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Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage


NUMBER 128 
l
1st SESSION 
l
42nd PARLIAMENT 

EVIDENCE

Thursday, November 1, 2018

[Recorded by Electronic Apparatus]

  (1130)  

[Translation]

    Let us start right away, because we are a little late.
    Welcome, everyone, to our 128th meeting.
    We have some new members here. Mr. Saganash, Mr. Deltell, Mr. Vandal and Mr. Casey, welcome.
    As witnesses, we have Georgina Jolibois, MP, and Morley Googoo, Regional Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, representing Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador.

[English]

     Why don't we begin with you, Ms. Jolibois, as the proponent for this bill?
     Mahsi cho. Thank you very much. I would like to begin my remarks by thanking the members of the committee for having me here to discuss the creation of National Indigenous Peoples Day as a statutory holiday.
    I very much appreciate the support that my bill has gotten from across party lines as we move forward on the government's project of reconciliation with first nations, Métis and Inuit peoples across Canada.
    I'd like to acknowledge that the idea for National Indigenous Peoples Day is not my own, but is the work of generations of indigenous people who have come before my time, and it is sustained by the work of first nations, Métis and Inuit people who keep their celebrations going on every year on June 21.
    It has a deep and vibrant history, and I would encourage you all to seek out its story. National Indigenous Peoples Day is currently one part of Celebrate Canada, four days in the summer when the Canadian government sponsors events across the country to celebrate the people that make our country unique.
    You may know June 21 as the summer solstice, the longest day of sunshine every year. As such, it holds a special significance to many indigenous people, who feel a unique connection to the land they live on and are inseparable from.
    Over your study of Bill C-369, you're going to be hearing a lot of remarks about residential schools, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's calls to action and a day of truth and reconciliation, specifically call to action number 80 from the TRC, which calls for a national day of truth and reconciliation to honour survivors, their families and their communities so that the legacy and history of residential schools is never forgotten.
    It was in the spirit of call to action 80 that I proposed my bill. I understand that it doesn't meet the exact wording of the call to action, but I do believe my bill fulfills its intentions. You will remember that the project of residential schools was to eliminate the culture and presence of first nations, Métis and Inuit people because they weren't a part of Canadian society, and that the government believed there was no future for first nations, Métis or Inuit people in our country. History has not been kind to indigenous people, but indigenous people continue to survive and continue to engage with all levels of government in good faith.
    First nations, Métis and Inuit people want to have a positive relationship with the federal government, and I believe that the decisions made by this committee will affect how that relationship moves forward.
    I do want to be clear that I understand the reasoning behind having a date that is different from the one I proposed in my bill. Call to action 80 specifically requests a day recognized as a day of truth and reconciliation for the exclusive reason of honouring the survivors and legacy of residential schools. Orange Shirt Day is a great choice for that day.
    Before proposing my bill, I did carefully consider Orange Shirt Day. When I consulted with my colleagues and my community, I believed that September 30 could serve that purpose, but if we think about the bigger picture of reconciliation, I believe June 21 must be a statutory holiday. I think first nations, Métis and Inuit people are more than the trauma they've experienced.
    I've said in the past that reconciliation is the burden of government, not indigenous people. I think that if there is going to be only one statutory holiday that recognizes indigenous people in Canada, it should be a day that celebrates the culture, life, ways and futures of first nations, Métis and Inuit people.
     A day about indigenous people should not be just for the federal government to apologize for what they've done and for all of Canada to reflect on the dark legacy of residential schools. While honouring the past is crucial, I think that more people in Canada will benefit from a day that is organized around education, celebration and healing of indigenous heritage and life. People in Canada are capable of mourning the past while also celebrating the present and looking toward the future.

  (1135)  

    June 21, National Indigenous Peoples Day, has been chosen by indigenous people. It's organized by indigenous people to celebrate the culture and contributions of indigenous people. It would be a momentous step toward reconciliation for the government to recognize that work and to recognize June 21 as the statutory holiday chosen by indigenous people.
    If the project of reconciliation is to reverse the harms done by the residential schools, the National Indigenous Peoples Day does the exact opposite of what residential schools intended. The residential school program used the differences between Canadians and indigenous people as a reason to discriminate and eliminate their culture. National Indigenous Peoples Day celebrates that difference. It fosters an understanding of indigenous cultures and provides an opportunity for Canadians who otherwise wouldn't have the chance to see the indigenous people within their community, to see life from their perspective and to learn something about their neighbours.
    When I ask myself “What's the best day to create a better relationship between indigenous people and the rest of Canada?”, the answer will always be National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21.
    June 21 is marked by community celebrations, concerts and activities in schools. There are barbecues, parades, shared meals, film screenings, ceremonies and lessons across the country. This past year, we saw one of the largest celebrations of National Indigenous Peoples Day, with concerts held across the country and streamed live on the APTN, the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, for people all over to watch online.
    I've heard a number of people say we can celebrate these positive things on a different day, too, and that's true. First nations, Métis and Inuit people could celebrate the things they've accomplished every single day of the year. I have the opportunity daily as a Dene person to learn from my elders and pass on the lessons they teach me. Many indigenous people across Canada have the opportunity to practise their traditions, to share their stories, to live an indigenous life.
    Reconciliation calls for a deeper appreciation and understanding by Canadian society of what I and others practise daily. June 21 is the opportunity now for indigenous people to be publicly proud of who they are and where they come from.
    In my view, National Indigenous Peoples Day would accomplish far more for the future of indigenous people in this country than would a day only focusing on the legacy of residential schools. In short, I agree that for this committee to choose a day of truth and reconciliation would not be a good decision, but I firmly believe that choosing National Indigenous Peoples Day, June 21, to be a statutory holiday would be a better decision.
    Thank you for your time.
    Masi cho.

