TEMPLATE LETTER TO SEND TO THE PRIME MINISTER
Right Honourable Justin Trudeau
Prime Minister of Canada
c/o Office of the Prime Minister
Prime Minister`s Office
80 Wellington St.
Ottawa, ON, K1A 0A2
Dear Mr. Prime Minister,
Re: Canada’s Proposed Indigenous Rights Recognition and Implementation Framework
The process, direction, and approach of your Rights Recognition and Implementation Framework initiative is completely inconsistent with your proposal made on February 14th, 2018. It is also in direct conflict with our full jurisdiction.
In 2016, Canada gave its unqualified support for the United Nations Declaration Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) announced that UNDRIP would set the minimum standard for a law and policy review that would be aimed at making Canada’s laws and polices congruent with Indigenous inherent rights and jurisdictions. Unfortunately, this commitment was never fulfilled, as UNDRIP principles were sidestepped in favor of Canada’s unilaterally developed 10 Principles Respecting the Government of Canada’s Relationship with Indigenous Peoples.
There was an expedited engagement period for the Framework process, and the results contained in the roll-up documents were selective in nature, supporting only Canada’s pre-determined positions and goals.
The proposed contents of the Framework do not encompass the fundamental and transformative change required for proper affirmation and implementation of Indigenous inherent rights and title. The strategy fails to address restitution for harms done to Indigenous Peoples and Nations, lacks a process for redistribution of land and resources, and attempts to domesticate international Treaties.
In short, the proposed Framework is a significant threat to the inherent rights of Indigenous Peoples and Treaty relationships. It is a direct affront to true processes of decolonization.
Recently, Indigenous legal experts involved in a five-month review of Canada’s Recognition and Implementation of Indigenous Rights Framework deemed direction and approach “legally inaccurate, short-sighted, and reflecting ongoing bureaucratic control and constraint of inherent rights.” It has been clearly stated by these experts, some of whom were consulted by Minister Bennett during the Framework development and roll out, that continuing with this process will result in in a major set-back for the renewal of the relationship between Canada and Indigenous Peoples and Nations and the preclude the true implementation of Indigenous inherent rights across the country.
We hereby formally reject the proposed Federal Indigenous Rights Recognition and Implementation Framework. For the sake of our Peoples’ and our children, we must collectively find a path to advance a new relationship.
We look forward to working in partnership with you to develop a new way forward.