Mr. Speaker, from the outset I would like to say that it is an honour to speak in the House to Bill . This is an historic bill and I hope we will be able to adopt it swiftly.
My colleagues know that I represent a northern riding and the majority of its population are members of the Innu or Naskapi nations. I rise in the House with my brothers and sisters from the North Shore and the Nitassinan in mind. I speak for the communities of Essipit, Pessamit, Uashat, Maliotenam, Unamen Shipu, Kawawachikamach and more. It is for these communities and the entire North Shore, which is also in favour of this bill, that I rise today.
This bill comes in the wake of great moments in our history in Quebec, including the Great Peace of Montreal in 1701, which forged the alliance between our adoptive ancestors. My own ancestors were not on Quebec soil at that time, but that is what happened between the French and the indigenous peoples.
I will talk about three things today, one of which is extremely important to me because there are many myths about Bill and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. We must deconstruct these ideas, comments and opinions, which lead our reflections on the issue in the wrong direction.
Before speaking about self-determination, the third point of my presentation, I would like to remind members of the positions and actions of the Bloc Québécois that are in line with what we are doing today in the House.
The Bloc Québécois has promised on several occasions to be an ally of first nations. Whether in my work as an elected member or in the case of the entire Bloc Québécois, we have never wanted to speak for first nations. On the contrary, we want to be a conduit. These are nations. Quebec is a nation. To have a respectful relationship, we must let the other speak. Today, I hope that my words and those of the Bloc Québécois demonstrate that we wish to convey the words, wishes and desires of first nations.
It will not come as a surprise if I say that we support the bill. The Bloc Québécois has stated its support for the declaration many times. Even in the previous Parliament, we were in favour of Bill , which was introduced by one of my former colleagues. I cannot name him in the House, but he knows who he is. I thank him.
We have always been an ally to first nations, and we support the declaration that was signed over 15 years ago as well as the previous bill. Despite introducing private members' bills about this over the past 15 years and pressuring the government, we still have not managed to pass a bill. That is why I want to emphasize that passing this bill is urgent. This is just the first step, and there will be more to follow, including the implementation. It is very important that this be done quickly for first nations.
I now want to talk about the concerns that have been expressed by different communities. Although the concerns are shared in different ways, they all come down to the feeling of a loss of control. I always find that surprising, since we are talking about first nations' rights. I do not think we should even be asking these questions, on principle, since these are their rights. These rights belong to them.
There are nevertheless some concerns that may play on fear, whether consciously or subconsciously. Sometimes these concerns are born out of a lack of understanding, which is why we need to dispel the myths.
The first has to do with free, prior and informed consent, known as FPIC, a topic that has evoked some strong feelings in almost all of the speeches. We hear so much about FPIC, as though it were the only key to adopting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and enshrining it in law.
However, we are told that FPIC is a veto right, which blurs the line between two completely different notions, but what we hear is that consent is a veto. The first point I want to make in my speech is that these two notions are completely different. Consent is not a veto. FPIC is a notion all on its own.
According to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, we have an obligation to co-operate in good faith with indigenous peoples in order to obtain their free, prior and informed consent. We are therefore not talking about a veto.
There is no significant difference between such consent and the duty to consult established by the Supreme Court. This is nothing new, and it is something that should always be done. I agree with the declaration. I agree with obtaining the consent of a people or nation living in a territory with regard to activities that will have a direct impact on them and on their lives, culture and health. In my opinion, we should all agree on that.
I have lots of things to say, but I will move on to another point people often raise about how there is some uncertainty regarding the legislative intent. The said that the legislative intent was not to grant veto power. He said so clearly during his speech at second reading of Bill C-15. I do not have the minister's exact quote here, but I am sure it is in the official report of the House of Commons Debates.
Now I would like to talk about the legal definition of consent. Consent was already required in the past, though it was not called that. It already existed. Now it is being named and made mandatory. Examples from history are the James Bay project in the 1970s, the Oka crisis and the Grande Baleine project. First nations were being asked for consent back then.
In any case, the first nations are rallying and mobilizing. We have seen it over the past couple of years. Political pressure is being exercised on many fronts and it is warranted. There is a desire be consulted and to be able to provide free and informed consent.
There is another concern regarding the revenues generated by resource-related activities. I think the issue of royalties is simply ridiculous, and I believe the British North America Act is clear on the matter: Quebec and the provinces are owners of their own land and the resources therein. In the case of Quebec, this is an absolutely indisputable interpretation of the Constitution. There is already an agreement on the sharing of revenues from these resource development projects. That already exists.
When it comes to wealth sharing, I do not see how anyone could have a problem with sharing the revenues with the first nations who live on the land, creating jobs for those first nations and promoting wealth creation in remote areas like mine. The Bloc Québécois believes that sharing resources is patently obvious. It is necessary, and it goes without saying any time there is an agreement, a deal or a consultation with first nations.
I will address another point, but first I would like to conclude my thoughts on Quebec's jurisdictions, as I was talking about earlier.
On Bill , the said the following:
Let me be clear: Bill C-15 would impose obligations on the federal government to align our laws with the declaration over time and to take actions within our areas of responsibility to implement the declaration, in consultation and cooperation with indigenous peoples. It would not impose obligations on other levels of government.
The notion that this would infringe on Quebec's and the provinces' jurisdictions is yet another myth and another concern that I want to debunk. This is not true. The intent seems quite clear in this legislation. The Bloc Québécois will be voting in favour of the bill precisely because our interpretation is that the bill does not infringe on the provinces' exclusive jurisdictions.
I want to talk about the notion of self-determination under the declaration, since that is exactly what it does. The declaration recognizes that indigenous peoples and nations have the right to self-determination. Members will know that a nation's right to self-determination is something that we in the Bloc Québécois hold dear. I do want to point out that this right to self-determination is an internal one. It has nothing to do with a state's borders, and this is made clear in several articles of the declaration. This right to self-determination can simply be interpreted as an inherent right to self-government within a sovereign state's legal framework. There is autonomy, but within the legal framework of a sovereign state, within Canada. I hope that one day this will apply to Quebec.
On top of that, international law has adopted the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. There is a lesson to be learned from what has been done internationally.
