What we heard about the Recognition and Implementation of Indigenous Rights Framework

Summaries of engagement sessions for Minister Bennett's national engagement on the Recognition and Implementation of Indigenous Rights will be posted on a weekly basis.

Engagement sessions will take place in multiple formats which may include large and small in-person meetings as well as electronic and telephone meetings.

On this page

Week of May 31, 2018

Participants

On May 31, 2018, Minister Bennett or her team met with:

  • Students at Lakehead University
  • Nishnawbe Aski Nation

Key themes and findings

Education

Education was mentioned frequently by the participants throughout the sessions as an important consideration. Participants would like more educational options on reserve so that their children do not have to leave home at a young age in order to obtain an education. There was also concern about the education being provided at higher education institutions. One participant suggested that universities and law schools should have specific classes to teach how to negotiate agreements between First Nations and the Government of Canada in order to ensure such negotiations are more informed on both sides. Another participant mentioned the importance of giving urban Indigenous peoples the opportunity to learn about their culture, so that they can connect with their Indigenous identity.

Land and resources

Participants mentioned the importance of allowing nations to govern their own land and make decisions in the best interest of the community. There was a suggestion that Indigenous groups should be able to design, develop, and have ownership over projects on their territories, and that resource revenue sharing with the Government of Canada should be done on their own terms. Participants also asked how land claims would be made easier to understand. Some participants noted that there are restrictions that limit Indigenous peoples from building infrastructure in their communities and they expressed the need for greater jurisdiction over their territories. Several participants also noted the issues with impact benefit agreements, in that they are often developed in secret and lack transparency, which makes it difficult for First Nations to fully benefit from their resources.

Participants also stressed the importance of understanding how environmental destruction impacts their traditions and ways of life. Some participants emphasized that economic profits should not outweigh the need to protect the environment.

Indigenous public service workers

There was a call for more Indigenous public service workers as participants felt that it was important to have individuals with a comprehensive understanding of Indigenous culture, perspectives and traditions in order to work with communities.

There was a suggestion that there be a requirement to hire a certain number of Indigenous employees in government and at managerial levels in certain areas. There were some suggestions that the qualifications for government positions be modified for Indigenous applicants, such as the bilingualism requirement should be expanded to include Indigenous languages rather than just French and English. Another participant suggested that an apprenticeship system be put in place for Indigenous peoples who might have relevant experience or skills but not the credentials that are currently required.

Nation building

Participants mentioned the desire for Indigenous nations to determine their own membership criteria. They also said that the role of women in Indigenous governance is integral but that Indigenous groups have to be in control of what that looks like. There were calls for more dialogue between Indigenous groups, and there was a specific suggestion that a system be set up to allow groups with more experience in nation building to mentor other communities with less capacity.

Closing the gap

Participants stressed that the fundamental needs to close social and economic gaps, such as adequate housing and proper health care, were not a reality for many Indigenous communities. They also requested less lengthy reporting requirements for funding.

Process suggestions

Participants suggested that the Minister visit their communities. They also worried that the short time frame of the process makes it difficult to get all of the necessary input.

Division of the two departments

Participants requested that Indigenous Services Canada provide Indigenous communities greater control to administer services to their people.

Treaties

Some participants felt the treaties had been originally negotiated in bad faith and were interested in negotiating new treaties with the Government of Canada.

Week of May 14, 2018

Participants

The minister met with:

  • Treaty 1, 5 and 10 First Nations from Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Ontario
  • Treaty 3 First Nations from Manitoba and Ontario
  • Youth, women, and Elders
  • Indigenous students
  • Dakota Lakota non-treaty First Nations from Manitoba and Saskatchewan
  • Ghotelnene K'odtineh Dene and Athabasca Denesuline First Nations from Manitoba and Saskatchewan
  • Manitoba Métis Federation

Summary

Participants provided good comments and suggestions that were consistent with themes from earlier engagements. The groups represented many Indigenous realities and allowed for the voices of Treaty First Nations, youth, women and Métis to be heard. A particular focus was the need for social conditions that allow for Indigenous peoples to fully contribute and participate in society with the end goal of managing their own affairs.

Key themes and findings

Self-determination and nation building

Participants stated that the recognition of an Indigenous nation needs to be decided by Indigenous governments or communities even if those groups do not have a treaty. There was also discussion of the importance of allowing groups to determine their own systems of government, as participants felt that a one size fits all system of government would not account for the significant differences between groups and their needs. Specifically, participants mentioned that groups had different needs based on size, location and whether they were First Nation, Inuit or Métis. One participant asked if there was already a method in place to prevent systems from being imposed on smaller groups that might work for and be favoured by larger Indigenous groups. There was also some concern that Indigenous nations that crossed federal and provincial borders would have difficulty enforcing jurisdiction and engaging in trade.

Process

Participants were worried that no action would come from these engagements. They wanted to ensure there were concrete and manageable goals. They found the fast timeline concerning but understood the reasons for it. Participants asked about the process by which people were chosen to be invited to engagement sessions and the engagement tables. They also suggested that the discussion guide be made clearer and the language be made easier to understand.

Fundamental needs

Jobs, housing, natural resources and education were all mentioned as needs that had to be considered before Indigenous groups could really focus on nation building. Some participants also asked if the Government of Canada could work on limiting the overrepresentation of Indigenous peoples in the criminal justice system both by changing unjust laws and potentially releasing Indigenous peoples who are incarcerated under those laws. One participant pointed out that a criminal record could prevent Indigenous peoples from exercising their rights to visit family across the US border.

Participants asked that any funding from the Government of Canada to help Indigenous groups provide services to their citizens come directly to Indigenous governments and not be transferred through the provinces. They indicated that it was important for such funding to be determined by the on-reserve population and also for the funding to care for their off-reserve population. One group also mentioned concerns that services were geared only to the largest group of Indigenous peoples in an area. For example, some Inuit participants mentioned they feel that urban Inuit were left out of services geared at urban Indigenous peoples.

Education

Participants would like to see more Indigenous culture taught and incorporated into public schools for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous students. This was seen as both a way to give Indigenous students pride in their identity and a way to promote understanding in the wider population. Participants also mentioned the need for more high schools and higher-level education opportunities on reserve and more resources for Indigenous students who left the reserve to pursue an education. They also felt that Indigenous peoples who live on reserves have little say in the running of the schools they attend. For example, participants felt that they should be able to vote in municipal elections and run for school boards in the areas where their children attend school.

