate in Canada’s economy.
Back In January Saskatchewan First Nation, Onion Lake Cree Nation leadership issued a statement:
Okimaw Henry Lewis rejects, on behalf of his Nation, Bill C15 – An Act respecting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which was introduced into Parliament on 3 December 2020.
“Our Nation entered into Treaty with the British Crown in 1876. We do not need domestic
legislation that undermines and diminishes our rights as a sovereign Nation” said Okimaw Lewis.
This latest Bill demonstrates the same arrogant and unilateral intent by the Government to say that they are upholding and advancing our Treaty Rights, when in fact they are doing the opposite. They are window-dressing reconciliation.
It appears not all First Nation communities support UNDRIP.