Canada supports the nation rebuilding efforts of Indigenous groups in British Columbia
The Canada government needs to be responsible for rebuilding the nation-to-nation, Inuit-Crown and government-to-government relationship with Indigenous peoples through supporting the realization of their visions of self-determination.
Today Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, announced that Canada has provided $2.6 million this fiscal year to 10 Indigenous groups in British Columbia through the Nation Rebuilding Program. Minister Bennett met virtually with The Gitanyow Huwilp Society Hereditary Chiefs to learn more about the work being undertaken in their nation and their unique priorities and needs.
The Nation Rebuilding Program has helped in their efforts of restoring and reviving their traditional hereditary system, improving information sharing, supporting and facilitating understanding, and finding common approaches in areas such as forestry, land stewardship and environmental monitoring.
In Budget 2018, the Trudeau Government invested $100 million over five years to support Indigenous groups efforts towards developing their own path to reconstituting their nations. The program is an important step forward in supporting Indigenous groups in rebuilding their governance structures on the path towards self-determination.
“The Nation Rebuilding program has provided critical resources to help Gitanyow strengthen our information sharing with our neighbours the Simgiget’m Gitwangak Society around land use planning and forestry. In our current project, we are able to formalize our Indigenous laws through review of our Constitution, and continue talks between our elected leadership and the Hereditary Chiefs to better formalize roles and responsibilities. Our approach is to develop modern tools to support and strengthen our traditional governance.” Glen Williams/Malii
President and Chief Negotiator for the Gitanyow Hereditary Chiefs Office
The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (1996) recommended that Indigenous groups should begin to reconstitute themselves as nations. This notion was also an objective outlined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Under the Nation Rebuilding Program, $100 million in funding has been made available for five years, starting in 2018-19, to support Indigenous groups of the same nation in coming together to build capacity at the nation level.
The 10 Indigenous groups in British Columbia who will receive Nation Rebuilding funding for 2020-21 are: The Beaver People, Gitanyow Huwilp Society, Gitxsan Treaty Society, Lake Babine Nation, Secretariat of the Haida Nation, Tiyt Tribe, Southern Dakelh Nation Alliance Society, Stellat’en and Nadleh Whut’en First Nations, Office of the Wet’suwet’en, and WSANEC Leadership Council Society.
Image source Assembly of First Nations Facebook Page