Indian Act

Some participants suggested that the Indian Act should be abolished immediately as they feel it has already caused significant harm. Others were concerned about what would replace it and feel that another piece of legislation should be in place before it is abolished.

Importance of language

Participants discussed the importance of maintaining Indigenous languages and providing opportunities to learn those languages for both Indigenous children and adults.

Importance of diverse voices

As in many other engagement sessions, participants said it was important to engage broadly with different Indigenous groups, including First Nations both on and off reserves, Métis people, and Inuit, as well as women, youth and Elders.

Nation to nation

Participants felt that implementation of shared jurisdiction between Canadian and Indigenous governments would be an issue and that it was important to consider how Indigenous and Canadian laws would work together in a practical manner. The example of common law and civil law was used to reinforce the fact that Indigenous laws could work in harmony with Canadian laws. If Quebec can do it, why can't Indigenous governments?

Week of April 30, 2018

Participants

Between April 30 and May 2, 2018, Minister Bennet or her team met with:

  • The Assembly of First Nations
  • Women First Nation Chiefs and Leadership

Summary

These sessions took the form of large conferences with multiple breakout sessions each of which was intended for participants to discuss various themes and ideas drawn from earlier engagement sessions. These sessions were focused on First Nations leadership, including First Nations Women Chiefs.

Key themes and findings

Education

Participants felt it was important for members of Indigenous communities to have control over education, including what is included in the curriculum as well as a better understanding of Indigenous pedagogies such as land-based learning. Participants specifically mentioned the importance of teaching children about traditional roles within Indigenous societies.

Land

Participants reiterated the idea that Indigenous land ownership must include land title and control over resource development on and around reserves. Participants also felt it was important for Indigenous peoples, particularly youth and those in urban areas, to have ways to learn about and feel connected to the land. Some called for the Canadian or provincial/territorial governments to help provide land or other resources to accomplish this.

Inclusion of diverse voices

As in previous engagements, participants felt it was important for women, youth, and Elders to have a say in both the engagement processes and the Indigenous government structures that would be set up as a result. They felt that these groups had unique viewpoints which would be invaluable in creating a productive and effective system.

Nation building

Some First Nation leaders also mentioned how they feel that national Indigenous organizations do not represent them, and that only Indigenous governments with rights and title should make decisions on behalf of their citizens. Leaders were also adamant that concrete changes need to be demonstrated in order ensure the sincerity of the engagement process.

Indigenous peoples as federal actors

Participants felt that employees of the  Government of Canada who were planning to work with Indigenous peoples or groups needed more education on Indigenous cultures, languages, history and governmental systems. They also would like to see more Indigenous peoples in these roles. Participants also saw having clear accountability and enforcement measures for any policy that came from these engagements as being highly important.

Fundamental needs

As in all previous engagements, many participants felt that, before they could focus on nationhood, fundamental needs, such as public safety, housing and health care, had to be fulfilled. Participants suggested that there was a need for more laws and legal frameworks, to guarantee protection of women and children in order to contribute to the rebuilding of families.

Process suggestions

There were some concerns that the suggested time frame was too fast, and it would not be possible to do anything meaningful in that time, or to fully educate or engage with Indigenous peoples about this process in that time. Some participants wanted more involvement in deciding how engagements would be organized. For example, they would have liked to create their own questions to be put in the engagement guide as well as the process design for these engagements. There were also concerns about Canada's sincerity in these engagements. Participants felt that the provinces and territories needed to be involved in these discussions so that issues such as lands that are under provincial jurisdiction, could be part of the discussion. There was skepticism around the timelines and the communication of the engagement process, though many leaders stressed that they did not want to let the opportunity pass. Leaders also stressed that co-development of the legislation and being involved in the decision-making process is crucial to the success of the framework or any other Indigenous legislation that is developed.

Some participants discussed the need to create a planning committee of Chiefs to co-design and co-develop new policy. The committee would need to be gender balanced, and have youth and Elders as members, and the resourcing would need to be provided to the regional level, not the national level. Finally, participants suggested the format of engagement sessions could be improved by having a longer 3-day session format, in every province, that permits deeper discussion like the one that had occurred in Vancouver in April 2018.

Division of the two departments

Participants reiterated the need for clarity about which government agency was responsible for different services in the new system.

Indian Act

Some participants felt the Indian Act had some useful elements, such as taxation, and wanted to make sure these were acknowledged and incorporated into a workable replacement before getting rid of the Indian Act. Others felt that the Indian Act should be replaced as quickly as possible. Some participants raised concerns that a new legislation would mean another Indian Act, and they would like to shift power to the Nations by creating their own mechanism to transfer money for meaningful fiscal relationship with their own Nations.

Communication

Some participants mentioned a desire for Indigenous history and culture to be taught in public schools. They also suggested educating adult Canadians and the rest of the world about their history.

Language

Participants felt that retaining their languages was extremely important for retaining Indigenous identity. More than in past engagements, participants also mentioned specific cultural practices, such as the moon lodge, that they felt were important to Indigenous education and society building.

Legislation

A few participants said that it was important that Indigenous oral legal traditions be seen as binding and just as valid as Western written legal traditions. One participant illustrated an important consideration for joint progress in new law creation, pointing out the strong connection between Indigenous law and the land. They saw western law as being intended to represent societal values which would have the ability to apply across contexts while Indigenous law was thought to be connected to a specific place.

Week of April 12, 2018

Participants

On April 12, Minister Bennett and her representatives met with:

  • Yukon and BC non-self-governing First Nations
  • Yukon self-governing First Nations
  • Youth

Summary

Participants were generally positive about this engagement process and were interested in next steps in the process following these initial in-person meetings with the minister.

Participants were appreciative of efforts to include diverse groups in the engagement process, particularly Indigenous youth. They highlighted the need for broader engagement and suggested that effective ways to reach youth would be by using social media platforms and outreach through youth centres.

Similar to other engagement sessions, it was stressed throughout the discussions that the commitments made by Canada need to be honoured and fulfilled, as conversations have been occurring for years but concrete actions have been limited.