Canada has also taken a position in support of UNDRIP. We agree, but there is one more step to take. We must follow through and finally pass Bill C-15. Then we need to implement it, which we hope will be done swiftly. There is talk of a three-year time frame, but we would like to move quickly and see that shortened to two years. My first nations brothers and sisters have been waiting long enough.
In closing, I would like to quote a few passages from UNDRIP that I think are clear examples of why we should pass this bill very quickly. These are points that everyone agrees on and, again, I have a hard time understanding how anyone could not support this. I will now quote a few articles all at once. Article 10 states the following:
Indigenous peoples shall not be forcibly removed from their lands or territories.
I do not know how anyone could be against that. The declaration also states the following:
Indigenous individuals have the rights to life, physical and mental integrity, liberty and security of person.
These are fundamental rights. Who is against that? I will continue:
Indigenous peoples have the right to participate in decision-making in matters which would affect their rights....
I would ask the same question. The declaration also states the following:
Indigenous peoples have the right, without discrimination, to the improvement of their economic and social conditions, including, inter alia, in the areas of education, employment, vocational training and retraining....
Who is against that? I will continue:
States shall take effective measures to ensure that no storage or disposal of hazardous materials shall take place in the lands or territories of indigenous peoples without their free, prior and informed consent.
Once again who is against that? This is my last quote:
States shall provide effective mechanisms for prevention of, and redress for:
(c) Any form of forced population transfer which has the aim or effect of violating or undermining any of their rights;
(d) Any form of forced assimilation or integration;
There are many other articles I would like to read, but they are all along the same lines. They speak about rights, integrity, freedom, essential needs and respect; in the end, they are about human beings.
In closing, the Bloc Québécois obviously supports Bill C-15 because we agree with the principle of it. We would like to see the bill be implemented quickly. With regard to all the misconceptions surrounding Bill C-15, I would like people to learn more about the bill and for us to talk about it, because we need to clear up those misconceptions. We must not vote based on impressions or opinions, but on facts, and we always need to remember that we are talking here about the rights of nations.
At the same time, since the Bloc Québécois obviously seeks to speak on behalf of Quebec, I would like to remind the House that, on Tuesday, October 8, 2019, the Quebec National Assembly unanimously adopted the following motion:
THAT the National Assembly acknowledge the conclusions of the Viens Commission, expressed on 30 September 2019, as regards the responsibility of the Québec State with regard to the overwhelming and painful findings set out in its report;
THAT it recognize, as the leaders of all the political parties represented in the National Assembly have affirmed, the importance of taking concrete actions, now, to put an end to discrimination against the members of the First Nations and the Inuit and to forge egalitarian relations with them;
THAT it acknowledge that the report from the Commission Viens calls on the Québec Government to recognize and implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, a recommendation also made in the report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls tabled last May;
THAT the National Assembly ask the Québec Government to recognize the principles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and commit to negotiating its implementation with the First Nations and the Inuit.
The will of Quebec, which I am expressing today, and the will of first nations are clear.
Mr. Speaker, it is such an honour to rise today to speak to this very important bill. I would like to start with commending all those who spent so many decades drafting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the grassroots, leadership and civil society groups that have brought us here today.
I would also like to thank those who introduced bills in support of the implementation of UNDRIP, such as former members of Parliament Denise Savoie and Tina Keeper, or tabled motions in its support, as former MP Irene Mathyssen did.
The NDP has a long history of support for the UN declaration. For instance, in 2006, the late Jack Layton wrote to the UN of our belief in social justice and equality leading us to support the declaration. He stated that even before the UN General Assembly had adopted it.
I would also like to give a special acknowledgement to my partner, Romeo Saganash, whose Bill forms the basis for Bill , the bill we are debating today. It has been a very long road to get here.
The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was adopted by the UN General Assembly in September 2007 to enshrine the human rights that, as it outlines, “constitute the minimum standards for the survival, dignity and well-being of the indigenous peoples of the world.” I would also respectfully suggest adding the security of the person to that list.
The declaration was the result of over two decades of negotiations between indigenous peoples, civil society groups and nation states. It consists of 24 preambular paragraphs and 46 articles that define the inherent minimum human rights of indigenous peoples. This was a recognition that the rights of indigenous peoples were being violated throughout the world.
The articles within the declaration affirm the social, cultural, political, economic, environmental and spiritual rights of indigenous peoples. They include the right to self-determination, the right to free, prior and informed consent over matters impacting indigenous rights, including resource extraction on indigenous lands and territories.
Should these rights be violated, article 27 of the declaration also provides for fair and mutually acceptable procedures to resolve conflicts between indigenous peoples and states, including procedures such as negotiations, mediation, arbitration, national courts, and international and regional mechanisms for denouncing and examining human rights violations.
It is important to note that the requirement for free, prior and informed consent in activities of any kind that impact on indigenous peoples, their property or territories, differs in law from a veto. Courts are obliged to take into consideration the facts, circumstances and applicable laws in any given cases, while veto is an absolute concept in law.
Canada, over a period of two decades, was an active participant in the drafting of the declaration, along with numerous indigenous organizations and representatives, and other states. However, despite that hard work, Canada, under the Harper government, opted to oppose the adoption of the declaration in 2007 with three other countries: Australia, the United States and New Zealand.
Although the current indicated in 2015 that the “most important relationship” was with indigenous peoples, he, along with the Liberal caucus, continued to not support Bill , which was introduced in April 2016.
It was only through public pressure that the Liberals finally caved and voted in favour of Romeo Saganash’s bill. This was in spite of the fact that during the 2015 election campaign, the Prime Minister promised repeatedly to adopt and implement the UN declaration.
It is time we move away from the Indian Act, and move forward in protecting the rights of indigenous peoples throughout Turtle Island. It is time that we confirm the application of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Canadian law, obliging the government to ensure that all legislation is consistent with the rights articulated within the declaration, as well as to prepare and implement an action plan to achieve the declaration’s objectives, including addressing injustices, combatting systemic racism and discrimination, and eliminating violence against indigenous peoples.
However, as we speak here today, we are very far away from achieving that goal. Today, as I rise in the House, the current government is in breach of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruling to immediately stop racially discriminating against first nations children on reserve. There have been 10 non-compliance orders to date, and the Liberals have now indicated they will break the law and not pay what was ordered by the tribunal.
