INAN Committee Report
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GOVERNMENT OF CANADA RESPONSE TO THE STANDING COMMITTEE ON INDIGENOUS AND NORTHERN AFFAIRS:
INDIGENOUS LAND RIGHTS: TOWARDS RESPECT AND IMPLEMENTATION
The Government of Canada thanks the House of Commons Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs for its work over the past year in developing recommendations to improve the specific claims and comprehensive land claims process, and the negotiation and implementation of self-government agreements. The Government of Canada welcomes the seventeen recommendations set out in the Committee’s Report, Indigenous Land Claims: Towards Respect and Implementation.
Canada is committed to a renewed relationship with Indigenous peoples based on the recognition of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership. This commitment is included in every Minister’s mandate letter and has been reiterated by the Prime Minister on various occasions.
The Government of Canada takes its commitment to reconciliation seriously and acknowledges that past systems, approaches, and methods have not worked. Top-down approaches that perpetuate colonialism have defined the Crown-Indigenous relationship for too long. Canada has started on a path to right these wrongs in partnership with Indigenous peoples, provincial and territorial governments, and all Canadians.
The Committee’s seventeen recommendations address the current processes for settling specific claims, and negotiating and implementing comprehensive land claims and self-government agreements. The Report finds that Indigenous groups are frustrated with Canada’s processes and view them as expensive, time-consuming and adversarial.
Many of the recommendations included in the Report reflect what the Government of Canada has been hearing from Indigenous partners through other fora, such as Recognition of Indigenous Rights and Self-Determination discussions and the Assembly of First Nations-Canada Joint Technical Working Group on Specific Claims. Indigenous people have contributed to the Government of Canada’s shift in its approaches to addressing historical grievances, the negotiation of treaties and agreements, and the settlement of specific claims.
The Government has heard from Indigenous partners that transformative changes are needed in how Canada approaches the negotiation and implementation specific claims, comprehensive land claims, and self-government agreements. The Government is advancing this transformation through stronger and better ways of reconciling section 35 rights. This work is guided by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, whose principles and spirit form the foundation of the Crown-Indigenous relationship.
Framework for Resolving Comprehensive Land Claims (Recommendation 1)
The Government of Canada recognizes the importance of working in partnership with Indigenous peoples to address their interests and priorities and diverse needs to build relationships based on the recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership.
Since 2015, the Government of Canada has been engaging in Recognition of Indigenous Rights and Self-Determination discussions to advance the rights, needs and interests of Indigenous communities on a nation-to-nation, government-to-government, and Inuit-to-Crown basis. These without prejudice discussions put a premium on listening, and co-developing mandates and negotiating agreements that reflect the recognition of rights, interests and priorities that are unique to each Indigenous group. Through Budget 2018, the Government of Canada announced $51.4 million over the next two years to continue supporting federal and Indigenous participation in Recognition of Indigenous Rights and Self-Determination discussions.
Through Recognition of Indigenous Rights and Self-Determination discussions, the Government of Canada has taken measures to increase the discretion that federal negotiators have to reach agreements. As part of this approach, Canada co-develops negotiation mandates with Indigenous partners that reflect their unique voices, priorities, and visions of self-determination. Canada enters into discussions with a blank slate; we are listening to what First Nations, Inuit and Métis groups have to say about their own visions of reconciliation. A true nation-to-nation relationship must respect this and offer tailored responses, not a one size fits all approach. Recognition of Rights discussions allow Canada to work jointly with First Nations, Inuit and Métis groups to develop solutions together that are grounded in their community interests. Co-developed agreements and negotiation mandates are shared for approval through Canada’s and the Indigenous group’s respective approval processes.
The Government of Canada is also pursuing more flexible approaches to agreements, such as with the Anishnabek Nation Education Agreement, which was implemented on April 1, 2018. Through the agreement, the Anishnabek Education System will control on-reserve education for 23 First Nations in Ontario, including the promotion of Anishnaabe culture and language for students in Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12 and providing funding support for post-secondary students.