Key themes and findings

Building and defining nation

As in other sessions, some participants in the Yukon pointed out that many Indigenous groups have been self-governing since time immemorial and long before Canada existed as a country. They also expressed that since many have concluded agreements, their priority would to address implementation issues.

Immediacy of fundamental needs

Similar to previous engagements, participants worried that fundamental needs, such as housing as well as poverty issues, will need to be addressed before Indigenous groups will be able to fully engage in nation building.

Some participants wondered how support would be distributed to address fundamental needs. One suggestion was to implement an equity framework where access to programs and services was based entirely on the immediacy of need.

Departmental structure

Participants noted that they often find it difficult to know which department to go to for various services, and the new structure of the department will need to address this. Some participants expressed optimism that the division of the department will allow for more clarity in the new system.

Financial implications

Participants emphasized the need for a different funding model to meet basic needs on reserves. They explained that many non-status Indigenous peoples were citizens of the self-governing nation. This means the nation received no funding for those people but is still supporting them. Participants suggested that having money come directly from the Government of Canada to the Indigenous nations, rather than through the provinces, would be more effective.

Participants inquired about the timeline for loan forgiveness and reimbursement of already payed off loans.

Language and communication

Participants felt that integrating Indigenous Knowledge and worldviews into school curriculums would help non-Indigenous people to understand Indigenous issues.

Participants were also supportive of having more Indigenous language classes in school.

Week of April 9, 2018

Participants

On April 9 and 10, Minister Bennett and her representatives met with:

  • Anishnabek Nation
  • Women, youth, and Elders
  • Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians
  • Mohawk Council of Akwesasne

Summary

Throughout these sessions participants emphasized the idea that they already had plans and ideas for how to solve many of the problems to meet the specific needs of their community. What they need from the federal government is help to put in place the necessary infrastructure to enact these ideas.

Key themes and findings

Process

Participants said that oral knowledge was an important part of understanding needs of Indigenous nations. They suggested maximizing dialogue throughout the process.

Building and defining nation

Participants expressed a desire to have Indigenous nations be the highest-level government on their land. They defined this as having the authority to make laws which applied on that land.

Participants felt that there were some communities that had been practicing self-government for a long time and had developed a structure that worked well and could be mirrored elsewhere.

Indigenous citizenship

Participants asked how rights would transfer as people transitioned from Indigenous status under the Indian Act to being citizens of Indigenous nations. They were cautious of the differences that might result between historical identity thresholds and refined criteria.

Immediacy of fundamental needs

As in previous sessions, including the earlier sessions in Toronto, reunifying children with their Indigenous roots and families was seen as an important issue. This was particularly important for those children who are in care or separated from their communities.

There was also concern that plans to address needs such as housing and water treatment had been delayed in the past. Participants felt that if Indigenous governments had more direct power over these functions plans could be implemented faster.

Financial implications

There was a call for greater flexibility in how funding is used by Indigenous nations. Flexibility in terms of use, as well as timing of grants were discussed.

Fiscal independence from the province, especially for larger nations, was seen as particularly important due to the diversity within Indigenous communities.

Land

Participants felt that it would be useful to have some land in urban centers that was used as a place for urban Indigenous peoples to connect to the land. They felt this would help urban Indigenous peoples feel connected to their Indigenous identity.

Participants emphasised the way land acts as a source of income in many Indigenous communities and suggested that could be more financially self-sustaining if they had more land.

The current processes for claiming rights were also perceived to be too expensive. Participants hoped through this engagement initiative, new inexpensive processes should be put in place regarding land claims. Participants also highlighted the importance of having a legal title to land rather than just the legal right to use the land.

Geographical considerations

Participants expressed a desire to be able to trade easily with Indigenous people living across provincial and national borders, both where they consider themselves citizens of the same nation artificially divided by the Canada-United States border and due to their traditional trade practices with Indigenous nations located in what is now the United States.

There were concerns about how to deliver necessary services to remote areas.

Language

As in previous sessions, language was underscored as an important part of Indigenous identity. Participants called for funding to support Indigenous languages  and expressed a desire for more Indigenous language options in schools for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous students. The discrepancy in level of funding to support the French language versus Indigenous languages was raised again as well.

Education

Ensuring good primary and secondary educational opportunities for Indigenous students living on reserves was seen as an essential part of Indigenous nation building.

Diversity and inclusion

Participants considered it important to include a diversity of  Indigenous peoples in this process, including national Indigenous organizations as well as people from outside those organizations.

Week of April 3, 2018

Participants

Between April 3 and 6, 2018, Minister Bennett or her representatives met with:

  • Artists, youth, women, and Elders
  • Nunavut Territorial Government
  • Inuit leaders

Summary

Throughout these sessions participants emphasized the idea that they already had plans and ideas for how to solve many of the problems to meet the specific needs of their community. What they need from the Government of Canada is help to put in place the necessary infrastructure to enact these ideas.

Key themes and findings

Process

Some participants highlighted the location of these engagements as being focused around cities. They suggested that the minister come into Indigenous communities as they felt it would be a more respectful way of engaging in this discussion with the broader Indigenous community and an opportunity for the minister to see those communities more clearly.

Departmental structure

Participants stressed the importance of including the Indigenous perspective in the departmental structure. They wondered the proportion of Indigenous to non-Indigenous public servants working for Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC). They were also interested in the onboarding process within CIRNAC for engaging with Indigenous culture, suggesting more transparency in how CIRNAC employees are educated and gained an understanding of Indigenous cultures. CIRNAC employees having a solid knowledge on the specifics of different Indigenous cultures was seen as highly important.

Arts infrastructure

Some participants expressed concerns that Canadian national art does not respond to the needs of Indigenous peoples. Participants indicated that arts and cultural content are lower priorities for funding, as in many communities' basic needs are going unmet. Arts and cultural exhibitions, however, were discussed as an important mechanism for educating the non-Indigenous Canadians about Indigenous culture and issues faced by Indigenous peoples.

Participants expressed a desire to create their own cultural content, however funding and infrastructure necessary were highlighted as barriers to the production of this content.

Participants suggested revising the criteria for Canada Council of the Arts grants to allow more Northern Indigenous projects to qualify. There was also a suggestion that funding criteria for the arts and other cultural activities be designed to account for the difficulties of making art in remote communities, providing support based on this increased need for support.

