In a mandate letter to Cabinet Ministers, Premier Rachel Notley outlines expectations for a renewed and improved relationship with indigenous peoples.
The Alberta government will review its existing programs and policies in consultation with indigenous peoples to identify ways to implement the objectives and principles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
“At its heart, the UN Declaration encourages all of us to celebrate and preserve indigenous cultures and traditions, and to work alongside indigenous people to ensure they are participating in decisions that concern them. This was a promise we made during our campaign and the government is committed to reviewing and approving legislation around consultation by working as partners with indigenous leaders.”
Rachel Notley, Premier of Alberta
To fulfill the principles of the UN Declaration, the Alberta government will work with indigenous peoples as true partners to ensure that:
- their constitutional rights are protected;
- the air, land and water that all Albertans rely on is protected; and
- they can build more prosperous, self-reliant and culturally strong communities.
“I am looking forward to working with my colleagues, indigenous leaders and industry to find a common and practical understanding of how the principles of the UN Declaration can be implemented in a way that is consistent with our Constitution and with Alberta law.”
Kathleen Ganley, Minister of Aboriginal Relations
In Alberta, some of the objectives of the UN Declaration are already being met. For example:
- government is working to help return sacred ceremonial objects from across the world to indigenous communities in Alberta where they belong;
- Alberta prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of race or ancestry;
- the province is introducing mandatory education for all our students in the histories and cultures of indigenous people, including residential schools; and,
- Alberta is also the only province to have established Metis governments and Metis lands.