Following this, on February 14, 2018 the Prime Minister announced that Canada will develop a Recognition and Implementation of Indigenous Rights Framework in partnership with First Nation, Inuit and Métis peoples. The Framework will make the recognition and implementation of rights the basis for all federal relations with Indigenous peoples. Since the announcement, the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations has been engaging First Nations, Inuit and Métis leadership, communities, organizations, legal scholars, and women, youth and Elders to hear their visions of what should be included in the Framework. As of September 2018, the Minister has held over 102 engagement sessions, involving over 1,662 individuals with more than 783 women. As a starting point, the Framework will include a new policy to replace the Comprehensive Land Claims Policy and the Inherent Right Policy. The new policy will replace the current policies with new and flexible approaches that respect the distinctions between First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.
Certainty techniques used by Canada have evolved from the “cede, release and surrender” of pre-existing rights. Current federal policies include a toolkit of techniques (i.e. non-assertion of rights, suspension of rights, modification of rights) to achieve certainty over rights in negotiated agreements. We have heard that some Indigenous groups continue to equate these techniques to the extinguishment of rights, which does not reflect evolving nation-to-nation relationships. Although these techniques move us towards greater flexibility in agreements, it is anticipated that the new policy that will be developed under the Framework may go further in seeking to achieve intergovernmental agreements that provide predictability and enable the continuation of rights (rather than extinguishing rights) through evolutionary provisions and periodic review processes.
Since the establishment of the British Columbia treaty negotiations process in 1992, the negotiation of comprehensive land claims has proven to be complex and lengthy. These challenges have been articulated in several reports, including: 2015 report of Ministerial Special Representative, Douglas Eyford: A New Direction: Advancing Aboriginal and Treaty Rights; the Lornie Report, 2011; and annual reports of the British Columbia Treaty Commission. In response, in 2015, the Principals to the British Columbia Treaty Process (Canada, British Columbia, and the First Nations Summit) established the Multilateral Engagement Process to Improve and Expedite Treaty Negotiations in British Columbia to find ways to negotiate treaties more effectively and efficiently in order to more quickly provide the benefits of treaties to First Nations. In 2016, the Principals endorsed recommendations and action items to develop and explore stepping stone approaches to developing agreements, including incremental agreements, sectoral agreements, and core treaties. Canada, British Columbia and the First Nations Summit continue to explore flexible and responsive approaches to treaty negotiations and to implementing the recommendations and action items endorsed by the Principals.
Canada has also recently taken steps to create efficiencies in the federal mandating and approval process for section 35-related negotiations, including modern treaties and self-government agreements. For example, the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations can now sign non-binding agreements, such as preliminary-type agreements (e.g. framework agreements, memoranda of understanding) and agreements-in-principle that are within the federal policy framework, upon the recommendation of the Federal Steering Committee on Section 35 Rights (an Assistant Deputy Minister-level committee). After signing an agreement-in-principle, the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations can immediately initiate final agreement negotiations within the policy framework without going to Cabinet.
In addition, the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations can now expedite to the final agreement stage by skipping the agreement-in-principle stage or, in cases where all negotiation matters are finalized during agreement-in-principle negotiations and the agreement is within the existing policy framework, converting a substantively complete agreement-in-principle into a final agreement.
These changes and our continued commitment to further streamlining our processes will help maintain momentum at negotiating tables and will result in Indigenous groups benefitting from agreements sooner.
The historical relationship between Indigenous Peoples and the Crown has had a profound impact on Indigenous women. Colonial and paternalistic laws like the Indian Act, as well as other legislation and policies such as residential schools, entrenched policies and imposed structures that caused great harm to pre-existing social structures for Indigenous women. The Government of Canada recognizes that women have been excluded from governance and decision-making processes, including negotiation processes, within their communities due to a range of factors including gender-based oppression, male-dominated leadership structures, and lack of affordable child care. The result is that decisions affecting community life and governance are made without them and may not account for their interests. As a result of this shared history, socio-economic gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians continue to be significant. The Government of Canada will consider mitigating measures to address this lived experience of female exclusion from Indigenous governance as part of ongoing measures to develop new laws and policies.
The Government of Canada will continue to leverage partnerships to help build public understanding of Indigenous history and issues (including treaties, land claims and Section 35 rights) in order to help the overall effort to promote reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Canada.