The Indigenous performing arts centres currently in existence were seen as effective solutions to this problem and participants recommended more funding be provided for current and future centers. Participants suggested that performing arts centers would be a way to provide the opportunity for Indigenous peoples to be involved in the performing arts outside of the school system.

Language

As in earlier engagements participants asserted the importance of language as it relates to culture and cultural identity. The arts were suggested as a way to help retain languages and cultural traditions that are at risk of disappearing.

As in the discussions in Manitoba, Alberta, and Saskatchewan, participants indicated a desire to use their own languages when communicating with Indigenous, national, and provincial governments. Participants highlighted that while Inuktut is already the language of the territorial government in Nunavut, they felt it should be extended as an official language in their territory. There was an assertion that Indigenous languages should be seen as similar to French or English in communicating with the Canadian federal government.

Building and defining nations

Participants felt that supporting existing community initiatives was the best way to solve current problems both in terms of basic needs and cultural loss. Participants saw the role of the Canadian federal government in Indigenous nation building as mostly helping to provide infrastructure to put Indigenous designed programs in place.

Participants emphasized the need for more opportunities for traditional Inuit education within their own communities. They felt that passing the traditional culture and skills within their community was crucial and that they needed more resources to do that.

Education

There were requests that funding be distributed directly to Indigenous governments rather than through the provinces and territories for a variety of types of education, including postsecondary and trade school. The need for Northern post-secondary education options was also raised.

Diversity and inclusion

As in previous engagements the need for engaging a diverse group of Indigenous voices was discussed. Participants specifically highlighted the inclusion of Indigenous women and those who grew up in care.

Communication

Several participants reiterated the importance of educating non- Indigenous Canadians about Indigenous cultures and languages.
There was also interest in having more academics and researchers study Inuit culture and history to give the Canadian public more sources to learn about these subjects.

Land

Participants described the reciprocal relationship that Indigenous communities have with the land and its importance in Indigenous ways of life. There was a strong desire for more complete jurisdiction on Indigenous owned land. An easier and more permanent process of transferring ownership to Indigenous groups was also discussed, as the current land claims process is viewed as difficult.

Week of March 23, 2018

Participants

Engagement between CIRNAC officials and communities occurred with:

  • Treaty 1 First Nations
  • Treaty 3 First Nations
  • Treaty 10 First Nations
  • Treaty 5 First Nations from Manitoba and Saskatchewan
  • Dakota Lakota Non-Treaty First Nations

Summary

Minister Bennett was required in Ottawa on March 23. Some First Nations representatives opted to wait for a future engagement when the Minister would be available.

Key themes and findings

Process

There was some concern that the engagement would not ultimately influence the final legislation, especially given the Minister's absence. Representatives from Opaskwayak Cree Nation requested that Minister Bennett meet in their territory when she returns to the region for a follow-up engagement session.

Communication

There was a request that there be greater acknowledgement of the part Indigenous peoples have played in Canadian history in school curriculums and historical monuments as well as legislation. An example highlighted was the lack of awareness that many Indigenous peoples fought in the War of 1812.

Departmental structure

There was a request that some of the institutions set up to replace the existing National Chiefs structure be based in proximity to the majority of the treaty nations, suggesting somewhere in the Midwest.

Some participants inquired as to what measures of accountability would be in place to monitor how CIRNAC spends and distributes the resources and funding promised in the 2018 budget. There was a request that these measures be open and accessible to First Nations leaders.

Legislation

Some participants felt that it would be preferable to start with more flexible legislation and leave details up to later negotiation.

Building and defining nation

There was a strong feeling that any legislation around how First Nations could structure their governments needed to be very flexible as it is not a one size fits all approach and the needs vary for the different groups.

Treaties

Participants reiterated that Indigenous peoples see the treaties as living, rather than historical documents and want their relationship with the Canadian federal government to be based around the rights guaranteed in the treaty.

Financial implications

There was a concern that funding might be distributed inappropriately due to the five-year gaps between Indigenous census updates. Participants argued that rapid population change due both to factors on reserves and large transient populations warranted census updates every year.

Distributing federal funding directly to Indigenous nations rather than through provincial governments was seen as an important sign that the federal government recognized them as Nations.

Immediacy of fundamental needs

Much like in previous engagements, participants saw housing as the biggest unaddressed need on reserves. Participants were unhappy that funds for housing had become loans rather than grants since they were transferred from Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

Public safety and violence prevention were also seen as an important concern on reserves, as was lack of employment, particularly for educated young people. One participant suggested setting up a system where the reserve could hire these young people to help with things like policing to assist in solving both problems.

Land

The importance of land claims for Indigenous identity was reiterated. Participants supported creating a process for claiming land which did not require going through the courts. One request was that when determining compensation for land taken, the previous profit made from that land and its resources be taken into account. However, it was recognized that determining the amount of profit would be difficult.

Week of March 15, 2018

Participants

On March 15 to 16, 2018, Minister Bennett met with:

  • Engagement with youth, women and Elders
  • Treaty 7 Alberta
  • Metis Nation of Alberta
  • Métis General Settlements
  • Treaty 6 First Nations Alberta
  • Treaty 8 First Nations

Summary

Overall, many of the themes that emerged in Alberta were similar to those from previous sessions. It included comments on process, next steps, the need for public education and the role of the Governor General. The audience was also broad and included youth, women and Elders as well as Treaty First Nations and Métis participants.

Key themes and findings

Process

There was significant concern about how the engagement process had unfolded. In this respect, participants backed up their assertion referencing the free, prior and informed consent rights as it pertains to Indigenous peoples under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. They believe that Canada is obligated to respect and honor Indigenous peoples' right to free prior and informed consent. As a result, some participants declared that their presence did not imply consent to the engagement but they had come to listen.

Communication

The point was made of the importance of educating non-Indigenous Canadians and that racism may be a factor that has to be considered. Speed is of the essence and public support will be necessary to ensure all levels of government continue to be on-side.

Recognition

A common theme of the discussion was the need to respect treaty and recognize that Indigenous nations have the right to self-government. For many participants "recognition" is considered the biggest stumbling block to moving forward on many of the issues of mutual concern.

