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Ottawa announces new Modern Treaty policy

By Adam Riley Mar 1, 2023 | 5:30 AM

Courtesy: CPAC

A significant milestone has been reached that will transform the relationship between the federal government and Indigenous communities across the country.

Canada’s Collaborative Modern Treaty Implementation Policy  was co-developed with First Nations, Inuit and Métis partners throughout last summer and fall.

The Policy supports full, effective and the timely implementation of all current and Modern Treaties in Canada.

Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Marc Miller admits Canada hasn’t always been a good partner.

“But today we affirm our commitment to addressing this legacy and living up to the spirit and intent of Modern Treaties. This Policy marks a significant step forward for Crown–Indigenous relations in order to ensure that Canada is advancing the objectives of Treaties and fully embodying the spirit and intent of the Modern Treaty relationship.”

Key principles of the Policy will guide federal officials in upholding both the spirit and intent of Modern Treaties, and provide clear direction to deputy heads regarding their responsibilities.

The Policy will also push for change within the federal system at both an individual and systems level.

It includes requirements that legislative, policy and program design take into account and reflect the unique circumstances of each Modern Treaty partner, recognizing they are a distinct group within distinctions-based approaches.

“We recognize that standing up and making principled statements sometimes is difficult often times its easy but you can’t walk away from them,”said Miller during Tuesday’s announcement in Ottawa. “You need people to put teeth to them and I think that’s what we’re talking about today. Moving from principle to actual on the ground policy and implementation of that policy.”

The implementation of this new policy will support the transformation of Indigenous-Crown intergovernmental relationships and ensure Canada is fulfilling its obligations as a Treaty partner, while also implementing the aims and objectives of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.


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