There are more children in care now than at the height of the residential school system as a result of human rights violations, including failing to afford families the right to housing, failing to meet international obligations to ensure access to clean drinking water, and numerous other human rights violations that make it almost impossible for families to survive, let alone thrive. The government turns a blind eye to human rights, even when it impacts our children and families.
The amazing warrior Cindy Blackstock so eloquently stated, “There’s simply no credible defence to suggest that we, the people of this period, don’t know any better.”
As talk about reconciliation has become the new normal in this House, the government continues to fight St. Anne residential school survivors in court and sixties scoop adoptees, a Crown behaviour that continues to strip survivors of justice. It shows a total disregard for the violence they endured and continue to endure in real time while dealing with the residual traumatic and lingering pain.
Those experiences changed or shattered lives, including that of my dear friend and spirit sister Michele Guerin. Michele Guerin is a member of the Musqueam Indian Band and an esteemed lawyer who testified as a survivor during the national inquiry's truth-gathering process. Michele was apprehended in the hospital at birth, during the sixties scoop, from her mother Beverley Guerin, who served two years in the Canadian navy and worked as a secretary at an engineering firm.
The lives and fates of persons who end up in the system are often left to the whims of those making decisions, often leaving them very unstable. That was true for Michele, who decided to testify and chose to pursue a freedom of information request to obtain her child welfare file, records she used in her testimony, walking her through her journey as a kid in care labelled as a “high risk youth”. I would argue that the label was incorrectly provided. It should be given to institutions that are at risk of not meeting the needs of children and families.
There was a failure to meet Michele's needs as a young person, including objectifying her at the age of 14 in a local newspaper ad posted by the ministry of child and family services in an attempt to find her a home. The ad stated it was looking for a home for “a pretty independent teenage girl. Absolutely no parenting required.”
Even as a young person, she was objectified and sexualized by the system. Her rights were totally disregarded. Her personal experience brought her to feel connected with the late Tina Fontaine, a young indigenous girl who at 14 was left alone by the system and who was murdered. Her valuable life was further disrespected with the acquittal of her accused murderer.
Michele so clearly shared this during the hearing in British Columbia during the national inquiry:
The system labels us, neglects us, ignores us, and fails us. The worst failure is that decade after decade nothing changes. Our girls and women are still the prey. So we held the Inquiry. There were a lot of politics around the Inquiry, yet the families persisted. They needed to be heard. I testified as part of my own healing journey. The Inquiry lawyer told me, it’s rare that we have a lawyer testify as a Survivor. More importantly, I testified to be a voice for my Sisters. Still, there is no action plan. It feels as if our words fell on deaf ears and the government has chosen to Do Nothing.
These deaf ears are failing to invest in the current housing crisis, which has become even more critical during the pandemic. Many indigenous people continue to be unsheltered as a result of the violent and wrongful dispossession of our lands, territories and resources, a situation that has become even further pronounced on reserves, where issues of overcrowding, disrepair, inadequate infrastructure and lack of affordability are the norm, not the exception.
There has been a continued failure of this government to heed the calls from the member for , the member for and the member for to take immediate action to address the massive shortages of homes and the mould crisis that have resulted from major disrepair.
There is also the promise of ensuring an end to water boil advisories on reserve, and it is one broken promise after broken promise. This is a vile human rights violation, as noted by Human Rights Watch in a 92-page report citing the Canadian government’s failure to meet a range of international human rights obligations, including its failure in, and extensive excuses about, ending all boil water advisories on reserve in Ontario, Manitoba and throughout the country. Even now, as we are in the midst of a pandemic, the government continues to find excuses not to afford indigenous peoples with this basic human right to water, yet it had billions of taxpayer dollars to spend on the TMX pipeline. These are choices.
Although Canada has endorsed the UN declaration, the Liberals still do not apply the right to free, prior and informed consent, as has been witnessed in Kanesatake, Site C, TMX, Keystone XL, Muskrat Falls, Wet’suwet’en territory, Baffinland Mary River Mine and 1492 Land Back Lane. It is not limited to these instances. We have seen excessive police force, or a lack of it, as witnessed in the Mi'kmaq fishing dispute, where police forces stood by their fishery, literally watching it burn to the ground.
It is no wonder that there has been criticism of Bill coming from indigenous peoples who have even lost faith that maybe this time the government will do the right thing. It is one thing to endorse the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and it is completely another thing to respect and uphold the rights affirmed throughout the articles of the declaration. Indigenous peoples have no reason to trust the government.
I understand this mistrust. It is valid, warranted and earned. I have the same mistrust, which is why we need this bill, Bill , so we can finally have some legislative affirmation of our minimum human rights contained in the declaration. My support for the bill comes from my valid mistrust of the government to do the right thing. My trust has grown thin watching the clock run down, taking away hope, once again, that this will actually make it through Parliament.
Why does the government continue to hold up this bill? It is because indigenous people have seen and felt the impacts of human rights violations, including those contained in the Indian Act and other policies in Canada that maintain the violation of our rights to this day. Not only have governments failed in meeting the most basic human rights, but they legislated a violation of these rights.
It is abhorrent that in 2021, indigenous human rights are still up for debate almost daily in the House. Consecutive Conservative and Liberal governments can pull billions out their hat for their corporate friends, but banter back and forth about how they can come up with the money needed to resolve the water boil advisories on reserves, respect the right to housing and actually put in place a national action plan to resolve the ongoing violence perpetrated against indigenous women and girls caused by colonialism that continues to this today.
It is time for the Liberal government to start upholding human rights to ensure that the dignity, safety and the security of all persons is realized. This bill confirms these rights and ensures that any new legislation going forward will be consistent with United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, as the summary of the bill affirms.
It is a critical step toward replacing the Indian Act with human rights. The Liberal government needs to act now, and I cannot express that strongly enough. The implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is essential. Bill confirms its application in Canadian law, meaning that courts can refer, and have referred, to the declaration to interpret domestic law, in addition to other distinct legal frameworks that also inform the interpretation of indigenous rights including the Constitution, indigenous law, our treaties, and international law that also respect and affirm those rights. None of these legal frameworks supersede the others, they are interrelated and mutually reinforcing.
