(OTTAWA) – Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada (Saanich – Gulf Islands), addressed members of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) at their 47th Annual General Assembly at Musqueam Community Centre, xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam Territory).
“The Green Party welcomes First Nations, Métis, and Inuit leaders to work in partnership with federal, provincial-territorial, and municipal leaders on our proposed Council of Canadian Governments,” Ms. May said. “As partners at the table, Indigenous leaders will decide how best to allocate financial resources within their communities, whether it be in healthcare, housing, or working to develop a responsible resource development strategy that meets the needs of Indigenous peoples.
Ms. May continued: “The Green Party strongly supports the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and that a national inquiry into murdered and missing Indigenous women be created and immediately implemented.”
The Green Party’s plan will:
● Create a Council of Canadian Governments that Includes First Nations, Métis and Inuit Leaders;
● Implement the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and launching a national inquiry into murdered and missing indigenous women;
● Reform post-secondary education funding, including the removal of the 2% annual cap on increased funding for all First Nations and Inuit students;
● Partner with First Nations for responsible resource development in the long-term public interest;
● Conduct, timely, good faith negotiations to settle land and rights issue, and work with First Nations to find innovative solutions for implementing treaties and negotiate self government agreements, and find acceptable ways to phase out the Indian Act with the consent of First Nations;
● Implement a National Housing Strategy that includes $800 million for basic infrastructure on reserve;
● Launch a national inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women and work to ensure that structural violence against indigenous communities is addressed;
● Provide new federal funding for culturally appropriate education in traditional languages; and
● Provide urgent support to First Nations living downstream from the oil sands, whose communities and traditional foods are contaminated by oil sands pollution in the Athabasca water and air sheds, with devastating health consequences.
"For too long First Nations have struggled to assert their rights and jurisdictions without federal government political will to ensure their constitutional rights are protected and implemented,” said Brenda Sayers, candidate (North Island—Powell River). “It is time for the Government of Canada to work closely and collaboratively with First Nations to work out these issues, it should not take over 20 years to settle longstanding grievances.”
“I am proud to stand as a Green Party candidate because of our leader's unwavering commitment to aboriginal rights and title, defending the coastline, healing the planet, and the protecting the health and well-being of our people,” continued Fran Hunt-Jinnouchi, candidate (Cowichan-Malahat-Langford).
“The Green Party platform goes deeper than financial promises for First Nations. It provides a vision for authentic nation to nation building, where Canadian leaders work together towards reconciliation and joint prosperity,” concluded Hunt-Jinnouchi.
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