Aboriginal Peoples: Justice through Reconciliation

The Canadian government has a grim record of overtly racist policies and consistent mismanagement on issues relating to Aboriginal peoples. Only by acknowledging our past injustices will we be able to move forward. Today, Canada's Aboriginal peoples are overrepresented in infant mortality, school dropout and suicide rates. In Manitoba, 50 per cent of the prison population is made up of Aboriginals even though only 12 per cent of the population is native. The Green Party recognizes Aboriginal rights and title, and supports respectful and timely reconciliation processes. First Nations have explained that these problems stem as much from a lack of adequate funding, as from a denial of their nationhood. The right to self-government, the right to control their destiny and manage their resources is fundamental in building healthy and confident Aboriginal communities. The future of Aboriginal land and Aboriginal land claims is the future of Canada's environment. We can share our land and our resources and establish true nation-to-nation dialogue. We can share the objectives and challenges of sustainability to develop new and prosperous economies in Aboriginal communities. We can stop hate crimes and institutionalized racism and recognize the cultural, political and economic contributions of First Nations, the Inuit, Innu and M├ętis people. Green Party MPs will work to:
  • Honour Canada's fiduciary responsibility and all Aboriginal, treaty and other rights of Aboriginal Peoples, including their inherent rights of self-government.
  • Implement the recommendations of the 1996 Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, thereby embarking on true nation-to-nation negotiations on a full range of outstanding legal issues and land claims.
  • Negotiate and legislate primary hunting, fishing, trapping and logging rights for Aboriginal Peoples on traditional lands, especially lands under federal jurisdiction, subject to standards of sustainable harvesting.
  • Launch and maintain new processes driven by Aboriginal priorities and legal entitlements, to address governance issues, a just and fair share of lands and resources, legislative inconsistencies, policy inequities, reconciliation and - according to the wishes of First Nations - the phased-out elimination of the Indian Act.
  • Promote Aboriginal culture, language and history as a fundamental source of Canadian identity.
  • Support the development of Aboriginal education curricula that is language and culture specific.
  • Assist the delivery of health care, education and other services in a way that incorporates traditional practices, recognizing the role of extended families and elders.
  • Address the unique issues surrounding the treatment of Aboriginals in the Canadian justice system.
  • Establish a federal-provincial task force to address and investigate the disappearance of Aboriginal women.