Indigenous Collaboration Arrangement between the Government of Canada and the Government of Aotearoa-New Zealand
The Government of Canada and the Government of Aotearoa-New Zealand, hereinafter referred to as the "Participants",
Recognizing that, for the Government of Canada, the Department of Indigenous Services (ISC) and the Department of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs (CIRNAC) will oversee the application of this Arrangement and its activities, and for the Government of Aotearoa-New Zealand, Te Puni Kōkiri (the Ministry of Māori Development) will oversee the application of this Arrangement and its activities;
Noting that Canada and Aotearoa-New Zealand share a close, long-standing and multi-dimensional bilateral relationship, and are committed to enabling and augmenting this relationship in partnership with Indigenous Peoples in both countries, namely First Nations, Inuit and Métis in Canada, and Māori, tangata whenua (people of the land) of Aotearoa-New Zealand;
Recognizing the importance of respecting the rights, interests and aspirations, as well as the rich cultures and languages, of Indigenous Peoples in both countries, and noting that, in Canada, rights of First Nations, Inuit and Métis are recognized and affirmed by section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982, and further noting that, in Aotearoa-New Zealand, rights of Māori are recognized and affirmed by the Treaty of Waitangi (Te Tiriti o Waitangi);
Acknowledging the pivotal role that Indigenous Peoples play in the overall prosperity and well-being of their respective countries;
Considering the historical injustices experienced, and contemporary challenges faced, by Indigenous Peoples in each country, together with the continuing journey of each country toward healing, advancing the respective Indigenous-Crown relationships, and achieving reconciliation objectives, and noting that, in Canada, the journey includes the Truth and Reconciliation process, and further noting that, in Aotearoa-New Zealand, the journey includes the distinct policies and processes to settle historical grievances with Māori and fulfilment of the obligations of the Aotearoa-New Zealand Government as a Treaty partner under the Treaty of Waitangi (Te Tiriti o Waitangi);
Considering the integral and unique roles that Indigenous Peoples play in shaping Canadian and Aotearoa-New Zealand society and culture;
Noting the commitment of the Canadian Government to the ongoing implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada's 94 Calls to Action and the commitment of the Aotearoa-New Zealand Government to improving the Māori-Crown relationship and to fulfilling the Crown's obligations as a Treaty partner under the Treaty of Waitangi (Te Tiriti o Waitangi);
Affirming the importance of truth-telling in helping to establish and maintain a mutually respectful and trusting relationship between Indigenous Peoples and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada and in Aotearoa-New Zealand;
Committing to an awareness of the past, both the injustices faced by Indigenous Peoples and their successes, while acknowledging the harm inflicted on Indigenous Peoples and taking responsibility for addressing it by identifying and taking the steps and actions required to change behaviours and support healing and reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, now and for future generations;
Committing to tangible and measurable improvement of outcomes for Indigenous Peoples, which is facilitated through collaboration, information sharing and learning from one another;
Recalling that Canada and Aotearoa-New Zealand have endorsed the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as set out in each country's respective statement of support;
Affirming the need to support the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, including the Indigenous-led components of its implementation, as a mechanism for safeguarding the rights of Indigenous Peoples now and into the future; and
Acknowledging the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's (UNESCO) International Decade for Indigenous Languages 2022-2032 as a mechanism for preserving, revitalizing and promoting the richness and diversity of Indigenous languages at national and international levels;
Have reached the following arrangement:
- The purpose of this Arrangement is to promote and facilitate the economic, political, social, educational, well-being, cultural and environmental advancements of Indigenous Peoples in each country by:
- developing, supporting and facilitating relationships and knowledge sharing between Indigenous Peoples including their communities, families, businesses and organizations;
- providing a mechanism for collaboration and engagement between the Participants; and
- enabling information sharing between the Participants and Indigenous Peoples in both countries that will facilitate the development of policies, programs and projects to ensure the exercise and implementation of the rights of Indigenous Peoples in each country and to support the resilience and well-being of their communities, while respecting the Participants' respective and relevant privacy laws.
- The Participants understand that the information sharing envisaged will include:
- information sharing exchanges and workshops on topics of common interest under the themes of this Arrangement; and
- the participation and inclusion of Indigenous Peoples in such exchanges and workshops, which might involve attendees such as representatives of communities, families, businesses and organizations from both Canada and Aotearoa-New Zealand.