Recognition of Indigenous Rights and Self-Determination Discussions (Recommendation 2)
Canada has been engaged in Recognition of Indigenous Rights and Self-Determination discussions since 2015 and has developed a webpage dedicated to providing background information on the discussions process to ensure Indigenous communities and the public are kept informed about many of the discussions underway. In many cases, discussions are initiated with Indigenous groups that are already in negotiations with Canada and who are looking for an alternative to Canada’s Comprehensive Land Claims or Inherent Right policies. Indigenous communities are encouraged to contact Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada should they be looking for further information with respect to these discussions.
A list of ongoing Recognition of Indigenous Rights and Self-Determination discussions is available online: http://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1511969222951/1511969264945.
Indigenous communities may also be interested in self-government and comprehensive land claims negotiations. These are established procedures that are premised on recognition of rights and self-determination and many of these negotiations are
underway across the country. Information on these negotiations is available online at http://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1373385502190/1373385561540.
Agreements are Living Documents (Recommendation 3)
The Supreme Court of Canada has stated that reconciliation is not a one-time event, rather, an ongoing and evolving relationship that connects the Crown and Indigenous peoples.
Canada agrees with the Committee’s statement in the Report that, “treaties are meant to be evolving; there is not a final relationship. Treaties are living documents and have to be revisited on a regular basis in order to determine the health of the relationship.” Canada continues to pursue flexible agreements that can evolve with changing circumstances and relationships. Through Recognition of Indigenous Rights and Self-Determination discussions and through comprehensive land claim and self-government negotiations, Canada is exploring innovative mechanisms such as new periodic review clauses that could make section 35 protected agreements into living agreements.
The Government of Canada’s commitment to evolving relationships and agreements is stated in the Principles Respecting the Government of Canada’s Relationship with Indigenous Peoples. In 2017, Canada adopted and publically released the ten
Principles as a path forward based on the recognition of rights. Specifically, Principle 9 states that “Reconciliation is an ongoing process that occurs in the context of evolving Crown-Indigenous relationships”. The Principles are a critical element to renewing the Crown-Indigenous relationship and their use will continue to deepen and evolve within the Government of Canada.
Indigenous groups have also voiced the importance of evolving agreements during the national engagement on the development of a Recognition and Implementation of Indigenous Rights Framework. Mechanisms for the evolution and periodic review of agreements may be explored as part of the new policy that will replace the Comprehensive Land Claims Policy and the Inherent Right Policy.
Additionally, the Statement of Principles on the Federal Approach to Modern Treaty Implementation, developed in collaboration with Indigenous Modern Treaty partners, speaks to modern treaties as reconciliation in action and treaty implementation as an ongoing process. The full list of principles can be found at: http://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1436288286602/1436288386227.
Negotiation Loan Funding (Recommendations 4, 5, 6)
Canada announced in Budget 2018 that the Government will replace the use of loans with non-repayable contribution funding to support Indigenous participation in the negotiation of modern treaties. This commitment is applicable only to comprehensive claim negotiations, and does not cover specific claim negotiations. Work is currently underway to implement this commitment. In addition to eliminating loan funding for comprehensive claims, discussions are being initiated to meet the Budget 2018 commitment to: “engage with affected Indigenous groups on how best to address past and present negotiation loans, including forgiveness of loans.”
In the context of Specific Claims, funding of Treaty Land Entitlement and Additions to Reserve processes is currently included within specific claims settlement agreements. Where a specific claims settlement includes a provision for the First Nation to add more land to its current reserve, the compensation of the settlement includes an amount of up to 10% of the current value of the land that was the subject of the specific claim in order to cover land acquisition costs. These land acquisition costs can include environmental assessments and surveys. Where 10% of the value of the land is insufficient to cover such costs, additional money can be included in the compensation based on consultation with experts who are familiar with forecasting these expenses.
The availability and adequacy of funding to support First Nations’ participation in all phases of the specific claims process was discussed extensively during meetings of the Assembly of First Nations-Canada Joint Technical Working Group on specific claims but the Working Group agreed that further work is required.
Dispute Resolution during the Negotiation of Comprehensive Land Claims (Recommendation 7)
There are currently several mechanisms in place to advance the resolution of disputes between the Government of Canada and Indigenous peoples. Modern treaties include dispute resolution provisions that compel partners to come together as implementation issues arise. Dispute resolution processes described in modern treaties can be amended. For example, the dispute resolution chapter in the Nunavut Agreement was recently updated to reflect the interests of all parties.
