In an address to the House of Commons on February 14, 2018, Prime Minister Trudeau announced an engagement process with First Nations, Inuit and the Métis Nation to formalize the recognition and implementation of Indigenous rights through new legislation and policies.
The Prime Minister’s speech outlined the following legislative and policy elements of a new Indigneous Rights Framework which is expected to emerge from an engagement process:
Legislation to formalize the standard of recognition of Indigenous rights as the basis for all government relations with Indigenous Peoples;
A new policy that respects the unique needs of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples to replace the current Comprehensive Land Claims Policy and the Inherent Right to Self-Government Policy;
Reforming government policies and practices to support the implementation of treaties and self-government agreements;
Mechanisms to support the rebuilding of Indigenous nations and governments, and advance Indigenous self-determination and the inherent right of self-government;
Creating new dispute resolution approaches to address rights related issues, including overlapping territories and treaty implementation, that move us from conflict to collaboration;
Tools to strengthen a culture of federal government accountability and build greater trust between Indigenous peoples and the federal government; and,
Legislation establishing the two new departments that will replace Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada with a mandate that better serves the distinct needs of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.
Interviewed by CTV’s Power Play shortly after the Prime Minister’s announcement, MNC President Clément Chartier said he was very encouraged by the Prime Ministers’ initiative (see interview at CTV https://www.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=1326477). At the same time, he advised that proof of the government’s commitment will be tested in the upcoming federal Budget on February 27, 2018 in which major priorities of the Métis Nation are expected to be addressed.