Role of treaties and the Governor General

Several participants noted that they would prefer the Governor General be involved in these discussions. They felt that engagement and negotiations with the Crown directly would more accurately reflect a true treaty relationship. They raised concerns regarding the legitimacy of the federal government of Canada in undertaking these discussions.  Since the original treaties are with the Crown of England, some participants felt that Canada does not have  the right to invoke any legislation regarding Indigenous peoples. The Minister clarified the federal government's role as the legislative authority for Canada and that the Governor General has no power to take any decisions on policies or laws as per the constitution. Participants reiterated that they felt the Governor General's role is much more substantial and includes decision-making authority.

Participants highlighted that many Indigenous peoples' understanding of treaty rights is based on the original intent to share the land, protect original title and rights, including the right of self-government. They argued that this is underscored by the notion that only sovereign nations can enter treaties, highlighting that the right to self-government is the ultimate objective. Some called for having Indigenous governance being a third order of government (federal, provincial/territorial, Indigenous) and thereby protected by the constitution. Concerns were raised about proposed municipality-type governance that may be imposed. Participants reject this proposal because it is a province-based approach as well as a colonial construct, not in keeping with the spirit and language of the treaty mechanism.

Resource Sharing and National Resources Transfer Act (NRTA)

Participants agreed that there should be a formula for resource sharing as it is believed that treaty did not surrender rights to the land, only the sharing of it. The NRTA was often cited as the principal reason for Indigenous nations not receiving their fair share of resources.

It was noted that some provinces are considering resource revenue sharing. Co-management boards, such as those already in place in the North, were suggested as working models. Another suggestion for managing land and resources within Indigenous communities presented was setting up various tax preference zones on reserves to encourage companies to locate there.

Urban engagement

It was acknowledged by participants that much has changed in 21 years since the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. One of those changes is the significant movement of Indigenous peoples to urban centers. It was felt that all parties must examine ways to give a voice to urban Indigenous peoples and to take into consideration the portability of rights for those who choose to live off reserve.

Models of governance

The Minister was clear in stating that the ultimate objective of this process was to ensure that the Government of Canada was fully prepared to support the Indigenous right to self-determination. In addition, as Indigenous groups build their governance and institutions, they would deliver these programs and that the Indigenous Services Canada would be dissolved. Participants felt the main thing preventing them from self-governance was lack of funding and lack of jurisdiction. They saw the process described by the Minister as unnecessarily lengthy.

Education

Many participants noted it is a treaty right to obtain an education especially, but not exclusively, in the K-12 schools. Other concerns were that funding should go directly to the Indigenous communities so that they have control over education and a concern that student loans were being used in lieu of grants.

Métis general settlements

While sharing many of the  perspectives outlined above, such as right to self-government, the importance of education and of protecting women in their society, the Métis General Settlements had some distinct concerns and points. This included an emphasis on direct funding and engagement with the  Government of Canada, culturally appropriate child welfare, residential schools' reparations and assistance and support to create business plans to see their communities prosper.

Week of March 13, 2018

Participants

On March 13 to 14, 2018, Minister Bennett met with:

  • Treaty 4 First Nations from Manitoba and Saskatchewan
  • Treaty 6 First Nations from Manitoba and Saskatchewan
  • Treaty 10 from Saskatchewan and Manitoba
  • Student Session Saskatchewan

Summary

Overall, many of the same themes from previous regions were discussed during the sessions with new ideas, or nuances within themes emerging.

Key themes and findings

Process

Many participants acknowledged the meetings as the starting point for a dialogue on the understanding that any future mechanism must adhere to treaty rights. Some spoke highly of the government's vision and believed that the initiative was a step in the right direction.

Others suggested that resources or funding for engagement purposes, especially within Indigenous communities, would allow for broader coverage to further engage with constituents. Some also suggested it would be beneficial to engage with Indigenous leaders on the direction that the questions would take for the overall engagement strategy.

Participants noted that elders, Indigenous leaders, treaty partners, and community members were not present who should be included for meaningful engagement. It was recognized that funding may be needed to engage directly with Indigenous communities as many community members do not have the time or means to attend such sessions. Participants also noted that many community members do not have the same understanding of the issues and may need more resources and time to prepare to participate.

In this respect, participants backed up their assertion referencing the Free, Prior and Informed Consent rights as it pertains to Indigenous peoples under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples . They believe that Canada is obligated to respect and to honour Indigenous peoples' right to free, prior and informed consent.

There was some mistrust in the engagement process; some participants were concerned that the results had already been decided. Some nations objected to the process, indicating that they would not give consent to it.

Treaty rights and understanding

With respect to treaty rights, many participants believe that current federal government policies, legislation and litigation are based on the premise that respective treaties surrendered all Indigenous title and rights. However, participants highlighted that many Indigenous peoples' understanding of treaty rights is based on the original intent to share the land, protect original title and rights, including the right of self-government. They argued that this is underscored by the notion that only sovereign nations can enter treaties.

Discussion points from presenters often began on the importance of the recognition of the original nation to nation treaty rights. It was noted by participants that treaty rights should supersede all current and proposed legislation since the latter can be repealed.

Overall, many of the same themes from previous regions were discussed during the sessions with new ideas, or nuances within themes emerging.

Participants emphasized that this engagement initiative needs to address the fundamental difference in interpretation between the Government of Canada and Indigenous peoples on treaty rights. There is a strong belief that successful re-engagement must be based on the spirit and intent of the treaty and nation-to-nation discussion.  Some participants also put forward that the Governor General should be included in the engagement as well as part of the way forward.

Models of governance

It was mentioned that Indigenous governance is very different than western frameworks. The basis for this disconnect is the perceived lack of understanding of what it means to have nation to nation discussions. Participants indicated that governance needs to be more than assigning jurisdiction from federal or provincial governments or having governance based upon the municipal model.

Participants felt that Indigenous self-governance needs to be about establishing Indigenous governments that have their own distinct laws and ensuring those laws are enforced. In that vein, mention was made of replicating nation to nation structures, such as a treaty relation's secretariat and an international relations secretariat, with the corresponding funding.

Education

Many participants mentioned that treaty gave them the right to life-long education. However, there is limited funding for post-secondary institutions and the alternate polytechnic institutes impeding some Indigenous students from pursuing that education.

Land

In keeping with the premise of the treaty dictating that all lands should be shared, references were made to the lack of resource revenue sharing agreements with provinces and territories. Land and resources are considered very important and the main impediment is the Natural Resources Transfer Agreements.