Canada and Indigenous peoples are also making progress on the resolution of disputes through collaborative processes. For example, through Recognition of Indigenous Rights and Self-Determination discussions, Canada and Indigenous peoples are working in partnership to discuss the resolution of historic grievances as an alternative to litigation.
addition, dispute resolution approaches to address rights-related issues are
being discussed as part of the national engagement to develop the Recognition
and Implementation of Indigenous Rights Framework.
Implementation of Comprehensive Land Claims and Specific Claims (Recommendations 8 and 9)
The honourable implementation of treaties and agreements is important to renewing the relationship with Indigenous people based on the recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership. Canada acknowledges the calls for better oversight of the treaty relationship and implementation process by Indigenous peoples across the country.
The Cabinet Directive on the Federal Approach to Modern Treaty Implementation requires the development of a Performance Measurement Framework to assess the fulfilment of Canada’s obligations. As a component of this Framework, the Government tracks progress made on Canada’s treaty implementation obligations. The Modern Treaty Management Environment, a web-based application being deployed to all federal departments, will track the implementation of Canada’s obligations. In addition, the Deputy Ministers’ Oversight Committee is regularly updated on Canada’s implementation progress. The Cabinet Directive also requires an Annual Report to the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, with the first report anticipated for 2018-19.
As part of the Performance Measurement Framework, the Modern Treaty Implementation Office is working with the Land Claims Agreements Coalition to identify common objectives of modern treaties to aid in measuring the effectiveness of implementing modern treaties. The Modern Treaty Implementation Office is also working with treaty holders to support the development of treaty-specific performance measurements, which will help Indigenous groups to plan, track and manage their specific projects and programs.
All of these performance measurement initiatives will require data collection that will be community-led. The Modern Treaty Implementation Office is working with stakeholders on a data strategy that will facilitate the measurement of the different indicators and support evidence-based decisions. One part of this strategy incorporates working with Modern Treaty partners and Self-Governing Indigenous Governments as part of the Collaborative Fiscal Policy Development Process on issues such as avoiding duplication of work, ensuring data quality and facilitating effective data sharing.
To support the development and management of Indigenous data, Budget 2018 invests $3.8 million over five years to create the Indigenous Statistical Capacity Development Initiative. This initiative will enable the Government of Canada to undertake engagement and outreach with Indigenous peoples and organizations to better understand their statistical, data governance and information management needs, and to provide tools grounded in the diverse needs of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. It will also help Indigenous leadership, communities and governments to build their own data and research capacities.
In announcing the development of a Recognition and Implementation of Indigenous Rights Framework, the Prime Minister stated that it could include tools to increase the accountability of the Government of Canada. During the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations’ national engagement process, Indigenous peoples have voiced the need for new accountability measures to track the implementation of treaties and agreements. As part of the national engagement to develop the Recognition and Implementation of Indigenous Rights Framework, the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations met with the Land Claims Agreements Coalition and a number of modern treaty holders to discuss the implementation of treaties and agreements. The Government of Canada will continue working with Indigenous groups to implement treaties and agreements in an efficient and effective manner, including through a strengthened culture of federal government accountability.
Specific claims are claims made by First Nations against the Government of Canada regarding the administration of land and other First Nation assets and the fulfilment of pre-1975 treaties. The primary objective of the Specific Claims Policy is to discharge outstanding lawful obligations of the Crown to First Nations. The specific claims process is a voluntary alternative dispute resolution option in which specific claims can be resolved through negotiated settlement agreements. Negotiated settlements are about balancing risk, achieving justice, respect, co-operation and reconciliation. The Government of Canada resolves specific claims by providing monetary compensation for historical losses suffered by First Nations. Compensation set out in settlement agreements is typically paid within 45 days of an agreement having been executed. Similarly, awards of the Specific Claims Tribunal are paid within the same timeframe. In certain circumstances, specific claims settlements and Specific Claims Tribunal decisions provide access to the Additions to Reserve process.
