Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples

Canada has a profound legal obligation to reconcile and provide restitution for the colonial relations – marked by violent expropriation, displacement, and forced assimilation – that have undermined the cultural, governance and economic foundations of the Indigenous Peoples of this land. The Green Party of Canada recognizes the ongoing leadership, resistance and resilience of Indigenous Peoples in the face of systemic oppression and inter-generational trauma. A Green government will support all Indigenous Peoples’ efforts to emerge from the positions of disadvantage in which Canada has placed them, including support for cultural revitalization and healing. We believe that Canada cannot reach its full potential as a nation until the socio-economic gap between Indigenous Peoples and the rest of Canada is closed.

The Green Party wholeheartedly repudiates the doctrine of terra nullius, the doctrine of discovery and other doctrines of superiority, and recognizes the inherent sovereignty and title of Indigenous Peoples. The Green Party fully embraces all 46 articles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). A Green government will remove all obstacles within the judicial, legislative and executive branches of government to wholly implement UNDRIP.

  • Honour treaties and respect UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
  • Make Indigenous nations equal partners in setting national policy priorities
  • Fully implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission & Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls report
  • Develop a national strategy for housing, clean water, food security and healthcare

The Green Party recognizes the call by the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP) for Indigenous self-determination. The Green Party acknowledges that Indigenous Peoples have stewarded lands and waters in their traditional territories for centuries. A Green government will respect Indigenous sovereignty over self-defined and self-governed lands – whether First Nations, Métis or Inuit – and respect all rights that their title to land entails, including the right to stewardship. We respect Inuit sovereignty over Inuit Nunagat. We support the full implementation of treaties and other self-government agreements between Canada and Indigenous governments. A Green government will uphold and fulfill Canada’s responsibilities in all agreements with Indigenous Peoples.

A Green government will re-introduce legislation to enshrine UNDRIP in Canadian law and implement the calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

The Green Party rejects the Indian Act as racist and oppressive legislation and is committed to dismantling the Act in full partnership and with First Nations taking the lead role in the process. The Indian Act uses race-based criteria to define who is and who is not an Indian and infringes on the right of First Nations people to define themselves. Greens will support Indigenous Peoples’ work and efforts towards self-determination to ensure no one is left behind or excluded from their rightful heritage. While dismantling the Indian Act will be a complex exercise in which Indigenous Peoples have the deciding role, we will establish processes for self-governing Indigenous Peoples and nations who choose to “opt out” of the Indian Act.

A Green government will welcome a genuine nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous Peoples in Canada that is truly grounded in the UNDRIP doctrine of free, prior and informed consent.

As described in the Democracy section, a Green government will create an inclusive policy and governance body – the Council of Canadian Governments. This will include Indigenous nations and peoples as equal partners with other levels of government in the development of shared national goals, and will be the vehicle for the revamped First Ministers’ meetings.

Greens endorse the comprehensive agenda prepared by the Assembly of First Nations for the 2019 election, covering a range of policy areas that address the inequities and mistreatment experienced by First Nations across Canada.[2] These include measures relating to reconciliation, health, education, housing, climate change, environmental protection, justice, rights, economic development, infrastructure and skills training.

A Green government will pledge to work in good faith as partners with the AFN to achieve their agenda, only negotiating the priority allocation of funds in line with the Green Party’s commitment to fiscal responsibility. We will work with the Métis National Council and Congress of Aboriginal Peoples to meet the Supreme Court decision in Daniels with meaningful funding and action. We will respect and work with the Inuit through the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and respect their territory, covering one third of the land mass of Canada.

Treaties and Land Claims

  • Uphold Canada’s fiduciary responsibility, fulfill Canada’s responsibilities in agreements, honour treaties, and respect all rights of Indigenous Peoples, including their inherent rights of self-government.

  • In partnership with Indigenous Peoples, work towards the creation of an Indigenous Lands and Treaties Tribunal Act to establish an independent body that will decide on specific claims, ensuring that treaty negotiations are conducted and financed fairly and that treaty negotiations and claims resolutions do not result in the extinguishment of aboriginal and treaty rights.

  • Immediately implement the lands claims agreements already negotiated and languishing for lack of funding, particularly for First Nations in the territories.

  • Ensure that negotiations of treaties and self-government are not based on the extinguishment of Indigenous title and rights, and on assimilation, but on reconciliation of rights and title, and that negotiations recognize the diversity of traditional self-governance.

  • Negotiate with Indigenous Peoples over primary hunting, fishing, trapping and logging rights on traditional lands, especially lands under federal jurisdiction, subject to standards of sustainable harvesting and traditional ecological knowledge.

Respecting Indigenous Sovereignty and Self-Determination

  • Formally repudiate the doctrine of terra nullius, the doctrine of discovery, and other doctrines of superiority.

  • With Indigenous leaders at the helm, establish processes for self-governing Indigenous Peoples and nations to transition out from under the Indian Act, grounding this in the doctrine of free, prior, and informed consent.

  • Implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and reform all judicial, legislative, and executive branches of the federal government so that they are consistent with the Declaration.

  • Implement the recommendations of the 1996 Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples.

  • Affirm the inherent right of Indigenous communities to determine child and family services. Support kinship ties and ensure sufficient funding and resources so that families are kept together.

  • Include representatives from First Nations, Métis, and Inuit governments on the Council of Canadian Governments to improve policy coherence and optimize public spending with respect to higher order policy priorities (See Good Governance: Intergovernmental Collaboration).

Cultural Revitalization and Healing

  • Implement the Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, as well as the recommendations from the Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

  • Work in partnership with the Assembly of First Nations to implement their agenda for the 2019 election.

  • Ensure that every First Nations, Métis and Inuit child has access to quality educational opportunities based on the expressed cultural, political and social priorities of the First Nations, Métis and Inuit governments, following meaningful consultation.

  • Support the development of Indigenous education curricula that are language and culture specific.

  • Increase access to post-secondary education for Indigenous youth by removing the two per cent funding cap, as well as fully funding the program backlog.

  • Support and sustain the transmission, proliferation, and regeneration of Indigenous cultural works and languages.

  • Educate non-Indigenous Canadians on the histories, customs, traditions and cultures of the First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples of Turtle Island.

  • Honour the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruling to compensate every child who was taken from their home on reserve.

Health and Wellness

  • End drinking water and boil water advisories by investing and upgrading critical infrastructure to ensure safe water access in every community.

  • Prioritize high quality safe and affordable housing, particularly in the north, and ensure an equitable distribution of resources for energy efficiency retrofits.

  • Improve food security in northern communities by consulting with residents on Arctic farming, working with non-profit groups to build greenhouses or hydroponic towers and funding education programs in nutrition and horticulture.

  • Support health-care services that incorporate traditional practices and recognize the role of extended families and elders.

  • Together with First Ministers and Indigenous leaders, revisit the Blueprint on Aboriginal Health: A 10-Year Transformative Plan abandoned in 2006.

  • Devote sufficient resources for maternal and infant care, mental health services and treatment for diabetes and tuberculosis.

  • Sustain the Aboriginal Health Human Resources Initiative to continue capacity building in the health care profession for Indigenous communities.