Language

As in previous engagements, the importance of language as it relates to culture and the risk of loss of Indigenous languages was highlighted. This was reinforced by participants introducing their initial positions in their native languages. For future engagements, in-language discussions were suggested as a way to foster dialogue.

Some Indigenous groups are in the process of implementing a language curriculum. However it was expressed that there is currently no funding for these efforts. Participants suggested additional funding to implement a language curriculum would assist in mitigating these issues. It was also noted that federal government funding for language programs is not equitable between French programs and Indigenous language programs.

Other issues

  • lifting the program caps that were set in the 1990s
  • disclosure and accountability; i.e., sending in reimbursement claims to refund money when it is believed it should be sent directly to the Indigenous governments
  • those reserves without clean water and basic housing needs not being met

Week of March 5, 2018

Participants

Between March 5 and 8, 2018, Minister Bennett met with:

  • Metis Nation BC
  • BC Native Women's Association, Youth and Elders
  • Southern BC First Nations, Including Vancouver Island First Nations
  • Indigenous Governments
  • Northern BC First Nations
  • BC Assembly of First Nations

Summary

Many of the same themes from earlier engagements were discussed with a focus on the particular concerns and context for Indigenous peoples in British Columbia.

Process

As it relates to the overall engagement process, some participants expressed concern about the timeline allowed for input. While they were appreciative of the process and opportunity to share their views, participants expressed a desire for further opportunities to engage with the Minister following these sessions. This would allow Indigenous leaders more time to talk to their communities, have greater opportunity for more participation among their communities and to prepare more thoughtful responses to the engagement questions. There was also a request for the minister to come into their communities and a suggestion that this might lead to greater opportunities for meaningful exchanges and increased inclusion in the process.

There was also concern that if the proposed timeline was too long the framework might never come into fruition. In particular, some expressed concern that a disruption in implementation may occur should the next election result in a change of government.

Diversity

The importance of hearing from diverse Indigenous voices (Métis, youth, women, elders, two-spirited, urban, etc.) was reiterated, as well as the importance of including diverse voices in the new governmental structures that will be created. Webinars were suggested as a way to get feedback from groups that were geographically dispersed such as students and urban Indigenous peoples. There was particular concern expressed about the non-status population. Some suggested a special effort should be made to include them as some may not be affiliated with a recognized group because of past legislation or policies that separated them from their culture and history.

Participants were supportive of a more accessible and simplified method of engagement to allow for greater diversity of perspectives beyond the current engagement guide.

Division of department

There are likely to be a lot of challenges associated with the division of the existing department which likely cannot be envisioned beforehand. There were concerns that with two departments, Indigenous peoples might not always know who to go to for specific service or rights implementation questions. Concerns were raised on how unexpected rights implementation issues will be dealt with.

Participants suggested that a ministry or process through which Indigenous peoples could find out who was responsible for specific services and get legal advice in terms of self-identification or land claims would be useful. They felt this may expedite important issues that within the current system can take a long time. There were some concerns that the split of INAC into two departments could make wait times worse or could cause more things to fall through the cracks. Some suggested that a centralized contact to reach out to for information could also help with that issue.

Immediacy of fundamental needs

As discussed in earlier engagement sessions, participants expressed concern that the most basic needs of many Indigenous peoples go unmet. The need for adequate housing for Indigenous peoples both on and off reserve was highlighted as a fundamental need that should be addressed. There was a suggestion for a specific First Nations housing authority entrusted with ensuring progress on addressing this need.

Adequate health care for Indigenous peoples both on and off reserve was also suggested as an additional focus. During the discussion it was suggested that some consideration should be given to a system by which midwives could be hired on reserves so that Indigenous women did not have to leave home in order to have their children.

There was also some concern expressed about children and family services, particularly with regards to children being adopted off reserve. It was suggested that dedicated Indigenous agencies be created in order to deal with these issues and that there be dedicated stable multi-year funding to sustain such agencies.

Education

It was suggested that more resources be allocated to allow Indigenous peoples to pursue academic opportunities off reserve. Contributors spoke of cases where individuals do not have the opportunity to pursue education because they may need to leave their home and their communities. Participants suggested that when pursuing academic opportunities off reserve, Indigenous students may leave school due to the difficulties of being separated from their home and their culture. There was a desire to have improved ability to educate students on the reserve as well as more supports for those required to leave in order to pursue their education in order to ensure a strong connection to Indigenous language and culture is maintained.

Legislation

A clear legislative framework based on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was requested. There was also a strong stated desire for legislation that affects Indigenous peoples to be written and implemented by Indigenous peoples. Many felt these engagements were a good first step towards inclusion in the legislative process. The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples was also seen as a good foundation for what is desired.

It is important to take into account the interconnectivity of negotiations. Participants highlighted that negotiations with one Indigenous group or nation can affect another group, suggesting some level of collaboration is needed.

Building and defining nation

There were concerns that during this process, or through the legislation that comes out of it, Indigenous peoples would be forced to organize their nations in a specific way (i.e. aggregation) or that Indigenous governments would not have enough power to implement laws on their own land or for their own people. As discussed in the Atlantic, Toronto and Ottawa sessions, it was reiterated in British Columbia that Indigenous nations must organize themselves in a way that works for them. There was also a desire for funding for those Indigenous groups that did not want to operate under a treaty government.

While the criteria for defining a nation was less of a focus for participants in British Columbia than other regions, language was one suggestion discussed as the best way to divide up nations, as it is difficult to dispute and it creates only 24 groups.

Financial implications

Participants expressed a keen interest in learning more information on 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 particular, they expressed interest in the timeline for these discussions and when a funding commitment would be made, voicing a desire to see this take place in fiscal year 2018-2019. They also demonstrated an interest in gaining a better understanding of OSR and what funds are available for this process.

There was also interest in exploring additional ways Indigenous groups could potentially generate revenues. It was highlighted that British Columbia does not have a gambling policy similar to other provinces. There were also several suggestions that some tax revenue from non-Indigenous sources (corporate taxes in particular, but also individual) should come under Indigenous control.

Communication

There were concerns about backlash from the public if non-Indigenous Canadians did not fully understand what is meant by self-determination or what powers the Indigenous governments hold. Much like we have heard in previous engagements there were requests to fund a public awareness campaign to raise awareness among non-Indigenous Canadians about these issues.