The Additions to Reserve project management system is currently under development. The system would clearly outline the roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders in the process (First Nation land managers, Canada, third parties) and would also provide a foundation of useful data that would enable a more strategic approach to identifying obstacles and delays in the Additions to Reserve process. The data could be used to develop strategies to find additional efficiencies in the implementation of the Additions to Reserve policy directive. The system will also provide for improved tracking and reporting on all Additions to Reserve across the country. In 2017/18, a National Additions to Reserve Advisory Committee, comprised of Indigenous organizations and stakeholders, was established to identify and implement process improvements that will streamline and accelerate the Additions to Reserve process.
Specific Claims Policy Reform (Recommendations 10 and 11)
On September 6, 2017, the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada issued a statement stating that the Government of Canada acknowledges that the current specific claims policy and process are not in keeping with a recognition of rights or a reconciliation based approach to addressing issues between the Crown and Indigenous peoples. The Ministers confirmed that the Government of Canada is working to completely overhaul the specific claims policy in co-operation and collaboration with Indigenous peoples, including working with the Assembly of First Nations. As well, the Ministers stated that reforms to the specific claims policy and process will include consideration of the recommendations from the Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples’ report on the Specific Claims Process (Negotiation or Confrontation: It’s Canada’s Choice), the Auditor General’s Fall 2016 report on Specific Claims, and other previous reviews of the process, including the Report on the Review of Specific Claims Tribunal Act (prepared by the Minister’s Special Representative, Mr. Benoit Pelletier). This work will be guided and informed by the Principles Respecting the Government of Canada’s Relationship with Indigenous Peoples and recent decisions of the Specific Claims Tribunal and the courts.
Since June 2016, the Assembly of First Nations-Canada Joint Technical Working Group on Specific Claims has been examining process reforms necessary to support the negotiated resolution of claims in a manner that builds trust, strengthens relationships and promotes respect and co-operation. In 2017, rights holders participated in two dialogue sessions organized by the Assembly of First Nations. These dialogue sessions provided the Joint Technical Working Group with greater clarity regarding the preferred direction of specific claims process reform, including the implementation of an independent mechanism to assess the validity of claims and oversee negotiation processes. Developing options will take time, will require broad consultation with First Nation partners, and the development of, in partnership with First Nations, a comprehensive dialogue strategy.
In the meantime, a more participatory and co-operative approach to the resolution of claims is being implemented. The frequency and scope of communication with First Nation claimants is increasing with the goal of building trust, strengthening relationships and improving understanding of each other’s interests. In particular, First Nation claimants are being provided with an opportunity to respond to the Government of Canada’s view of a claim during the assessment stage of the specific claims process. Resource and capacity requirements of both First Nations and the Government of Canada, and the viability of the three-year assessment and negotiation timeframes, are being reviewed in response to this new approach.
Funding for the Research and Development of Specific Claims
The availability and adequacy of funding to support First Nations’ participation in all phases of the specific claims process has been discussed extensively by the Assembly of First Nations-Canada Joint Technical Working Group on Specific Claims. There is agreement by all members of the Working Group that further work is needed to ensure stable and predictable funding moving forward. In the meantime, multi-year funding arrangements are now in use and the Government of Canada is making additional funding available to support research and development activities whenever possible. For example, in 2017-18, an additional $4 million from the Department’s existing budget was provided to First Nations and First Nation organizations to support the research and development of claims.
Treaty Land Entitlement and Addition to Reserve Processes
(Recommendations 13 and 14)
Consideration of how to best resolve impasses related to the implementation of Treaty Land Entitlement and Additions to Reserve is a concern for the Government of Canada, Indigenous peoples, and interested parties.
Mechanisms and resources for joint economic development and land management partnerships based on a shared desire for a better future are provided by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities through the Community Economic Development Initiative and Community Infrastructure Partnership Program. The Additions to Reserve Advisory Committee is committed to nationalizing and streamlining the Additions to Reserve process and making other improvements, such as developing national approaches to common third party interests.
In the context of Specific Claims, funding of Treaty Land Entitlement and Additions to Reserve processes is currently included within specific claims settlement agreements. Where a specific claims settlement includes a provision for the First Nation to add more land to the land of its current reserve, the compensation of the settlement includes an amount of up to 10% of the current value of the land that was the subject of the specific claim in order to cover land acquisition costs. These land acquisition costs can include environmental assessments and surveys. Where 10% of the value of the land is insufficient to cover such costs, additional money can be included in the compensation based on consultation with experts who are familiar with forecasting these expenses.