  (1140)  

    Thank you very much.
    We will now go with Regional Chief Morley Googoo of the Assembly of First Nations.
    [Witness speaks in indigenous language]
    I'm very glad and honoured to have a chance here to discuss this, and I have two different messages in my presentation, one coming from my regional perspective and the other speaking on behalf of my national executive.
    I encourage the building of relationships based on understanding and respect every day. I'm here to support the private member's bill brought forward by Ms. Jolibois.
     Jolibois in Mi'kmaq means “don't make a face”. I was trying to rhyme it with that, but I still couldn't get it.
    That's okay.
    This bill is advocating for the creation of this national holiday. Creating a national statutory holiday for indigenous people will assist in promoting reconciliation. In my role as regional chief, I have seen first-hand the power of this day when we bring people together. We had the Grand-Pré peace and friendship gathering last year, where we brought together the Acadian community as one form of reconciliation—how would we interact, how can we know each other?
    As Georgina talked about, not a lot of people come on the reserve to see it. They'd love the experience of our culture and our identity, but how do you get them exposed to it?
    We brought it into a national park instead, and we had over 30,000 people attend. It was an amazing opportunity for us to have another group of society—allies—become more understanding of our stories. If we stay out of sight and out of mind, we will never get more dialogue going, and that's what needs to happen for a proper reconciliation in this country. We need to share education with each other.
    Media coverage is largely focused on negative circumstances. First nations are facing suicide epidemics, a lack of affordable housing, higher food prices and a number of other critical issues. A study earlier this year by the Angus Reid Institute found 61% of Canadians are optimistic about the future of the relationship between indigenous people and Canadians. We just have to find spaces and spots and times in our busy lives to make sure we have time for this.
    We said our commitments of 150 when we celebrated Canada 150 were only the start of the next Canada 150. It means deeper deposits of your commitment. Making days like this happen and not be an inconvenience is crucial. The inconvenience was us being stripped of our land, our culture and our identity. We need leadership in order for us to develop mutual respect and trust with each other. Leadership has to happen to make that firm investment in trust. It's really important that we follow through in the best way we can to cover all the 94 calls to action.
    The Truth and Reconciliation Commission, in the UN declaration, calls for all of these to have good input and feedback and work together to make sure that we have celebrations, we have information coming together, and we have investments of time like this so that we can eliminate the lack of education and the racism that's out there. I think it's important that we all take a collective approach to make this happen.
    Several provinces and territories have already acknowledged the importance of having a day to celebrate indigenous peoples. In 2017, the Yukon government created legislation that led to June 21 becoming a statutory holiday. In the Northwest Territories, this day has been celebrated as a statutory territorial holiday for 18 years. This is not a new issue. The Assembly of First Nations has been calling for this legislation since 1982.
    The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples recommended a special day, and the Chiefs-in-Assembly have several resolutions speaking specifically to this matter. Among them is call to action number 80, which calls for the very measures outlined in this proposed bill. I am aware of Canada's recent commitment to declare a federal statutory holiday to mark the legacy of the residential school system. We will welcome an announcement and a date to honour the history of this period, as called for in the TRC calls to action.
    I also want to share one other story. I had a phone call from two of my community members from Millbrook. I cover Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, with 13 communities in Nova Scotia. It was Linda Maloney and Matilda Bernard, a sister of Nora Bernard, who started a class action suit across the country. I said wherever I have an opportunity to share your point, I will do that, so this is why I'm breaking away from my notes. It's to make sure I listen to her notes instead.
    She said, “Morley, if you can tell whoever is out there about the truth and reconciliation day, we're really happy, but it shouldn't happen on June 21, and it shouldn't happen on Orange Shirt Day.”
    She said, “I'm not here to pick the date, but I'm here to tell you why. September is the time we all went away, when we had to leave our families, so September was not a good time for us. June was a happy time, when we were all going home and going to see our families. Rather than getting into a debate about June 21 or Orange Shirt Day, it's important that this fact be presented to whomever you can present it to ”

  (1145)  

     I just kept my word by doing that today.
    I want to thank you guys too. It's important, again, that we can look at truth and reconciliation. Do we need another statutory holiday, and all that? I think we do. If you see a statue of Cornwallis in Halifax become a national issue and a lightning rod, it shows how much more investment we have to do and not be scared. Let the poison come out. Let's drown it out with a young generation of real leaders who are not going to be brainwashed with the old lack of education we got to achieve about indigenous people and the relationship.
    We need to just be very proud and loud on how we can actually have reconciliation in the next 150 years, and not just in pieces of our speeches when Canada 150 was here.
    That's all I have for that. Thanks so much.
    Thank you very much.
    We're now going to begin our question-and-answer period. Because we started late, I spoke to the parties and I believe I have agreement to do it as a five-minute round as opposed to a seven-minute round.
    We will begin with Mr. Vandal, please.
    First of all, thank you very much to Chief Googoo and MP Jolibois for your input. It's very important.
    MP Jolibois, a specific thank you goes to you for the work that you have been doing on this and many files concerning indigenous peoples. It's very much appreciated.
    First of all, the initiative is fantastic. Our government is committed to implementing all 84 calls to action, and this is one of them. The actual date that it will be is less about what I think or what you think or what we think in this room, but more about what the community thinks, what indigenous Canadians think.
    MP Jolibois, who have you consulted with, prior to presenting this private member's bill?
    My work around June 21 started in the 1990s when I was in Saskatoon. I started with the mayor and council, the chief in council from the Dakota Dunes area there, and then several elders and agencies. That's when my first work started on celebrations and planning around an aboriginal day.
    Throughout the years and when I was—
    What year was this?
    It was in the early 1990s.
    Okay.
    It has carried on since then, so it has been around for a while.
    Then when I became mayor, it was rewarding, because my council at the time supported celebrating, not a day off but the celebration and coming together on June 21.
    I was the mayor for 12 years, from 2003 to 2015. Throughout the years, I've talked to politicians, agencies, and elders. The way I work, I always get input from elders wherever I go; and wherever I go, I talk to school-aged kids, teachers, even police officers, and everyone else. My conversations for many years have been inclusive of all in talking to Canadians across the country.

