On July 14 2017, The Government of Canada announced its ten Principles Respecting the Government of Canada’s Relationship with Indigenous Peoples. These ten principles will be used to guide the government in its review of laws, policies and practices. Moving forward, these ten principles will also help in transforming how the federal government supports and partners with Indigenous peoples and their governments. The ten principles are:
- The Government of Canada 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
- The Government of Canada recognizes that reconciliation is a fundamental purpose of Section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982.
- The Government of Canada recognizes that the honour of the Crown guides the conduct of the Crown in all of its dealing with Indigenous peoples.
- The Government of Canada recognizes that Indigenous self-government is part of Canada’s evolving system of cooperative federalism and distinct orders of government.
- The Government of Canada recognizes that 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
- The Government of Canada recognizes that meaningful engagement with Indigenous peoples aims to secure their free, prior and informed consent when Canada proposes to take actions which impact them and their rights, including their lands, territories and resources.
- The Government of Canada recognizes that 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.
- The Government of Canada recognizes that reconciliation and self-government require a renewed fiscal relationship, developed in collaboration with Indigenous nations, that promotes a mutually supportive climate for economic partnership and resource development.
- The Government of Canada recognizes that reconciliation is an ongoing process that occurs in the context of evolving Indigenous-Crown relationships
- The Government of Canada recognizes that a distinctions-based approach is needed to ensure that the unique rights, interests and circumstances of the First Nations, the Métis Nation and Inuit are acknowledged, affirmed, and implemented.
The announcement of these principles suggests that the government is still committed to adopting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) as it stated that these ten principles are rooted in both Section 35 of the Constitution and the UNDRIP. Read more about these ten principles on APTN National News and Department of Justice Website.