PM: We must ‘get this part right’
OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is planning to overhaul the way the federal government relates to Indigenous Peoples in Canada, including a new legislative framework designed to pave the way towards stronger rights and greater control over their own destiny.
“We need to both recognize and implement Indigenous rights,” Trudeau said Wednesday in the House of Commons.
“Because the truth is, until we get this part right, we won’t have lasting success on the concrete outcomes that we know mean so much to people.”
The prime minister said the new approach, to be developed in partnership with First Nations, Metis and Inuit, is needed to tackle the many challenges facing their communities, including overcrowded housing, unsafe drinking water and high rates of suicide among Indigenous youth.
“All of these things demand real, positive action — action that must include the full recognition and implementation of Indigenous rights,” Trudeau said. “We need to get to a place where Indigenous Peoples in Canada are in control of their own destiny, making their own decisions about the future.”
The new Recognition and Implementation of Indigenous Rights Framework — to be unveiled later this year following consultations led by Carolyn Bennett, the minister for Crown-indigenous relations, and Justice Minister Jody Wilson-raybould — will include new legislation.
Trudeau said the Liberals intend to implement it in time for the 2019 election.
Wednesday’s speech comes as the family of Colten Boushie wraps up their visit to Parliament Hill, where they said they have felt welcomed and supported in their effort to press the government for change following the acquittal of the man charged in Boushie’s death.
BOUSHIE Fatally shot