  (1150)  

    Have you talked to anyone from the Métis National Council or the Manitoba Metis Federation?
    I have had discussion with the president, Clément Chartier, in the past about it, but to this day he hasn't given me a position as to whether he supports June 21 or a different date.
    Okay.
    However, I have talked to many Métis people across Canada, from those who are involved in Métis politics to the Métis residents.
    Have you talked to the Inuit community, to ITK?
    Again, I have, but it was a brief encounter with ITK. I have talked to some residents from the Far North when I had a chance.
     Okay.
    In your presentation today you've stated that this is in the spirit of the calls to action—specifically call number 80. I have a media report from Senator Murray Sinclair, who says that a statutory holiday is necessary step for reconciliation. He feels that a statutory holiday in September would be the best way to accomplish that—something, I'm presuming, around Orange Shirt Day.
    What are your thoughts on Senator Sinclair's thoughts?
    The way my teachings have been over the years, and my discussions and the work that I've done, have led me to this position. Of course, my preference for this day—and I'm biased—is for June 21, but when we talk about a bigger picture, I support a day.
    That's because the elders have taught me, and the youth and the families throughout the years, that it is about history. Canada's history has not been kind to indigenous people. It is full of pain. It is full of broken promises. It is full of heartbreak. The elders who have taught me throughout the years have said, “Here it is; we have a chance to heal and come together.” Canada—Saskatchewan or whatever—has a chance to come together to create a new legacy, build relationships and move forward.
    Many of the indigenous people and indigenous communities that I know of are saying that we look at our history and it is too painful. We need the help to heal with them. We need the help to work on these issues. We also have an opportunity to move forward together. That's what we're looking for. I know many professional indigenous people across Canada who are working really hard within institutions promoting that legacy.
    Thank you.
    That brings us to the end of your time.
    We will be going to Mr. Shields, please, for five minutes.
    Thank you, Madam Chair.
    I appreciate my colleague MP being here today talking about the history of Canada and the meaning of what you're proposing.
    Just to clarify, this is a statutory holiday for federal employees only, at this point?
    That is the point, yes.
    One of the biggest learning.... You've mentioned it, and I totally agree with the education piece, in part. I know you mentioned the festival with the Acadians in Nova Scotia. My familiarity with it is as a mayor, in the sense of having that day in our community and inviting indigenous people.... The school jurisdictions work with it. The education in the schools on that day is something that is worked with.
    How do you envision it? If it's a holiday for employees of the federal government, how would that work in the sense of what we've been building and what you're talking about? How would that change that education piece? That's critical to me. You mentioned the next generation, and I think that's really the critical piece. How would that change that process to either increase it or...how do you see that happening?
    We, in Canada, having this discussion, have an excellent opportunity and the time. We are at a crossroads in history.
     As Canadians, we live in Canada, but there are provinces and territories, and territories are leading the way in Canada. When we lead the way as Canada, at some point the provinces will support it.

  (1155)  

    That would—
    That's what I envision. It's that once the federal piece is taken care of, we start educating the provinces and encouraging the government to follow suit.
    What you're looking for, then, is a countrywide statutory holiday, and not just for federal employees. It's countrywide.
    It's terrific to dream. Young people are saying that.
    I know, and that's great, but that's what I wanted to clarify. How did that change from what we're doing now? I appreciate that. There's a longer-term goal that you have in mind. It's not just the federal employees in the sense of a national holiday.
     Again, we as indigenous people believe in building for the future, and that's where we're headed.
    Yes, and I agree with you about June 21. My Celtic heritage would tell me that's a significant date in my Celtic heritage as well. The solstice has been a significant date in very many cultures for a long time, and in my Celtic heritage as well, so I can understand why June 21 is something that you're looking at.
    I'll turn to Mr. Yurdiga for the remainder of my time.
    You have just under two minutes.
    I appreciate you coming forward, MP Jolibois, and Chief Googoo.
    I had many conversations in my riding with first nations and indigenous people, and the idea of a national holiday is a good thing, but there is another set of thoughts, which is “Why should people get a paid day off on our back?”
    It's up to first nations and indigenous people to determine the day and how you want to proceed. Did you do any consultations or round tables throughout Canada, or is this just the beginning?
    I have started the process. In terms of round tables, in my previous work that's what I did in Saskatchewan at the provincial level. I still need to continue with the work that I'm doing, because this is a terrific opportunity for us to have a new legacy built on hope.
    Probably one of the most contentious issues is what date is appropriate. I understand you prefer another day, and June 21 is an option.
    No, let me clarify. My bias is June 21—
    Okay.
    —and I'd like to continue with that, yet also have understanding with the other levels of discussion that are occurring.
    What date has been proposed so far? Obviously June 21 is your preference.
    Just recently there was a discussion about someone proposing a different date in June other than June 21, and then different dates proposed for September.
    On that note, we'll have to pass it on to Monsieur Nantel.

[Translation]

    Perhaps we can have the answer to that later on.
    Mr. Nantel, you have five minutes.
    Thank you very much, Madam Chair.