Bill is not perfect and requires amendments. This has been noted in witness testimony by indigenous and non-indigenous people in our study of the bill in committee. We must ensure that broad-based consultations occur as we move forward to strengthen the bill. For example, a recommendation to include, in preambular paragraph 8 and article 6(2), a reference to racism.
We know there are growing movements of white supremacy here and abroad. We also know that as a result of human rights violations, indigenous peoples throughout what is now referred to as Canada have been left poor and, far too often, unsheltered on our very own lands. All the while violence resulting from systemic racism, including what is being witnessed in the case of Eishia Hudson or a failure of the justice system in the case of Colten Boushie, the fact the indigenous women and girls 2S and diverse gendered people continue to be murdered and missing without urgent action, like our lives or loss of lives does not matter. The onus of proving systemic racism is placed on indigenous people whether sitting in the House of Commons or boardrooms, or fighting boots to the ground.
Indigenous peoples are constantly put in the place of having to justify experiences with systemic racism and the microaggressions we experience, having to explain this reality to those in privilege who get to decide whether the claims are valid or not. Gaslighting: we need to call this out. To do otherwise would merely uphold the white supremacy and paternalism that is designed to keep indigenous peoples oppressed. Let us stop with the games and the need to protect the status quo, and just call it what it is, systemic racism, and not only when it is convenient but let us just call it systemic racism, neo-colonialism, white supremacy and human rights violations.
We need to first acknowledge truth if we are ever to realize a change in behaviour. Call it out, and let us get on with the work of creating a world where all people are safe and uphold their basic human rights, so we can all achieve our right to joy and dignity.
Let us stop fighting indigenous peoples in courts, whether it be about lands and resources; our right to free, prior and informed consent; fighting children; sixties scoop adoptees; and residential school warriors. Let us just honour human rights. Laws need to be put in place to protect indigenous peoples from acts of racism.
The implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples should have happened 13 years ago, when it was adopted by the UN General Assembly.
How many years will we have to wait before indigenous peoples' human rights are finally respected? The time for excuses has run out. That is why I am proud, along with the NDP colleagues, to call on the Liberal government to act now and to finally uphold the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Madam Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for .
I am honoured today to speak to Bill C-15 as the member for Nickel Belt in Greater Sudbury, Canada's mining capital, which is located on the Robinson-Huron treaty territory of 1850 and on the traditional unceded lands of the Atikameksheng Anishnawbek and Wahnapitae people.
I would also like to acknowledge the presence of the Métis people. As a member of the Liberal indigenous caucus, I am especially proud to support this bill, which is so important to the future of my region and the country as a whole.
Like many other members, I work closely with indigenous communities and their leaders to build relationships, mutual respect and, in some cases, good friendships. We all know that too many of these communities across Canada are struggling with the legacy of residential schools, as well as other problems related to systemic racism, intergenerational trauma, housing, access to clean water, high incarceration rates and a lack of jobs.
Today, we are having a debate on legislation that will help us address these enormous challenges. Bill C-15 would bring Canadian legislation into line with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. UNDRIP sets out the rights of indigenous peoples around the world, including their right to self-determination and their right to develop their lands, territories and resources.
My speech today will focus on the role that our natural resource economy has played, is playing and will play in helping to right historical wrongs.
Let me share an example from my region. It involves Vale Canada's copper mine and Sagamok Anishnawbek First Nation. The property is less than 50 kilometres south of where I am in my riding, next door to my riding of Nickel Belt and the riding of my good friend, the hon. member for .
Work began in the sixties, but hopes to extract the nickel, copper and precious metals vanished in the early 1970s due to the world's low pricing. That was during a time when most Canadian companies did not bother consulting local first nations. The Sagamok Anishnawbek people still refer to this ignorance as a 100-year wall of indifference.
Things have changed and while progressive companies have played a role, credit must go to indigenous rights' pioneers, leaders from B.C. to Nova Scotia, who launched court challenges, starting in the early 1970s, to assert their rights. It was in that context that the Sagamok Anishnawbek nailed down an agreement with Vale prior to the mine opening in 2014.
First nation members got training and access to jobs, which involved everything from underground mining to trucking, hauling and snow removal services. In 2019, the first nation acquired control of the mine's ore and waste rock haulage contract. More important to the community, it was a sense of pride.
At the time, the leaders of this first nation called it a historic event. It will go down in history. The future is here, and I am proud that our government is encouraging these partnerships all across Canada.
I just watched a video on YouTube about another success story in northern Ontario. Honestly, I got choked up.
Last year, Natural Resources Canada provided $500,000 in a training fund for the Agoke Development. The money came from the $13 million three-year indigenous forestry initiative.
Agoke, a forestry company in northern Ontario, is owned by three first nations. Their leaders are determined to create local jobs, especially for youth who otherwise have to leave their families and traditional territories to get employment. Today, they are truck drivers, millwrights, power engineers and heavy equipment mechanics, and some are trained in forestry management.
One of the youths in the video said that he was reluctant to take part, but then his grandparents convinced him to take that leap of faith. That youth was bursting with pride when he was asked if he was glad he had applied. He said that it was life changing. A young woman echoed that sentiment, telling other youth, “Honestly, just to sign up.“
The Natural Resources Canada program also gave $330,000 to the Cree first nation of Waswanipi in Quebec, which is located 800 kilometres north of Montreal. This financial assistance enabled the first nation to reopen a shuttered sawmill. That is fantastic, but the government cannot do this alone.
We need the private sector and its private purchasing power. Industry is answering the call, not only because it is the right thing to do, but also because it is a good business decision at a time when many companies are experiencing labour shortages, especially in areas that are remote and near indigenous communities. The oil industry already supports more than 10,000 indigenous jobs and has invested some $12 million in the communities.
Just last spring, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers reaffirmed its 2016 endorsement of the UN declaration as a framework for reconciliation. The LNG sector has helped set the pace. In fact, the Conference Board of Canada said recently that this sector had the potential to close the gap between indigenous and non-indigenous people.
Meanwhile, the Mining Association has taken action to support and embrace UNDRIP.
It revised its indigenous and community relationships protocol. This will make it possible for its members to align themselves with the requirements of our new Impact Assessment Act, our government's initiative to achieve the objectives of the declaration.
