MONTREAL – Liberals have a plan for real change that will restore the federal government’s relationship with Aboriginal Peoples, said Liberal Party of Canada Leader Justin Trudeau (Tuesday) at the Assembly of First Nations 36th Annual General Assembly.
“Canadians recognize the urgent need for a renewed nation-to-nation relationship between the federal government and Indigenous Peoples – one built on respect, rights and a commitment to end the status quo,” said Mr. Trudeau. “A Liberal government will recognize Aboriginal governments as full partners in the federation, and will work with Indigenous Peoples to create fairness and equality of opportunity in Canada.”
Mr. Trudeau outlined a number of commitments, among which included: developing a Federal Reconciliation Framework, which recognizes Aboriginal title and rights, including Treaty rights; holding mandatory annual meetings between the Prime Minister and First Nations Chiefs; and working to implement the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission by establishing a National Council for Reconciliation. Furthermore, a Liberal government will work to ensure: a return to the principles and objectives of the Kelowna Accord; a new fiscal relationship starting with lifting the two percent cap on funding for First Nations programs; significant investments in education, including new funding to support and preserve Indigenous languages and culture; and an immediate national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.
“While Stephen Harper has allowed ideology to trump justice and fairness – further damaging the relationship with First Nations – a government led by me will work until the gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Peoples has been closed,” said Mr. Trudeau. “By working together, we can deliver real change, and create a society where the proper place of Aboriginal Peoples is recognized, to the betterment of our shared country.”