[English]

    Thank you to both of you, really. I think it's an exciting moment for me, as a parliamentarian, to come here, especially with Romeo Saganash sitting beside me. I think that it's probably the biggest discovery for me as the MP for Longueuil and the south shore of Montreal. I know Kahnawake, which is just next to my riding, but the reality and the reconciliation process that's been going on have moved me a lot.
    Chief Googoo, I appreciated a lot that when you came here for the artifacts, you came up with this notion that shocked me, which was that you were not talking about museum artifacts or things in a window box but about sacred stuff and very spiritual and emotional stuff. I think that's something that impacted me, and I think it impacted everyone here. Your point of view is interesting.
    I have to say that we at this committee had the chance to discuss Remembrance Day, November 11, and we could see good intentions on all sides. People were against or for it, but they all wanted to pay respect to our veterans. I am not afraid of this discussion. I think your point of view is very valid, and I think that obviously the choice of the day should be the first nations' selection.
     I think Ms. Jolibois, my dear colleague, has been through a lot of consultations. If the idea is to make a reconciliation, I wanted to ask you what the biggest advantage of June 21 is from a reconciliation point of view.
    I have to share that when Romeo invited us to be there at the solstice celebration on June 21 with Peter Decontie, the fire keeper, to me it was a spiritual shock. I must say that to me this was a big reconciliation moment for my little white life, for me.
     How is this a possibility to better share and to better have reconciliation across the country?

  (1200)  

     Thank you for your question.
    As an indigenous person, I grew up on the trapline and was taught to pay attention to the seasons and the land and to live off the land. The elders have taught me and continue to teach in my region. Elders teach the children. They go into the school regularly and teach. June 21, in terms of transition, is the end of the spring season and the beginning of summer, so from one end to the next. Also, it is the longest day.
     Elders teach about the opportunity. Again, we are very familiar with trauma and pain. It is really important to move forward from the trauma and pain, and we need a significance. Because we pay attention to the land, the waters and the season, that's where many of these discussions I've had come from.
     There is an excellent opportunity for reconciliation, healing, coming together and building. That's where I'm coming from.
    Do I still have time?
    You have a minute and a half.
     I think the sensation and the information I received at that ceremony could have been easily shared with anyone who was not from a first nation to understand the connection with nature, which is so important now. Everybody recognizes that.
    Don't you think, Mr. Googoo, that this date also has a very good mediation potential?
    Absolutely. My elders have told me that they're just ecstatic that the federal government would even look at and consider this. It would be great to have it in June, but if September is going to be picked, we're very happy too. It's important that we don't lose focus.
    The other thing I want to mention is that in a lot of meetings I have gone to, we take examples from New Zealand. I just came from a housing conference in Vancouver, and they talked about indigenous people and how they work together. Well, we have 58 different indigenous nations here, so it's a little tougher to not “blanket-think”. That's what got us in the mess in the first place: calling us all “Indians”, then “first nations”, and then “aboriginals”—the new relabelling.
    It's time that we rise up as nations ourselves in investment of that day. Obviously, you're not going to know what that statutory day is going to look like, because we have never made deep enough commitments to reconciliation to see what it would look like. We can't have fear.
    I'm telling you that when I go to the classrooms and talk to the eight- and nine-year-olds, they know more than the teenagers in some cases, and this is even in the provincial schools. I say that even if our adult population doesn't make that paradigm shift, these kids will. They have figured out how—
    Thank you.
    —about being male and having equal rights for people. That's what they're being taught. They're taught about bullying not being good. They have a whole new set of values, and these are the values I think we need to be strong and stand up for.
    Thank you all for the mediation you're doing.
    Thank you.
    We will now go to Mr. Boissonnault for five minutes, please.
    Thank you, Madam Chair, and MP Jolibois.

[Translation]

    Thank you for being here.

[English]

    Regional Chief, thank you.
    My apologies for having to be out of the room, but I can tell you that you have my support for a day. I think the details can be worked out. Also, if my great-grandmother, a full-blooded Cree woman, Lucy Brown Eyes, were here, she'd be happy. She would say something like this.
    [Member speaks in Cree]
    It is Cree for “Guests, you are welcome; there is room here.” That's the spirit of reconciliation that I think we need to walk down.
    I just want to say that we have to be careful in our language. Anytime we're looking at a new day that might have some expenditures tied to it, tensions can flare up. I just think we should remember that modern Canada does not exist without indigenous peoples, without taking lands, and without the shame and pain of residential schools.
    This country has been built on the backs of indigenous peoples. We cannot say that a federal holiday is going to be on the backs of Canadians if we do it. Let us use our language and words very carefully.
    We're talking about $11 million. I'm happy to see a federal holiday honouring indigenous culture and history for $11 million. I would do it even if it were higher.
     I'm going to go to you first, Regional Chief, and then to MP Jolibois. How does this kind of a day, in its larger form, as we heard in testimony from MP Jolibois, help us all walk down the pathway of reconciliation?

  (1205)  

     We all know from any talk from any group of people here in Canada that reconciliation is not going to happen overnight. It's going to take time and commitment, but it also is going to need support to create those spaces for people who ask, “What can I do?” When I talked to the 16- and 17-year-olds, that was a question that dumbfounded me. They asked us, “What can we do as our part for reconciliation?” I wasn't ready for that question, to be honest. They were 16-year-olds who are asking me. I'm sure those eight- and nine-year-olds are going to ask me the same type of question.
    There are a lot of Canadians out there who don't know what they have to do as their part in reconciliation. If there are spaces that we create, like a national statutory holiday, people are not going to be so ignorant as to tell their kids that this day is just the taxpayer's burden. Again, those are the words and language that we have to get rid of.
     We would have in our school systems what that statutory holiday is all about, what its intentions are, where it's supposed to go and how it's supposed to unite us. If we don't create those spaces, I don't think we'll have those real dialogues that need to happen for us to achieve some success.
    Let's look at our dates that we have right now.
     Canada Day makes sense to me; we're going to have a national holiday and we have to work in the spirit of reconciliation. We have a Labour Day, so we are recognizing all the men, women and gender non-binary people who work hard to build our country. Then we have the May long weekend. Unless you really pause, does anybody remember what the May long weekend is for? It's for Queen Victoria, who reigned from 1837 to 1901.
    I would like to see in my time in Parliament some sort of holiday that could actually be a modern declaration of reconciliation, so that long past our time in Parliament, when we're 95 and in our rocking chairs, we can all be proud that we got this done.
     That's my question for you, MP Jolibois. We get this done, together with whatever date and whatever changes have to happen in the drafting. Let's say that it's 20 years from now and you're looking back. What are you going to be most happy about that you would see happening on the ground because of an indigenous national holiday?
    Thank you for that question, and thank you for the support from all of you.
    We are today moving forward. I see a positive legacy. We are creating a positive legacy together. That's what I envision.
     As for what I see, I see my 10-year-old great-niece's kids in the generations to come. When we're old, we'll be elders. I'll be called upon as an elder when the time comes. Unfortunately, we are all going there. We will all have that role.
     For us as indigenous people, that we took this time as Canadians to honour, respect and accept indigenous people as part of Canadian society is a crucial step, and that's exactly what your comment is saying. That's where I'm envisioning this. Canada is built on the backs of indigenous people, yet we're in a marginalized system right now, and we want to be “a part of”, together. That's how I envision it.
    I started with my grandmother. I'm going to end with my grandmother.
     I can see her at 85, with gnarled hands, making an apple pie because she married a Dutchman. She never lived on reserve. She once said to me: “Randy, we come from the land. We will someday go back to the land, and one day we will all be one people again.”
     That's why you have my support. Thank you, both of you.