There are approximately 1,200 indigenous communities located near several hundred active mines and more than 2,500 active exploration properties. These agreements provide for training programs, apprenticeship opportunities, and substantial scholarships and retention bursaries. The objective is to provide transferable skills that can be used after the mine shuts down.
The forest products industry also recognizes the importance of establishing partnerships with indigenous peoples, 70% of whom live in or near forests.
In B.C., for instance, the various partnership agreements have brought roughly $250 million in benefits to indigenous communities. This progress is not confined to traditional resources and industries. Many communities will take part in a clean energy wave as we drive toward a net-zero 2050 target.
In northern Alberta, our government is helping indigenous communities build Canada's largest off-grid solar energy farm. This is hardly an isolated incident. The Conference Board of Canada noted that indigenous communities owned half of Canada's renewable projects, which is making real progress.
However, the truth is that there is still more work to do be done. That is why everyone, government, industries and these communities, must work harder and together to build that foundation of trust.
The natural resources sector is the largest employer of indigenous peoples in Canada. The natural resources economy provides jobs, equities and opportunities for indigenous businesses and impact agreements that benefit communities adjacent to natural resources. UNDRIP will provide a clearer picture for resource development in Canada, helping to ensure these projects are done in full partnership with indigenous people.
Working together, we can be part of correcting this grave historic injustice. I urge all members of the House to support the bill.
Madam Speaker, good day and áma sqit
. I am speaking to members today from the traditional unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples, including the territories of the Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh and Musqueam nations. My riding also includes the traditional unceded territories of the Líl'wat, the Shishalh and the N’Quat’qua nations. I am very grateful to also call this place my home.
Tanúyap. It is particularly important to start with this language acknowledgement as we are debating Bill , which seeks to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples into Canadian federal law.
It is important because we need to remember that indigenous peoples have lived on these lands and waters since time immemorial. Their laws, their practices and their ways of life did not end when settlers reached Canada’s shores. However, our nation has stubbornly not been able to reconcile this reality and has instead sought to carve out a box, figuratively, to isolate first nations in society. It has sought to marginalize indigenous people in Canada or to assimilate them into society more widely.
The actions of settlers and Canadian governments over time have been to dispossess indigenous peoples of the land they enjoyed communally, to separate families, to suppress indigenous culture and to deny the same basic rights to indigenous peoples that the rest of Canadians enjoy freely.
The advances on indigenous rights we have seen in our country were not simply given to first nations. They were the result of long, arduous litigation that led to the development of aboriginal law. This was by no means easy: It started from a point of first nations not having the right to legal counsel to having rights protected under section 35 of the charter. The common law has evolved to recognize aboriginal rights to traditional practices such as fishing under indigenous leaders and visionaries like Ron Sparrow.
Recognition of aboriginal practices and title in seminal cases such as Delgamuukw had to be built from an evidentiary base that was recorded through oral history, when the law did not recognize it. These cases had to be heard in front of leading jurists who, only 30 years ago, dismissed indigenous ways of life as nasty, brutish and short before they finally worked their way up to the highest courts in our land where our laws continue to evolve.
The adoption of Bill would help flip this script with the government finally taking a proactive approach to recognizing the rights of indigenous peoples, including the inherent right to self-determination. Nothing less is required to move forward in reconciliation.
Since 2016, progress has been made by introducing new approaches to negotiations and establishing mechanisms for co-operation and collaboration, as well as through ongoing steps to implement and respond to the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission has called upon the Government of Canada to fully adopt and implement the declaration as a framework for reconciliation, and Bill responds to calls to action 43 and 44.
Bill would take this step by further requiring that our laws be consistent with UNDRIP, or else modifying them so that they are. It is a simple and short bill, but its implications are wide-ranging. For that reason, an up to three-year timeframe is established to develop an action plan to implement this legislation. I know that seems like a long time, but when we consider that this implicates all federal ministers, the whole of government, and 634 first nations in this country speaking 50 different languages, as well as the amount of federal legislation that will have to be looked at, we can understand the scale of the task.
This is not the first time we are debating this bill in this chamber. This bill was first introduced by Cree former Liberal MP Tina Keeper in a 2008 private members' bill, which failed to be enacted. Former NDP MP Romeo Saganash’s private member's bill passed in the House, but unfortunately languished in the Senate for over a year before the last election.
I have to emphasize that we are not the first movers in this space of adopting this bill into domestic legislation, given that the provincial government in British Columbia did so in 2019. We can learn from its experience. The sky has not fallen since. Instead, the province has had one of the most robust economies in our country since then. I mention this to dispel a common misconception about the likely impact of this bill.
When it stalled the previous iteration of this bill, the official opposition in this chamber and the Senate voiced fears that the article recognizing free, prior and informed consent from indigenous people for projects on traditional indigenous land would paralyze resource development. However, these fears disregard the fact that the Government of Canada already aims to secure free, prior and informed consent when actions are proposed that impact the rights of indigenous peoples on their lands, resources and territories. Case law has grown to recognize that significant impacts to closely held rights require a meaningful process that seeks consent, in practice anyway, to uphold the honour of the Crown and to meet constitutional obligations under section 35.
These fears also disregard that industries already work from within this frame because their shareholders expect it, because it is necessary for social licence and business certainty, and because they know that the projects will become fixtures in the communities. Partnership with indigenous peoples is the way forward.
Giving first nations a say in projects that affect them does not mean that projects do not get built. It means that bad projects do not get built, and that the issues that impact first nations are addressed in the process. The Squamish Nation in my riding pioneered an indigenous-led environmental assessment process that a major project proponent agreed to be bound by. Rather than reject the project, the EA approved it with important conditions that would mitigate the impacts of the project. From that, an impact benefit agreement was then ratified by the nation through a referendum.
Similar progressive processes have been developed by nations such as the Tahltan Nation in northern B.C., where mining is a hotbed of activity, and the Secwepemc in the interior of B.C. Processes like these are now allowed, and indeed encouraged, by the Impact Assessment Act that became law in 2019. It is a great departure from the assessment regime that the official opposition brought in, in 2012. When the Conservatives were in power, they treated fist nations as stakeholders rather than as the rights holders that they are, and treated consultation with indigenous peoples just the same as with other individuals: as a box-checking exercise. This was not only dishonourable, it was also unlawful, and it is one of the reasons that inspired me to be where I am today.
