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Feds overhauling relationship with Indigenous peoples

Feds overhauling relationship with Indigenous peoples

"We need to both recognize and implement Indigenous rights", Trudeau said Wednesday in a speech in the House of Commons.

Canada has not enjoyed "sustained or significant" progress in that section's implementation to date, he told Parliamentarians on Wednesday, and the country has a responsibility "to do better, to be better". While pressure from aboriginal groups and their supporters reversed that stance - and the Constitution does enshrine the rights of Indigenous people - the younger Mr. Trudeau acknowledged that there had been widespread disappointment about the effectiveness of the protections. "Until we get this part right, we won't have lasting success".

The framework would cover reserves, systems of governance and energy projects.

The contents of this new legislation hasn't yet been determined, but will be carved out of consultation efforts led by Crown-Indigenous relations minister Carolyn Bennett.

In addition, the sources said, the government will create a system, after an engagement with Indigenous peoples and other Canadians, that will allow First Nations to take on the powers of self-government and start managing their own affairs as they are able to do so.

The framework could repeal legislation and policies, he explained, that are built to serve colonial interests. The aim is to move First Nations away from the Indian Act.




Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett fields reporter questions during a press conference on Parliament Hill on Wednesday.

"The denial of Indigenous peoples rights continued under this government despite their promise for real change", said Saganash, the party's critic for reconciliation and himself a Cree from northern Quebec.

It's not exactly clear what the framework will look like at this point.

Numerous details have yet to be decided, but Bennett said one of the real-world implications of the framework will be an easier path to self-determination for individual or groups of First Nations, including by establishing control over a specific area such as education or child welfare. Over the last two years, she said the government has been "testing" a new approach, where they go with a "blank piece of paper" instead.

"It's those welcoming arms, it's those open doors that's not only impacted us as a family, but shown that leadership is serious about the issue and the experiences that we have felt", Tootoosis said.

It is unclear how long it would take for the measures to become law. "We recognize them and then we work with them to sort out how they want to exercise those rights in a far more respectful approach than the paternalism that actually was the way these negotiations were done in the past".