  (1210)  

    Thank you.
    Thank you to both witnesses. That was very helpful as a starting place for our study on this bill.
    We are going to suspend for three minutes. I'm going to ask people to try to keep this short, because we need to get to our study of the next bill. Thank you very much.

  (1210)  


  (1210)  

[Translation]

    Let us resume the session.
    With us, we have Guylain Thorne and Kathryn Zedde, from the Department of Canadian Heritage. I notice that the third person we invited is not here.
    Thank you for being here today.

[English]

     We are now continuing with our clause-by-clause review of Bill C-391, an act respecting a national strategy for the repatriation of aboriginal cultural property. When we left off, we were at clause 2 and amendment LIB-1.
     If I may, I'll let everyone know that if LIB-1 is adopted, CPC-1 and NDP-1 cannot be moved, as they amend the same lines.
    Does anybody want to speak to LIB-1?
    Go ahead, Mr. Long.

  (1215)  

     I would like to move that amendment, and I'll read this out:
That Bill C-391, in Clause 2, be amended by replacing lines 6 to 11 on page 1 with the following:
2 In this Act, Minister means the Minister of Canadian Heritage.
    All right. Are we ready to go to a vote on LIB-1?
    (Amendment agreed to)
    The Chair: That means that CPC-1 and NDP-1 are no longer considered.
    (Clause 2 as amended agreed to)
    (On clause 3)
    We are now going to clause 3. We have LIB-2.
    If LIB-2 is adopted, NDP-2 cannot be moved, as they amend the same lines.
    Is there any discussion about LIB-2?
    Sure. I'll speak, and then perhaps Monsieur Nantel can also comment.

[Translation]

    This amendment makes a correction in language. It says “the provinces” and we want it to say “the provinces and territories”, when it comes to the minister developing and implementing a plan, and so on. It's just to include the territories as well as the provinces.
    Mr. Nantel, you have the floor.
    I would like to propose a subamendment.
    Of course, I completely agree. In the amendment we submitted, we should have written “territories”, but we did not. However, I believe that it's really imperative that we also add that it be done “in accordance with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, including article 31 of that text”. The wording would therefore be: “…the provinces and territories, and in accordance…”
    Personally, if you agree, I would like to turn the text around in order to give more weight to that accordance with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
    I will use the text in English; that will be easier. We would be adding this:

[English]

“and territories must develop and implement a comprehensive national strategy in accordance with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, including Article 31 of that text”, and then back to the text.
    Is that clear with you?

[Translation]

    I see that as a friendly subamendment.
    Isn't it nice?

[English]

     I think our legislative clerk would like to see exactly how that's worded so that he can make sure that he understands it.
    Do we have it written out as a text somewhere?

[Translation]

    I will submit it to you.
    Madam Chair, while we are waiting, I would just like to highlight once more the impressive speech that Mr. Saganash gave at the Association canadienne-française de l'Alberta gala in Edmonton, and all the work that he has done on behalf of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
    Thank you, Mr. Saganash. I wanted to highlight that before you leave Parliament.
    It is in that spirit that we are submitting this amendment today.

  (1220)  

    I'm just waiting to see whether our legislative clerk has good notes on the proposal.

[English]

     I will read out the subamendment so that we can vote on it.

[Translation]

    Do you have it?

[English]

    There is some striking out of words happening. We want to make sure it's correct.

[Translation]

    Are we okay?
     May I read it back for everyone?
    Yes.
    Our legislative clerk will read the subamendment so that all members are aware of what the vote is about.
    Yes.

[English]

    With the subamendment, the amendment would now read:
That Bill C-391, in Clause 3, be amended by replacing line 14 on page 1 with the following:
“the provinces and territories, in accordance with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, including Article 31 of the text, must develop and implement a comprehensive national strategy to promote and support the return of aboriginal cultural property, wherever situated, to the aboriginal peoples of Canada. The strategy must include measures to
    Does everyone have the subamendment?
    Is there any further debate?
    (Subamendment agreed to [See Minutes of Proceedings])
    The Chair: Go ahead, Mr. Nantel.

[Translation]

    I am really sorry. I may have missed something. Have the definitions been voted on yet? Have we voted on the amendments we proposed to the definitions?
    Yes.

[English]

     Clause 2 was carried as amended.

[Translation]

    Okay.
    I do not know if I can ask everyone's permission to go back to them, but we had submitted an amendment. The Conservatives submitted another one as well. I think we passed right over them. I have consulted with Mr. Saganash about this and I feel that the term “Aboriginal cultural property”, which we included in the amendment, is really important. As I was saying to Mr. Googoo earlier, we have to show our respect in this matter.
    So I would like to throw myself on the mercy of my committee colleagues.