The Impact Assessment Act is one of nine federal laws that references, and was created within, the spirit of the declaration. We need not fear these developments, because when first nations have clear power over decisions that affect them trust is built, confidence increases and opportunities become available for indigenous peoples. Decolonizing our relationship with indigenous peoples presents perhaps the greatest opportunity for economic growth in this country. If first nations can get out of the absurdly titled Indian Act, they can gain access to basic abilities, such as getting a mortgage from a bank, among many other benefits.
I wish to recognize Shishalh Nation hiwus Warren Paull, who was a councillor in 1986 when the Squamish Nation became the first self-governing nation in our country through visionary leadership, blazing a trail for many other nations. The nation has since developed advanced land-use plans to guide development and is assuming new areas of responsibility from other orders of government. It participates as a full partner in the Sunshine Coast Regional District, has reformed its constitution and voting laws, negotiated detailed provincial agreements on reconciliation and inspired the next generation of leaders, all while continuing complex negotiations on rights with the federal government. This is also happening against the backdrop of a community where survivors of residential schools still painfully recount their experiences.
Chief Paull was one of many dignitaries at the B.C. legislature for the announcement that the province would be the first in Canada to introduce and pass legislation to implement UNDRIP. There he noted that:
It's been 52 years since Frank Calder and the Nisga'a Nation did the first court case on land claims. Since those 52 years and counting, we finally get back to the place where recognition is there.
It is high time, 14 years after UNDRIP was introduced to the globe, that we recognize the same rights here. It is time that we work with first nations proactively to advance reconciliation rather than respond remedially to court decisions. It is time that we co-develop the future that we want to see in this country.
As my time is running out, I will conclude with that.
?ul nu msh chalap.
Madam Speaker, I will be sharing my time today with the member for .
I am honoured today to speak to Bill , as the relationship with indigenous people in this country is a lived experience for me growing up and living in Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan. I must admit there is some trepidation on my part as we embark on this journey. The impacts of this bill would be both long-term and far-reaching, requiring more than the seeking of short-term political gains and talking points. The historical relationship between the federal government and indigenous people in this country is filled with distrust that has put in jeopardy the true potential our great country has to offer all of us.
A couple of months ago, in the announcement that the government would not fulfill its promise to end boil water advisories in first nations communities, it was pointed out that the scope of the problem was not fully understood at the time the election promise was made by the in 2015. This is another reminder to all of us that making promises one cannot keep is not an ideal way to develop trust in a relationship that badly needs more of it.
In a Globe and Mail article published recently, it was pointed out that Public Services and Procurement Canada for the past three years “has said a key indicator of the government's economic and social-policy goals was an increase in the participation of [indigenous-led business] in procurement.” Unfortunately, it was revealed in the departmental plans in the last three years that the targets have remained as TBD, to be determined. That is three years that we have seen no change in the ministry's plans to set targets or measure results.
Even worse, to this day, there is not even a mechanism in place to track which bids are coming from indigenous businesses. If the government's goal really was to increase procurement for indigenous businesses, one would think that, at the very least, creating an instrument in its data management system could have been developed in three years. At best, this is an astounding lack of competence.
Further evidence of lowering the bar was in the 's 2021 mandate letter, where there was not even a mention of the 5% indigenous procurement promise that had been made to indigenous businesses in the past. Instead of doing the hard work and fixing the department's failures, they just removed the targets. It is not exactly an example that one would find in a leadership manual.
These examples illustrate a troubling trend with the government's actions when it comes to delivering results for indigenous people and their communities. It starts with making election promises and getting photographs at press conferences, and it continues by using phrases in ministerial letters, on websites and in announcements like “strongly encourages” and “the most important relationship to this government”. It then ends with walking back the original promise, changing the targets or, in the case of the procurement example, eliminating them altogether. The government tends to act only when it has its back to the wall, after spending too much time walking backwards while making little progress on its promises. We see this again today in the fact that it has to invoke closure on a bill that has seen one hour of debate in this House.
This brings me to Bill . After Bill , the government had ample opportunity and time to develop a national action plan that could have created the certainty and clarity that stakeholders have been consistently asking for. Putting together an action plan before tabling the bill would have allowed for many of the concerns of people across the spectrum to be addressed. The worry that government is putting the cart before the horse is justified, as history has proven that to be the case all too often. Why would we not ensure, on such an important piece of legislation, that we remove as many rocks off the road as possible before we proceed? That approach would alleviate a lot of the judicial quagmire that is sure to follow the passing of Bill C-15 without this transparent road map.
With no certainty, the very real worry is that there will be many court battles over the next few decades because of political short-sightedness. As we have seen this past year with the Nova Scotia lobster fishery issue, that is a path not worth taking. In this relationship, we cannot afford more failures. We have to be honest: Governments have a terrible track record on delivering expectations for indigenous people.
Let me use some numbers that the Indigenous Resource Network shared recently, to show who has not fallen short in delivering for indigenous people and communities in this country.
The private sector has led the way in spending on indigenous businesses. Suncor has spent over $6 billion on indigenous procurement since 1999, including $800 million, or 8% of its total spending, in 2019 alone. Sunova has spent $2.9 billion since 2009, including $139 million in 2019. Imperial has invested $2.6 billion in indigenous businesses since 2009.
Diamond mines in the Northwest Territories spent $5.9 billion on indigenous spending between 1996 and 2017. Agnico Eagle in Nunavut spent $408 million on Inuit businesses in 2019 alone. Teck Resources spent $225 million on indigenous procurement in 2019. Coastal GasLink has spent $720 million on indigenous and local contracts. TMX, when it is completed, will have generated over $1 billion on indigenous-based contracts. Finally, from its own published data, Cameco, a uranium company, has procured $3.85 billion since 2004 from local suppliers in my riding in northern Saskatchewan.
These numbers represent more than just dollars. They represent real outcomes and direct impacts on the daily lives of indigenous people. They allow for investments into communities that have far too long been left out of the opportunities the rest of Canada has enjoyed.
It is often implied that any discussion around economic opportunity and job creation for indigenous people is somehow insensitive to the social issues they face. I believe the opposite is actually true. Advocating for jobs, own-source revenue streams, equity ownership and financial independence is in fact the pathway to self-determination and the solution to many of the social challenges.