Recognition of title to land

Many participants expressed an interest in understanding how the Government of Canada's Recognition and Implementation of Indigenous Rights Framework would recognize Indigenous title, including what kind of registry system would be set up to make Indigenous title to be recognized. There were also a few mentions of the need for the jurisdictional boundaries on Indigenous land to be governed by agreements that would be a flexible as provincial and Indigenous relations evolved.

Questions were raised about what land would be available for Indigenous peoples and how land claims would be decided. Some suggested that the process to prove land rights not require involvement of the court system.

A few suggested that a study on the historical union of British Columbia to Canada should be undertaken to better understand who should control what land.

Participants in several engagements sessions suggested that Indigenous governments should have more control over natural resources. They are culturally important and historically have been taken without dialogue or reimbursement.

While many of the requests Indigenous groups would like to make regarding land claims involve the province, many hoped that the federal government would assist and support Indigenous governments in negotiating these requests with the provinces.

Language

It was also noted that having the resources to preserve and teach traditional languages is very important. This was seen as particularly important in terms of Indigenous youth's cultural identity. Participants suggested that this funding should come from the federal government, as the residential schools resulted in a significant portion of this loss. There was a suggestion that Indigenous children should be able to choose between taking French or their own language in school.

Week of February 21, 2018

Participants

Between February 21 and March 2, 2018, Minister Bennett met:

  • Assembly of First Nations
  • Land Claim Advisory Coalition
  • Nunatukavut
  • Inuit Tapiirit Kanatami
  • Assembly of First Nations Québec-Labrador Elected Women's Meeting
  • Prince Edward Island Mi'kmaq Chiefs
  • Métis National Council

Summary

Overall, many of the same themes from previous regions were discussed during the sessions with new ideas, or nuances within themes emerging.

Broad collaboration and direct engagement

In terms of process, having all Indigenous bands and communities work together and have ideas put forth in a centralized way was mentioned, as at the moment there are many ideas put forth by individual groups that do not combine into larger findings and goals. There has been a lot of past consultation with Indigenous peoples and these are perceived to be primarily focused on hearing from various groups without concrete results, instead of thinking of collective solutions. How the partnership with Canada will be defined is also a desired outcome of the consultation process.

However, the idea of speaking directly to individuals, and not just through intermediary organizations was also mentioned as being of importance.

As with previous rounds of the in-person consultations, having enough time for Indigenous leaders to go back to their communities to consult with them, and to ensure that everyone's voices are heard, was mentioned as being an important deliverable of the engagement process. How the consultations will be funded and whether the input will actually be used were additional concerns raised during the sessions.

Immediacy of fundamental needs

Although appreciative of the current consultation taking place, there is a concern that this is taking place in the context of Indigenous peoples who are not having their most basic needs met, such as housing. Although a rights framework is an important discussion for the long term, the need for some immediate relief and help to meet these needs was mentioned.

A concern was also raised that the engagement process on a rights framework would slow down the general dialogue on issues of importance between government/Indigenous peoples.

Building and defining nation

How each nation will be recognized and formed was debated during the sessions. Would this be by treaty, language or some other metric? Consensus was not reached but this is important as a building block in the Rights Framework. Furthermore, recognizing the differences even within the same nation (for example, nations within different provinces or the Métis nation and other Métis peoples) should be considered. There is pressure to enroll as Status Indians to receive benefits but this is counter to their need to identify with certain nations. Ensuring that nation is self-defined by the Indigenous peoples themselves should be an overarching principle of the framework.

Models of governance

Having self-governance on the table was considered a positive step forward in the right direction, however some raised concerns about the ability to build on existing governance structures. The importance of engaging with and including Indigenous peoples who now live off-reserve in urban centres with low intention to return to their communities was discussed.

Enforcement

How the framework would be enforced was brought forth as a key issue and this was a principle distinct from implementation.

Financial implications

Participants would like to know that the financial implications of a rights framework would be considered and included. Specifically, items such as funding models, loans, grants, own-source revenue and balancing these with servicing community needs.

Education

This idea was expanded to include an Inuit university, and language support.

Land

Discussion about land was expanded to include landless bands and how they can become a nation. As well, the idea of defining nation and how it correlates to more land was also mentioned as an important tenet of the framework. Claims were also brought forth as an issue although how these will be discussed and formalized may be seen as separate from the rights framework.

Role of treaties

If and how treaties would be recognized and integrated within the framework was debated during the sessions.

Themes from other consultations

On and off territory Indigenous peoples and their rights, provincial government cooperation, hearing the voices of Indigenous women, and public engagement and education including addressing racism, and the role of Section 35 were all mentioned as noteworthy issues, as in the Atlantic Canada and Toronto sessions.

Week of February 19, 2018

Participants

Participants included:

  • policy and executive directors for Aboriginal organizations
  • academics/professors
  • those involved in the creation of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples

Summary

Participants expressed enthusiasm and gratitude to be included in the conversation about a rights framework for Indigenous peoples in Canada. As with the Atlantic sessions, concerns were raised about the inclusiveness of the process and continuity given the upcoming election.

Key themes and findings

Formalization of Framework

The idea of a Royal Proclamation was put forth as a potential starting point and a flag in the ground to the process, although it was noted that the word "Royal" has negative colonial connotations. The idea of overarching guiding principles from which the framework falls was also put forth as being a tangible and manageable way forward.

Legislation

If and how a rights framework would interact with the Indian Act, Constitution, Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and Section 35 were debated during the sessions. While consensus was not reached, the importance of this piece of the framework was raised.

Furthermore, if and how to integrate the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission were discussed. These were considered important and ground-breaking but the ability to make them legally binding and implement them in Canada was debated. Regardless of if and how they are formalized, using these as principles or ideas in informing the framework was important to session participants.

As in the Atlantic sessions, formalizing a rights framework through legislation was mentioned as a crucial step in moving rights forward, as well as in securing funding for initiatives, institutions and programs.

Role of governments

While the federal government is eager to initiate and participate in the conversation about a rights framework, the willingness of provincial and municipal governments to come to the table were debated. Provincial governments have a stake in land rights and education in particular, while municipal governments are contending with the issue of the increased urbanization of Indigenous populations. All levels of government are grappling with the political implications of not only the framework itself but the engagement process, in that public opinion of Indigenous peoples in Canada is perceived to be negative or low. Overcoming these barriers and sorting through the various roles and commitment of each level of government is an important outcome of the engagement.