[English]

    I need to refer to my legislative clerk for some assistance on this.

[Translation]

    Of course. It is amendment NDP-1.

[English]

    When I first read LIB-1, I mentioned it would remove the ability to move NDP-1 and CPC-1. Speaking with the legislative clerk, I have learned we would end up with contrary decisions. It's closed; we carried it.
    We actually subamended and then passed LIB-1, so It's closed. We should be carrying on, because the definition section was already covered with clause 2 carrying.
    Go ahead, Mr. Boissonnault.

  (1225)  

     I agree, and I believe my colleagues on the Liberal side agree, but I will say to our colleagues in the NDP and the Conservative Party that we will send your text to Mr. Casey and it will be in front of the committee, because definitions, we feel, should be left to the people who are doing the study on the national strategy.
    Your ideas will not be lost; we just don't want to constrain or overburden the process. Our fundamental belief is to respect what you're doing but to leave the people working on the project to decide definitions.
    Your work will not be lost. We will forward it to the committee responsible for the national strategy.
    Then we are still discussing.... Right now I'm catching up on where we left off.
    Go ahead, Mr. Nantel.

[Translation]

    Thank you.
    In the bill, line 6 in clause 2, it says:

[English]

“The following definitions apply in this Act.”

[Translation]

    Then the terms are defined. It seems to me that there is a difference between the French text and the English text. Mr. Boissonnault is probably better able to grasp the nuances than I am.
    Which line are you talking about?

[English]

    Perhaps the legislative clerk can assist us in understanding where we're at with our clause-by-clause study just to clarify exactly what's happened with what we've done with clause 2 as amended, which we have voted on.

[Translation]

     Let me go back a minute, to amendment LIB-1. That amendment was asking that Bill C-391, in clause 2, be amended by replacing lines 6 to 11 on page 1 with the following:
    2 in this Act, minister means the Minister of Canadian Heritage.
    By doing that, everything in lines 6 to 11 was replaced. In other words, the definition that was there is no longer there. There is no longer a definition, because the amendment withdrew it. The lines that were removed therefore cannot be amended.
    My thanks to the clerk for that clarification.
    Mr. Boissonnault, in all good conscience, in the same way as you told me that our work on the definition would not be lost and that our text would at least be submitted to the legislative drafters, I would like to point out one other thing. The English definition reads:

[English]

“aboriginal cultural property includes objects of historical”.

[Translation]

    In French, the word “includes” does not appear. It does not say that Aboriginal cultural property includes an object of historical importance, but that it is one. There is a nuance here,

[English]

just so you know.

[Translation]

    Okay, but I repeat that that was all taken out. We passed the amendment and the definition is no longer there.
    Ah, yes, that's true. It was about lines 6 to 12. Okay, I understand.
    Now, we need to pick up where we left off.

[English]

    All right.
    We were on LIB-2, which was amended.
    (Amendment as amended agreed to)
     That brings us to LIB-3.
    If LIB-3 is adopted, CPC-2 and NDP-3 cannot be moved, as they amend the same lines.
    Does anyone want to discuss LIB-3?

[Translation]

    Madam Chair, this amendment is really about cleaning up the text.

[English]

     It would replace line 16 on page 1 with the addition of, after “aboriginal”, “human remains and cultural property”.
    We also missed words in line 18, so it would say “include measures that seek to”. We also add again, “human remains or cultural property”, after “indigenous”.
    In line 4 on page 2, it would say again “human remains or cultural property to return such”, and then the word “material” is new.
    Again cleaning up some language, it would replace lines 6 to 8 on page 2 with the following: “support the recognition that”, adding “human remains”. Again, after “access to that", " material” is an additional word.
    Then it would replace line 13 on page 2 with “human remains and cultural property; and”.
    Then the largest cleanup, if you will, in this clause is replacing lines 14 to 17 on page 2 with the following: “resolve any conflicting claims to Indigenous human remains or cultural property, whether within or between Indigenous communities or organizations, in a manner that is respectful”, and it continues. Then we have “that allows claimants to be self-represented”.
    That's a lot of cleanup.
    I'll walk people through it, because it's hard to see what's there and what wasn't.

  (1230)  

    Is there any discussion about LIB-3?

[Translation]

    Go ahead, Mr. Nantel.
    First of all, would it be possible to get the text we've just read?
    You don't have it in front of you? It should be in the pile of amendments.
    Great.
    So, I'm wondering if it would be appropriate to propose a subamendment here. Basically, it's the same idea as the one mentioned this morning. It's why I'm talking about a subamendment. It would involve adding the following to the text: “and in accordance with the United Nations Declaration …” Again, I think that adding this clarification would be a major gain. It would also be safe conduct that would allow the bill to better reflect future situations and respect the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
    I will check whether our legislative clerk managed to properly note the wording. In the meantime, we'll continue the discussion.
    Mr. Deltell, you have the floor.
    Mr. Boissonnault could surely help us to understand certain aspects of his proposal.
    For example, in point (a), the amendment seeks to amend the French version of the bill by replacing lines 17 to 18 on page 1 with the following:
    tenir la restitution de restes humains ou de biens culturels autochtones, peu importe où ils se trouvent, aux peuples autoch-
    Which line?
    The line ending with “autoch-”. It should read “autochtones”.
    There you go. It's simply a matter of drafting.
    Which line is it?
    In the French version of the amendment, it's on the seventh line, and at the end of it, the following is in quotation marks:
    tenir la restitution de restes humains ou de biens culturels autochtones, peu importe où ils se trouvent, aux peuples autoch-
    If the idea is to replace “autoch–” with “autochtones”, we support that. It makes sense. We don't want a word to be cut in half in the text. Sometimes there's a hyphen, and you forget the whole word.
    All right, but that's another subamendment.