The culture of poverty has for too long defined the culture of the people. A culture with such rich history deserves so much better. The private sector has done the heavy lifting in the building of trust with indigenous people and their communities, and it has been doing it for years. It should be recognized and applauded for the advancement of reconciliation and the role it has played in it. Part of that recognition should be reflected in its voice being heard in the areas of this bill it is simply seeking clarity on.
Since Bill was tabled, I have had the opportunity and pleasure to meet virtually with many indigenous stakeholders. The common theme in our discussions always came back to the lack of certainty in Bill C-15's plan to implement UNDRIP. That is why it is so important that this bill clarify the following issues.
Number one, in the three years the government has given itself to develop an action plan on the implementation of the declaration, what is the approach going to be to collaborating and consulting with indigenous communities, the indigenous business community and the numerous regional and national organizations across Canada so all their views will be considered?
Number two, how will the application of the declaration be applied when there is conflicting support and opposition from the indigenous communities on projects that are both large and vertical in scope? Does the federal government retain the final authority in the decision-making process?
Number three, will not allowing time and space for indigenous communities to find an answer to the question of who has the authority to provide or withhold consent undermine the process? With the current lack of consensus, what does this mean in the years ahead?
Bringing clarity on these issues is the right thing to do. There is a responsibility in the consideration of Bill that requires us to not only listen to the concerns around the lack of certainty, but to respond by advocating for indigenous people, communities and leaders who are asking for answers to the important questions they are bringing forward.
We have a long way to go in building the lost trust in the relationship with indigenous people in this country. Divisions within Parliament have often led to legislation that is based more on politics than on real solutions. That is why it is obvious that seeking clarity and certainty on Bill is not only a fair and valid request, but it is the very essence of what the aspirations of UNDRIP require us to do.
Madam Speaker, I represent a riding that is in Treaty 7 territory, the traditional territories of the Blackfoot Nation, including Siksika, Piikani and Kainai, theTsuut’ina nations; and Stoney Nakoda First Nation. We acknowledge all the many first nations, Métis and Inuit, whose footsteps have marked these lands for centuries.
Let me start today's debate on Bill , introduced to ensure that the laws of Canada are consistent with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, with the questions I am often asked about its clarifications.
How is United Nations involved? How do its edicts fit in Canadian law, which of course is much more robust? How do the United Nations edicts affect jurisdictions that have an established rule of law? How does UNDRIP consider and affect unique institutional rights, like section 35 of the Canadian Constitution? How do the two go hand in hand? As this is legislation, will it remain subservient to the constitutional law of Canada that supersedes it? What happens to existing Canadian laws? How are decades of legal precedent affected by this declaration?
Who will be the decision-makers? That is, the arbiters to balance the various interests and outcomes of these very pertinent questions. Will it be the same stagnant bureaucrats and interest groups that have ensconced the Indian Act as the status quo, in spite of decades of compulsion from all affected corners of Canada to move beyond this paternalistic legislation? Will it be a star chamber of legalists who have never set foot on the ground or experienced the problems that generations of first nations have been striving to overcome?
One thing is clear: Based on outcomes that have not arrived, the status quo is broken. How do we know it is broken? Let me count the ways. The words that describe the rights of Canada's indigenous people are a meaningful gesture, but gestures themselves are empty. There is no reconciliation that does not include economic reconciliation. Any legislation that we consider must not contribute to any negative impacts on the many indigenous communities that rely on resource development for jobs, revenues and a means to better outcomes. The decision-makers, bureaucrats, legalists, self-serving interest groups, those with a stake in maintaining the miserable status quo, should not be ensconced as roadblocks to the change that Canada requires.
It is also worth noting that those with a large stake in the benefits of the status quo have no stake in the misery associated with the status quo, which is borne by those who have been actually seeking to escape that misery for decades. Wholesale change is long overdue, and bringing forth legislation to secure the interests of these regressive middlemen is the opposite of what Canada and its indigenous population require.
Let me caution the about placing his faith in the same interest groups and intervenors who have been part of the problem on this matter for decades. If the minister wants to get on the ground and hear about the frustrations with those voices by indigenous Canadians throughout Canada who will be affected by this legislation and the uncertainty it brings forth, please take the time to meet with those groups and have fulsome consultation, which has not happened, including in this House where we have had one hour of debate on it prior to today.
Weeks ago, I asked questions in this House about the effects of the government's actions on the flight of capital for project development in Canada. Oddly, it was after one of the government's appointees blamed risk and uncertainty as the underlying reasons that projects were no longer being viewed as viable investments by foreign capital in Canada. Of course, rather than addressing the causes of the risk and uncertainty and changing the destructive course on which the current government has ventured for six years, the solution seems to be for the government to allocate capital to replace private investment: the magic of social finance to the rescue.
We know what this means. It means more risk and uncertainty for Canada's taxpayers. What are others are recognizing as a problem is going to be a problem for Canadian taxpayers, and the government is doubling down on the risk Canadians will bear. In regard to UNDRIP, this legislation, as written, adds another level of risk and uncertainty to development in indigenous territories.
Prior to this country's battle to get ahead of a pandemic 13 months ago, the biggest issue we were facing, as a country and as a cohesive society, were the blockades that were initiated by certain indigenous organizations in support of some parties opposed to the Coastal GasLink pipeline, traversing Wet’suwet’en territory in northern British Columbia. Do we know who these initiators were? Do we know what standing they had: traditional, authoritative, representative, legal, responsible?
Do we know if these parties had other interests in the outcome? We know the democratic process for the band matters was completely usurped and endorsed by the , thus by the current government. Therefore, a well-understood process, which had changed substantially, was quickly usurped. Do I need to define “risk” and “uncertainty” for the current government? What does the government see as having legitimacy in the eyes of project proponents? It is definitely not the process as represented. As proponents have attested, if they do not have process, they do not have a path forward.
This bill, Bill , proposes to increase that risk and uncertainty for indigenous organizations and adds another barrier to the participation in economic reconciliation. Even as project proponents themselves attracted real capital for the development of their own economic opportunities, they will be thwarted again by the government. I thank them for the words, but how about some real action? Let me illustrate the costs of that uncertainty.