Education and Training (Recommendations 15 and 16)
The Government of Canada agrees with the Committee’s finding that “education is an important part of reconciliation, leading to improved relations between Indigenous peoples, the federal government, and all Canadians.” The Indigenous Awareness Training Team of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada provide training to all employees. A number of these courses are mandatory for employees to take. The goal of the courses is to increase federal officials’ awareness of the Indigenous peoples of Canada, including an emphasis on the diversity of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples and communities, and their distinct cultural and social characteristics. The training is delivered by Indigenous instructors.
The Modern Treaty Implementation Office provides modern treaty implementation training to federal public servants, free of charge, with the view of ensuring that federal government departments and agencies have the information they need to implement modern treaties. The Modern Treaty Implementation Office has also supported the Land Claims Agreements Coalition in developing a publicly available online course on modern treaties and is working with the Canada School of Public Service to integrate information regarding modern treaties into the school’s course offerings.
Education and training on Indigenous issues is also being taken up more broadly across the Government of Canada. The Canada School of Public Service is developing an Indigenous Learning Series for all public service employees, including leaders and functional specialists. The series aims to “increase cultural competency and awareness within the public service about First Nations, Inuit and Métis in Canada and the Government's roles and responsibilities. It will focus on the history, heritage, cultures, rights and perspectives of Indigenous peoples in Canada and their relationship with the Crown. The insights gained through this series will support all public servants in working effectively with diverse Indigenous populations and developing federal policies and programs to meet the unique needs and realities of Indigenous peoples in Canada.” This initiative is in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action #57.
While progress has been made to educate federal officials and Canadians on the history of Indigenous peoples across Canada, the Government recognizes that further work needs to occur and is committed to advancing the journey of reconciliation and relationship renewal through education.
On a case-by-case basis and depending on the circumstances of the negotiation, Canada will work with its Indigenous negotiation partner and with the province or territory to update and educate third parties and local community members, including through public sessions, on the status and on the subjects involved in the negotiations.
United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (Recommendation 17)
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action #43, #44, #45(ii) ask for Canada to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations was instructed in her 2015 mandate letter to work with provinces and territories, and with First Nations, the Métis Nation, and Inuit to implement recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, starting with implementation of the Declaration. This was reiterated in the Minister’s 2017 mandate letter.
In May 2016, the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations announced that Canada has adopted the Declaration without qualification and is committed to implementing the Declaration in accordance with the Canadian Constitution. In December 2017, the Government of Canada expressed support for Bill C262: An Act to ensure that the laws of Canada are in harmony with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
The Government of Canada is advancing its commitment to implementing the Declaration through the collaborative review and reform of laws, policies, and practices together with Indigenous partners. This work is ongoing through various mechanisms, such as the Permanent Bilateral Mechanisms with three National Indigenous Organizations, the development of a Recognition and Implementation of Indigenous Rights Framework in partnership with Indigenous peoples, and through fora such as negotiation tables and Recognition of Indigenous Rights and Self-Determination discussions with Indigenous groups. This work is guided by the 10 Principles Respecting the Government of Canada's Relationship with Indigenous Peoples.
Through the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations’ national engagement process, the Government of Canada has heard that the Declaration should form the foundation of the relationship between Canada and Indigenous peoples going forward.
The Government of Canada would like to thank the Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs for their work on advancing these issues. This response represents an overview of the Government of Canada’s efforts to advance reconciliation and renew the Crown-Indigenous relationship through various approaches and initiatives that are focused on enhancing the self-determination of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. The Government of Canada is committed to continuing these efforts.
As recognized by witnesses who appeared before the Standing Committee, the negotiation and implementation of treaties and agreements, and settlement of claims are complex issues. By continuing to work in true partnership with Indigenous peoples, improved approaches will contribute to eliminating the socio-economic gaps faced by many Indigenous peoples.
 House of Commons Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs. Indigenous Land Rights: Towards Respect and Implementation. March 19, 2018. P.43.
 House of Commons Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs. Indigenous Land Rights: Towards Respect and Implementation. March 19, 2018. P.67
 Government of Canada. Delivering on Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action. May 2018