OTTAWA – The Indigenous Bar Association (IBA) wishes to express its optimism with the announcement made by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on February 14, 2018 to implement necessary reform in the federal government’s relationship with Indigenous people. We remain optimistic that the goals for reform outlined by the Prime Minister for national engagement will create a comprehensive final framework on the recognition of Indigenous rights framework for the government moving forward.
The IBA recognizes that the implementation of the Indigenous Rights Framework will further assist the government’s goals of reconciliation. This new framework has the potential to breathe new life back into Section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982 through the implementation of Aboriginal and treaty rights, the abolishment of the paternalistic Indian Act, and a full endorsement without qualification of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The Government of Canada is expecting the legislation to be unveiled before the next election in October 2019. The IBA hopes that the engagement sessions are meaningful, comprehensive, inclusive and robust to ensure that the framework reflects the need for legal reform for all Indigenous people.
We expect to hold this government to task for the Prime Minister’s statement that Canada “will have replaced apathy with action, ignorance with understanding and conflict with respect.” The Indigenous Bar Association welcomes this announcement, and looks forward to engaging with the legal community to produce a framework that serves all Indigenous peoples in Canada.
The IBA is a national association comprised of Indigenous (First Nations, Inuit and Metis) lawyers, legal academics, elders, articling clerks and law students, including graduate and post-graduate law students. The IBA is a not-for-profit federal corporation mandated, amongst other things, to promote the advancement of legal and social justice for Indigenous peoples in Canada, as well as the reform of laws and policies affecting Indigenous peoples.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: contact Scott Robertson, President of the Indigenous Bar Association at: firstname.lastname@example.org.