Government of Canada Sets a Principled Foundation for Advancing Renewed Relationships with Indigenous Peoples based on the Recognition of Rights
July 14, 2017 – Ottawa, ON – Justice Canada
The Government of Canada is committed to advancing reconciliation with Indigenous peoples through a renewed, nation-to-nation, Inuit-Crown and government-to-government relationship based on the recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership.
Today, the Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, and Chair of the Working Group of Ministers on the Review of Laws and Policies, released a set of Principles Respecting the Government of Canada’s Relationship with Indigenous Peoples. The Principles will guide the review of laws, policies and operational practices and form a foundation for transforming how the federal government partners with and supports Indigenous peoples and governments.
The ten principles are based on the recognition of Indigenous peoples, governments, laws, and rights, including the right to self-determination and the inherent right of self-government. The Principles are rooted in Section 35 of the Constitution and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and informed by the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action. They will serve as the basis for federal engagement with Indigenous peoples on the on-going work of rebuilding and reconciliation, turning the page on the Indigenous-Crown relationship, and creating the space for strong Indigenous governments, political, social, economic, and cultural development and improved quality of life.
Over the coming months, in accordance with the Principles, members of the Working Group, in partnership with Indigenous leaders, organizations and communities, experts, and where appropriate the provinces and territories, will further advance its review of laws, policies and operational practices with First Nations, Inuit and the Métis Nation.
“Today, our Government is taking another important step to renew Canada’s nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous Peoples. Working in partnership with Indigenous leaders, communities, and youth, the Working Group will use these Principles to take a whole-of-government approach to assess and recommend statutory change and new policies to best meet our constitutional obligations and international commitments to Indigenous Peoples.”
Prime Minister of Canada
“As we mark 150 years of Confederation, it is time to ask what we want the next 150 years to look like and the role First Nations, Inuit and the Métis Nation will have in building a stronger and more inclusive Canada. These Principles affirm recognition of Indigenous peoples and their rights as the necessary starting point for the Crown to engage in partnership with Indigenous peoples to develop new Indigenous-Crown relations, and as the foundation for transforming laws, policies and operational practices.”
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
Chair of the Working Group of Ministers on the Review of Laws and Policies
- Section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982 recognizes and affirms the existing Aboriginal and treaty rights of the Indigenous peoples of Canada.
- On May 10, 2016, Canada became a full supporter, without qualification, of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
- On February 22, 2017, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the Working Group of six federal ministers responsible for the review of all relevant federal laws, policies and operational practices.
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Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Justice
Department of Justice