[English]

    Let me keep track of the subamendments, please, because they're coming fast and furious here.

[Translation]

    Madam Chair, as for the NDP proposal, I know that Mr. Saganash is quite familiar with how acts and bills are written, given his experience as a lawyer. For my part, I have been involved in the study of Bill C-75 for some months now, and I know that amendments can change the text considerably. We find it redundant to add again here the reference to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Since it is indicated at the beginning, it has an impact on the whole process. The reference to this statement and to the particular section you mentioned therefore applies to all the provisions of this bill without exception. We therefore consider this to be redundant. That is why we cannot support this proposal.
    Okay.

[English]

    Go ahead, Mr. Shields.
    Thank you, Madam Chair.
    I agree with the amendments you did make in cleaning it up and adding that in, because we heard that from the witnesses very clearly. That makes sense, and I agree with your second point that it's already been passed and in there. It's redundant to put it in again.
    We've considered M. Deltell's motion a friendly motion to make sure the word “autochtone” is there in its entirety.
     All right.
    Go ahead, Mr. Deltell.
    Madam Chair, you will recognize that I'm very friendly today.

[Translation]

    We'll record Mr. Deltell's good days in the official record.

[English]

    It's not just one, but two.

[Translation]

    There may be a reason.
    In point (c), it is proposed that the bill be amended by replacing line 5 on page 2, but there are some little bits missing.
    I think it's the word “judiciaires”. The start of the word isn't there.

  (1235)  

    Actually, it's missing lots of sentences.
    Mr. Deltell, would you like to add the word “judiciaires” in the same subamendment?
    Actually, it's more than that. I'm absolutely certain that, when the text was being cut and pasted, the mouse didn't follow.
    Yes.
    Right now, we are discussing several subamendments, and I would like to clarify things.
    Mr. Deltell, could you include all the changes you are proposing in one subamendment? Then we could go back to Mr. Nantel's subamendment. We must first vote on the second subamendment, then on the first subamendment.
    Give me time to read it again because there may be others.
    Okay.
    Madam Chair, I would like to clarify something for Mr. Deltell.
    The amendment suggests a new wording in line 5 on page 2 in the French text. The full word is “fiduciaires”. If you look at the bill, you'll see that the letters “ciaires” follow “fidu–”, which are at the end of line 4. So the text of our amendment as presented is reliable. A subamendment is therefore not necessary at this point.
    Right.
    Line 5 begins with “ciaires”. I'll show you.
    You can discuss it amongst yourselves.
    I will ask Mr. Nantel to clarify his subamendment. That way, we can vote on this one first.
    Mr. Nantel, could you clarify your subamendment?
    I'll try to avoid troubling everyone, so we don't bang our heads against the wall.
    I discussed it with Mr. Saganash, and we will withdraw our subamendment that calls for it to be consistent with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
    However, I would like to tell you that we plan to present a subamendment to point 3(a). I just want to make sure we talk about it. It's hard to follow. We have some changes to propose to the Liberal amendment with respect to this element. So it will be another subamendment that we will discuss, perhaps after Mr. Deltell's.
    That's another subamendment. One moment please.
    We are withdrawing the first one.
    Okay, the first one is withdrawn.
    Our legislative clerk will speak to you.
    Mr. Deltell, have you found all the mistakes in French?
    They are not mistakes but rather clarifications.
    I am fully aware that the second subamendment was not relevant, because—
    It's the same thing for clause 3(e) of the bill. Between lines 16 and 20, the word “autochtones” appears twice, and each time, we see the beginning of the word “au-” at the end of a line. In our amendment, it is written in one word, without a hyphen.
    Okay, that's fine.
    So a subamendment is not needed.
    Okay.
    Mr. Deltell, do you want your subamendment to be maintained?
    No, I think we agree on that.
    Okay.
    The two subamendments that we have discussed are now removed.
    We will now move to another subamendment regarding point 3(a) I believe. Our legislative clerk is just checking.
    Mr. Clerk, can you read the words so that everyone knows what we are talking about?
    I am trying to understand what Mr. Nantel wants to do.
    He would like to amend paragraph (b) of amendment LIB-3, which proposes the following wording:
acquire or reacquire Indigenous human remains or cultural property;
    Is that correct?
    It's in amendment LIB-3, isn't it?
    Yes.
    I was talking about point 3(a), but you're right, I think it's 3(b). Perhaps we made a mistake.
    You were talking about subclause 3(a) of the bill, correct?
    Yes, that's right. That's why we would like to introduce this as a subamendment as we consider the Liberal amendment.
    So we are talking about paragraph (b) of amendment LIB-3.
    Okay, thank you. Then I multiply that by 3.1416 and add my mother's age, which comes to—
    Voices: Ha, ha.

  (1240)  

    I just have to clarify a few things, if you don't mind.
    The Liberal amendment refers to “acquire or reacquire Indigenous human remains or cultural property”. The part about “human remains” seems to have disappeared in this case. Is that your objective?
    No, not at all.
    Okay. Then it needs to be reworded. I will try to rework the text to have something comprehensive, but it will take me a few minutes.
    Of course.
    Is there anything else you would like to discuss regarding amendment LIB-3?
    Since our legislative clerk needs a moment and we have nothing more to add to amendment LIB-3, we could take a two-minute break, to give him time to sort it out. We can then look at a subamendment.

  (1240)  


  (1245)  

  (1250)  

[English]

     I'd like to bring everybody up to speed as to where we are at and also so that we can consider what we have before us, because we have a deadline for putting in amendments. They were circulated, and now we have a subamendment that has been proposed. However, as you can see, our legislative clerk has been having some difficulty in finding the correct way to incorporate it.
    It looks like we finally have it. Can the legislative clerk please read to us the proposed subamendment?

