Replace the Indian Act with modern agreements and treaties

Editor: Hundreds of thousands First Nations people live in Canada and they deserve better.

Editor:

Hundreds of thousands First Nations people live in Canada and they deserve better than to be shackled by the failed colonial and paternalistic policies of the Indian Act, which has helped deny them their rights, fair share in resources, and fostered mistrust and created systemic barriers to self-determination and success.

First Nations have been adamant that we need to move beyond it, yet the government has so far refused to get the ball rolling.

The Indian Act is more than 136 years old and touches every aspect of life of First Nations. First Nations need the approval of the Minister to pass bylaws. It puts so much red tape around economic development that it often doesn’t happen. The Act is so intrusive on reserve residents’ lives that they cannot even write a will without the minister’s approval.

Yet, as Prime Minister Stephen Harper has rightly said, the Act has deep roots and cannot simply be abolished. For decades governments of all stripes have allowed this problem to fester.

Now all parties have a chance to take real leadership on the problem.

I have a motion before the House of Commons compelling the federal government to work with First Nations on a nation-to-nation basis on a plan to replace the Indian Act with modern agreements based on rights, responsibilities of the Crown, and the original Treaty relationship. With a deadline and a process, we can finally begin to resolve the many long-standing economic and social inequities that plague First Nations communities in Canada.

Yet the Conservatives said they would vote against this progress by opposing the motion. They say they want to change the status quo, but once again, this is just words.

We cannot continue to put this off. Please tell the Conservatives to vote for change.

Yours sincerely,

Bob Rae

Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada

 

Just Posted

Convicted animal abuser to return to B.C. court May 21

Catherine Jessica Adams is facing a breach of probation charge

Northwest Fire Centre open burn ban lifted

Recent rain, cooler temperatures have lowered the region’s fire risk

Telkwa pot plant application passes review

Cannabis company claims new Health Canada regulations are working in its favour

Cullen demands action on Ecstall River

Failing to penalize parties involved undermines all salmon conservation efforts, MP says

Governments, industry bid on optimism amid timber review

The possibility of reduced forestry activity in the near future is sinking… Continue reading

UPDATE: B.C. pilot killed in Honduras plane crash

The crash happened in the Roatan Islands area, according to officials

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Carbon dioxide at highest levels for over 2.5 million years, expert warns of 100 years of disruption

CO2 levels rising rapidly, now higher than at any point in humanity’s history

B.C. residential school survivor’s indomitable human spirit centre of school play

Terrace theatre company plans to revive Nisga’a leader Larry Guno’s Bunk #7 next year

B.C. ferry stops to let black bear swim past near Nanaimo

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Most Read