Kitimat LNG is a project on Canada's west coast. The project has been progressing for a decade, along with its partner development the Pacific Trails pipeline. The project proponents have spent over $3 billion to get to this point, which represents a raft of documentation for the regulators, a gravel pad, full agreement from all 16 indigenous organizations traversed by the pipeline and full partnership with the Haisla First Nation at the project site. Thousands of indigenous jobs, hundreds of millions of dollars of benefits to people in indigenous communities, advanced trade training for a generation of people in those communities and the creation of capacity for advancing economic interests do not arrive out of thin air. In addition, more than 40 million tonnes per annum of greenhouse gas reductions will not be met. Sadly, at the end of the day, this project is on hold because there is no path forward at this point in time. Putting aside the ancillary environmental benefits, another file on which the current government is all talk with little tangible results, economic reconciliation delayed is reconciliation denied. Members should tell their children after 10 years that the reason they could not get a better education and advance their own, their society's and the world's interests is because the process was obscure and caused a decade of delays. Then members will understand the frustration.
The interests advancing this confusion have no stake in the outcome. Let us acknowledge that some of those interests, such as the NGOs that are short-term participants, often funded by foreign actors, have their own interests at heart and are often funded as well by the federal government.
Words and actions: we hear much of the former from the government and receive little of the latter. How many indigenous organizations have to stand up and say to the they do not think the law will work and are worried that it adds further to the difficulties they have already experienced before he pays attention, before he gathers consensus, before he shuts down debate in the House of Commons on a fundamental piece of legislation that will change our country's governance going forward, including with those groups we are constitutionally bound to consider under section 35 of the Constitution of Canada?
We have seen this in action with Bill on medical assistance in dying. Let me remind members that we moved this bill through this House and, on this side of the House, many of my colleagues supported the government's legislation before it went to the Senate. The minister manipulated that legislation in the other place and brought it back here in an entirely different form that ignored the at-risk groups that were left behind in the legislation. As a result, as that represented manipulation, we voted against the process. It was not democratic.
Does the believe that first nations organizations have not recognized his actions? Does he think they are unnecessarily wary of his non-democratic tendencies and partiality to other interested parties? I will repeat that there are many who are moving this legislation forward who have no stake in the outcome. That spells moral hazard and we must divert it.
Real outcomes, accountability and trust are in short supply with the current government. We must do better.
Madam Speaker, I thank the my colleague for being so diligent in his responsibilities. I am sharing my time with my colleague from .
I want to emphasize that we are enshrining this in legislation. It is an opportunity for renewed relationships in our country. The declaration itself, despite the naysayers out there, will help all of us chart a clear and more predictable path forward for the future.
Some people have questions, and we are hearing a lot of them today. There are some fears associated with clauses of the bill that speak to free, prior and informed consent and how this would be interpreted in the Canadian context, including the relationship to land, natural resources development, other developments and how it affects indigenous people.
Free, prior and informed consent is one of the key elements, one that we have probably heard more about than any other within the declaration. As one of my colleagues said a short time ago, it is grounded in self-determination. That is the piece we cannot forget. It is really about respectful two-way dialogue and the meaningful participation of indigenous peoples in decisions that affect them, their communities, their territories and the future generations of their people.
Implementation of the declaration can really help contribute to sustainable development and resource development and it affirms the range of indigenous rights and related protections that are relevant when it comes to natural resources, lands, territories and resources.
As I said earlier, I grew up in Labrador, where I speak from today, where we still have unsettled land claims with the federal government. I am part of the southern Labrador Inuit and the NunatuKavut Community Council, whose rights have, to date, not been affirmed by the Government of Canada in land claims and settlements. That is not good enough, in my mind. The colonial system under which we and many indigenous peoples have operated has prejudiced them in access to their own lands and having the opportunity to have a final say, a real say, in what happens.
In my riding today, Nunatsiavut is a territory with settled land claims. It got to settle those land claims because nickel was discovered in Voisey's Bay and because a large corporation had a resource deposit. That became the catalyst to settle land claims with the northern Inuit people of Labrador. If that had not materialized, they would probably still be at the table today fighting for what is their inherent right: to have full declaration in what happens within their lands and territory.
The land claims agreement with Nunatsiavut Inuit in northern Labrador is one of the most historic claims in Canada next to the one with the Cree. It is a landmark agreement. It is really what UNDRIP is speaking to today with the inclusion of the Inuit people in ensuring they have free, prior and informed consent. That mining operation went forward. It employs nearly 90% indigenous people. It is contributing to a community, but it was done through co-operation, through dialogue, through a two-way agreement on how to move forward.
When I attended my first United Nations permanent forum on indigenous rights with the back in 2016, she stood at the United Nations that day and affirmed Canada's support for UNDRIP for the first time in our history. It was a very proud moment for me to know that Canada could see this through the eyes of indigenous people and the rest of the world with respect to its importance and what needed to happen with regard to UNDRIP. Bringing it to where it is today has been, in my opinion, an absolute win for Canada and indigenous people. A lot of work still needs to be done, but as an indigenous person, there is nothing to fear here.
Our great country was built on consensus and co-operation. We are reaffirming and including indigenous people in the opportunity to have real say and opportunity within their own lands. Who would ever want to deny that or deny the indigenous rights and reconciliation within Canada?
I really believe getting to where we are today has not only involved indigenous participation and engagement, but also the natural resource sectors, corporations and people who have a vested interest in lands and indigenous lands across Canada. They know sustainable development comes with co-operation. It comes with working together and having a partnership with indigenous communities.
It means we build capacity, look at real benefit agreements, joint management and profit-sharing operations. That is where we are with companies like Vale today, which has been successful in Inuit lands and many others. There are models out there that have worked, but they worked because they were forced to the table, not because there was willing participation, in many cases. That is what is going to change here.
While industry leaders have invested time and energy into fostering many long-term relationships and building trust with indigenous groups, building an agreement that speaks to free, prior and informed consent, this bill asks for that and it would do that. There are many examples of that have already happened in Canada.
We have done outreach to many sectors, including the natural resources sector, of which I am a proud champion, including the mining industry. It is an industry that fits well for indigenous people, and we are the living proof of how that can work.
When I look at what is happening today, we might hear of the tremendous experiences and relationships that have been built between industry and indigenous people across many of these natural resource sectors and how they worked together in good faith and made every—