There was also some discussion of recognition of Indigenous peoples as 'federal actors', with some suggesting a defined leadership and incorporation across federal institutions.

Models of governance

Having self-governance on the table was considered a positive step forward in the right direction. However, given the number of nations, bands and subgroups within the Indigenous peoples of Canada, this was recognized as a challenge. The idea of using past traditions in terms of governing and consensus building was mentioned as a possible way forward and examples of this working as well as potential challenges that it may raise were mentioned by participants. Some felt this might cause conflict within indigenous governments due to changing attitudes towards leadership.

Furthermore, because many Indigenous peoples now live off-reserve in urban centres with low intention to return to their communities, if/how they will be included in the process, governed within a new framework, and engaged with their communities, was brought up and debated as points of interest. The need to be more grassroots was also raised in that it should not only be the large known organizations and players included, but smaller groups, communities and individuals.

Regardless of model, the overarching principle of self-determination was considered a crucial tenet, with both process and outcomes being primarily focused on the needs identified by Indigenous peoples themselves, while outside voices and special interests need to be carefully managed as positive contributors. Additionally, some consideration needs to be made for citizens of Indigenous governments to input or appeal their government's decisions. Transparency and dialogue between and among Indigenous nations is needed.

Legal jurisdiction and implications

Understanding and working through the legal implications of a framework was debated throughout the sessions. These are in relation mostly to land:

  • how borders and land ownership is determined
  • what to do in the event of disputes
  • who used the land
  • how the land is actually used

There are also implications in terms of self-governance and the reach/scope of Indigenous rights, and if/how the current legal system does and does not serve and support Indigenous peoples in Canada.

The role of legislation in determination of Indigenous rights was brought forth as an issue of concern, in that these are cases on an ad-hoc basis. Furthermore, if and how Indigenous law relates to international law, what courts they would be subject to, and having a greater role in the judicial system were mentioned as issues of interest.

Utilizing research, best practices and lessons learned

Various anecdotes, experiences and noteworthy academic work past and present were discussed and relayed during sessions. These were in a multitude of contexts related to Indigenous rights and issues. The macro takeaway was that these need to be gathered, captured, examined and analyzed for a 360 degree look at the issues, so that successes can be institutionalized and disseminated, and so that ideas leading to poor outcomes are not repeated and information used to hold projects accountable.

Diversity

There was some discussion of the need for the Framework to be inclusive and respectful of the diversity of voices, experiences and traditions. Concern was expressed for urban indigenous and indigenous women's rights in particular.

Public engagement and tone

Challenges in engaging the public in issues of Indigenous rights were acknowledged, due to low awareness and poor perceptions. Rather than being apologist, the notion of being conciliatory and inclusive was discussed as a preferable way forward. This would also have inward-out implications for the Indigenous community. As with the Atlantic sessions, educating and informing the public is key in better public perceptions, and in turn, better outcomes for Indigenous peoples in Canada.

Implementation

Given the scale of the challenges faced by Indigenous communities and people, concerns were raised about the ability to implement and actualize the ideas brought forth via the consultation process (for example, delivering services to Indigenous peoples in a small community with fewer resources in a self-governing model).

Making people's lives measurably better as a result of the process and resulting framework, and being mindful and respectful of the differing Indigenous traditions and diversity of people were all raised as issues of concern and importance.

Week of February 15, 2018

Participants

On February 15, 16 and 17, 2018, Minister Bennett met with:

  • New Brunswick Mi'gmag and Wolastoqey (Maliseet) Chiefs, and Peskotomuhkati
  • academics and Atlantic Partners
  • Newfoundland and Labrador Leaders
  • women, Elders, and youth (Dalhousie Indigenous Law Students Association)
  • Nova Scotia Mi'kmaq Chiefs and Mi'kmaw Kina'matnewey staff
  • Peskomtomuhkati Chief and Council

Summary

In-person engagement sessions that took place in the Atlantic region were positively perceived by attendees as a step in the right direction and the beginning of a renewed conversation about the future of Indigenous peoples in Canada. This is considered an important part of the continued work of reconciliation.

As outlined by Minister Bennett, there is a need to legislate an action-oriented, concrete new framework and the creation of a new federal department that will:

  • reiterate Prime Minister Trudeau's commitment to Indigenous peoples as outlined in his House of Commons speech
  • revive and renew the recommendations put forward by the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP)
  • realize and implement the rights of Indigenous peoples in RCAP, rather than "re-inventing the wheel" again

Key themes and findings

Process

Ensuring an inclusive process within the timeframe for engagement that allows for subsets of groups within the Indigenous community was mentioned as a desired outcome. These include:

  • the elderly and grandparents, including those who are caregivers for their grandchildren
  • women
  • urban Indigenous peoples
  • individual nations

Additionally, considering best practices of other work such as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as part of the framework, was mentioned as being an important part of the process.

Finally, having the initial engagement with the Minister be the first in a series of discussions on the issues is crucial in ensuring the process is given the time and space required to be as comprehensive and inclusive as possible.

Action and implementation

There were several topics of discussion that were considered by attendees to be of importance. These are considered the issues that need to be addressed in order to improve the lives of Indigenous peoples in Canada:

  • health, including mental health, and if/how this is to be funded
  • education, including the need for self-determination in curriculum development, is seen as a way out of current social conditions
  • economic development and empowerment, in particular, looking at looking at revenue sharing and taxation
    • this may include partnering with other relevant ministries (for example, Fisheries and Oceans Canada)
  • relationship with the general public in Canada
    • demonstrating positively where Indigenous peoples are currently
    • addressing racism
  • community supports
  • more and better access to housing
  • legal standing
  • hunting
  • land claims, land ownership, land use
  • environment
  • protecting and promoting language
  • child welfare

Indigenous peoples led

Considering the rights and needs of Indigenous peoples in a collaborative process of co-creation, and the ability to self-determine as an overarching value for the process and implementation of a new framework, were identified as keys to success. Who and to what extent Indigenous peoples will be governed was discussed and consensus was not reached. However, it was widely acknowledged that the current governance framework for Indigenous peoples is not helping them to realize their maximum potential.

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