[Translation]

    Amendment LIB-3, point (b), proposes to amend the bill by replacing lines 1 and 2 on page 2 with the following:
acquire or reacquire Indigenous human remains or cultural property;
    We will replace that with:
acquire or reacquire, and maintain, control and protect Aboriginal cultural property, as well as the collective intellectual property of its cultural heritage, traditional knowledge and traditional cultural heritage, to which they are deeply attached;

[English]

    Is there any debate?

[Translation]

    Madam Chair, we are actually trying to incorporate amendment NDP-3 into amendment LIB-3.
    I have some idea of what you are proposing through this subamendment. The challenge is that, by introducing the concept of intellectual property, it would be subject to copyright, which would completely change the scope of the study.
    Mr. Casey, who is here, could enlighten us on this issue.

[English]

    Bill, what is the challenge in having intellectual property as part of this? I know that this change would take your study into a completely different place from where you wanted the national strategy to go.
    Intellectual property was not considered. It wasn't part of my original thought on this. This was about helping small first nations acquire or reacquire artifacts that were originally from their first nations. Intellectual property wasn't part of my thought at all.
    Madam Chair, as we have before to Mr. Saganash and Monsieur Nantel, I will submit that this question should be considered by the national strategy on creating this project and that they should look at the question of intellectual property.
    You know that we're doing the study on les droits d'auteur and artist compensation. If there is something that should be done between cultural organizations and indigenous nations that have each other's artifacts and if there is some recognition in IP that should happen, it's something that this committee should look at and that the strategy should look at.
    I wouldn't want us to constrain ourselves and take this into an ISED kind of place simply because we added this here at Heritage. For that reason, I will not be supporting the subamendment.
    Is there any further debate?
    All right. Seeing none, are we ready for the vote on the NDP subamendment?
    (Subamendment negatived [See Minutes of Proceedings])

  (1255)  

    What happened?
    That has not carried.
    Then we will go to LIB-3, which has not been amended.
    Looking at LIB-3, shall LIB-3 carry?
    Go ahead, Monsieur Nantel.
    I have a subamendment to LIB-3. You can find it in the pack under NDP-4, in the official pack we received.
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think this is the right moment to bring this amendment forward, because if we adopt the amendment from the Liberals, then it would be too late.
    My understanding from what I have is that NDP-3 could not be moved if we adopt LIB-3 but that we could go on to NDP-4.
    Yes.
    That's....
    I just want to make sure we get to speak about it.
    We are voting on LIB-3. Shall LIB-3 carry?
    (Amendment agreed to [See Minutes of Proceedings])
    The Chair: That brings us to CPC-3.
    Does anyone want to debate CPC-3?
     I move CPC-3.
    We will vote on amendment CPC-3.
    (Amendment negatived [See Minutes of Proceedings])
    The Chair: The next one is NDP-4.
    Go ahead, Mr. Nantel.

[Translation]

    I would like to bring to your attention the text that you have all received. We could save words and ink by removing the reference to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. However, we think it's appropriate to add the following:
... to maintain, control, protect and develop their cultural heritage, traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions, as well as the manifestations of their sciences, technologies and cultures, including human and genetic resources, seeds, medicines, knowledge of the properties of fauna and flora, oral traditions, literatures, designs, sports and traditional games and visual and performing arts;
    That's the definition that I would have liked to propose from the beginning. This is an opportunity to reintroduce the definition. Let me point out that it's supported by an expert in the field.
    Madam Chair, that's a fine job, but I wonder whether it's too broad and far-reaching. I'm not sure how we could bring their sports back.

[English]

    I have a question for Mr. Casey. As well-intentioned as it is, does this go beyond the scope of what you originally intended?
    It does. My scope was very focused on helping first nations reacquire, or acquire, their artifacts. That's all it was.
    I will not accept this amendment.
    Is there any further discussion about NDP-4?
    (Amendment negatived [See Minutes of Proceedings])
    The Chair: Shall clause 3 as amended carry?
    (Clause 3 as amended agreed to)
    (On clause 4)
    The Chair: Now we have LIB-4.
    Go ahead, Mr. Long.
    I'd like to draw your attention to clause 4. I would like to see it amended by replacing line 18 on page 2 with the following:
4 (1) Within three years after the day on which this Act
    Is there any discussion about LIB-4?
    (Amendment agreed to)
    The Chair: Now we have CPC-4.
    Go ahead, Mr. Shields.
    I move amendment CPC-4.
    Is there any discussion about CPC-4?
    (Amendment negatived [See Minutes of Proceedings])
    The Chair: Shall clause 4 as amended carry?
    (Clause 4 as amended agreed to [See Minutes of Proceedings])
    (On clause 5)
    The Chair: We are on clause 5. We have LIB-5.
    Go ahead, Mr. Boissonnault.

  (1300)  

    It's simply an amendment to make sure the minister provides details to the House on what's currently happening and what efforts are under way. That's an important addition to this bill.
    I want to make a note before we go further that if LIB-5 is adopted, CPC-5 cannot be moved, as they amend the same lines.
    Is there any discussion about LIB-5?
    (Amendment agreed to [See Minutes of Proceedings])
    The Chair: Shall clause 5 as amended carry?
    (Clause 5 as amended agreed to [See Minutes of Proceedings])
    Now we are at the short title. That brings us to LIB-6. I will mention that the vote on LIB-6 applies to LIB-7.
    Go ahead, Mr. Boissonnault.
    LIB-6 is housekeeping to add “Human Remains and” before the word “Cultural”.
     Is there any discussion?
    (Amendment agreed to [See Minutes of Proceedings])
    The Chair: Shall the short title as amended carry?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    The Chair: Shall the title as amended carry?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    The Chair: Shall the bill as amended carry?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    The Chair: Shall the chair report the bill as amended to the House?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    The Chair: Shall the committee order a reprint of the bill as amended for the use of the House at report stage?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    The Chair: Thank you very much, and thank you, Mr. Casey, for bringing this forward.
    This meeting is adjourned.
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