2. Guiding Principles
- In carrying out the activities outlined in this Arrangement, the Participants will be guided by the following principles:
- Partnership – adopting an approach based on Indigenous-to-Government and Indigenous-to-Indigenous partnerships in both countries, including consistent and meaningful engagement between the Participants and Indigenous Peoples;
- Indigenous-led, Government-enabled – ensuring that collaboration between the Participants is informed, guided and led by the aspirations and interests of First Nations, Inuit, Métis and Māori, and respects their right to self-determination;
- Respect, diversity and gender balance – respecting, acknowledging and valuing the rich diversity of knowledges, cultures, customs, traditional values, languages and histories of Indigenous Peoples in both countries, adopting anti-racism practices and using an intersectional approach that recognizes the distinct needs of Indigenous women, girls, persons with disabilities, gender diverse people and LGBTQIA+/2SLGBTQQIA+ (i.e., two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex and asexual) people in particular;
- Equity, truth and reconciliation – acknowledging the historical inequities for Indigenous Peoples in both countries and striving to improve equity of outcomes, while being guided by principles of reconciliation, including sharing the individual and collective experiences of First Nations, Inuit, Métis and Māori;
- Openness, honesty and transparency – taking an open, honest and transparent approach, ensuring that the voices of Indigenous Peoples in both countries are heard, and building trust through open, honest and transparent processes, as well as clear and consistent communication;
- Flexibility and pragmatism – fostering flexible and pragmatic approaches for the development and delivery of policies, programs and projects.
3. Collaboration Activities
- The Participants will:
- engage with Indigenous Peoples in each country on areas of common interest;
- explore opportunities for sharing knowledge and best practice for policy, program and project development through engagement with Indigenous Peoples and their communities, families, businesses and organizations, according to each country's established approaches; and
- support, promote and facilitate engagement between Indigenous Peoples and their communities, families, businesses and organizations, as well as collaborate in areas of common interest.
- The Participants will base their collaboration on the following themes and sub-themes. Well-being and education, though listed as sub-themes below, are viewed as cross-cutting themes for the collaboration activities.
- Social – education, housing, infrastructure, justice, data sovereignty, health, youth and family services, health and well-being (i.e., physical, mental, maternal, spiritual and emotional health), gender equality and the empowerment of all women, girls and gender-diverse people.
- Cultural – heritage, identity, language preservation and revitalisation, sport, the arts, media (including Indigenous film and television), and broadcasting and education (i.e., implementation of programs, such as language integration in schools).
- Political – treaty negotiation, settlement and implementation, addressing colonial and paternalistic policies, restructuring relationships and ways of working with Indigenous Peoples, government representation, and respecting self-governance, co-governance and Indigenous self-determination.
- Economic – business, trade, innovation, internationalisation, employment (including skills and training), social and progressive procurement, enterprise development, capacity-building and land use.
- Environmental – the natural world, water security, food security, and climate change mitigation (i.e., transitioning off diesel, clean energy, energy efficiency and net zero ready) and adaptation (i.e., health, infrastructure, emergencies, economic development and biodiversity).
4. Meetings, Dialogues and Exchanges
- The Participants will hold an annual meeting between their respective ministers or their designates (where possible in conjunction with other international meetings such as the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues), to review the progress of the Arrangement at a high level and to set the direction for the upcoming year based on the themes and sub-themes listed above. These annual meetings will complement existing dialogues between government officials and Indigenous Peoples.
- In addition to ongoing working-level government officials' meetings, the Participants will hold Director-level government officials' meetings twice a year to ensure that the interests and priorities of Indigenous Peoples in their countries and of their respective Minister(s) are incorporated into the annual Work Plan and dialogues in a meaningful way, and to ensure progress.
- Based on Indigenous and ministerial direction regarding priority themes and sub-themes, the first meeting will be to discuss and to jointly decide on the Work Plan for the upcoming year.
- The second meeting will be to review progress on the Work Plan in order to support and inform the next ministerial meeting.
- The Participants acknowledge that ongoing Indigenous-to-Indigenous and Indigenous-to-Government exchanges and dialogues will provide the priorities and subject-matter advice, as indicated by Indigenous Peoples, for the ministerial and government officials' meetings.
- The Participants will establish a policy forum to foster learning and expertise exchanges, with participation from and engagement with Indigenous Peoples on issues of importance to them.
- The Participants understand that regular meetings are critical to the Arrangement's success, but recognize that unforeseen circumstances may occur. Should meetings require rescheduling, the Participants may alter dates or timing of previously scheduled meetings or discussions at their own discretion.
The Participants will explore funding and resource mechanisms to support the collaboration activities of this Arrangement, and any other related activities jointly decided by the Participants.
6. Work Program
- The Participants acknowledge that a Work Program, which does not form part of this Arrangement, has already been developed. It includes:
- a Work Plan to be pursued for the first year of the Arrangement, which will begin on the date that this Arrangement takes effect and will be updated every subsequent year to reflect the key priorities to be pursued under this Arrangement; and
- a list of proposed and aspirational activities to be explored throughout the duration of this Arrangement.
- The Participants understand that the Work Plan:
- will be based on the lists of themes and sub-themes identified above; and
- will be a living document subject to review, amendments and updates as jointly decided by the Participants.
This Arrangement is not legally binding.
8. Differences regarding interpretation and application
The Participants will amicably resolve any differences regarding the interpretation or application of this Arrangement in a timely manner through dialogue.
9. Final dispositions
- This Arrangement will take effect on the date of its last signature by the Participants, and it will remain in effect unless it is terminated in accordance with paragraph 9(c).
- The Participants may jointly amend this Arrangement at any time, by giving each other written notice.
- The Participants may jointly terminate this Arrangement at any time, by giving each other written notice.
Signed in duplicate in __________, on this __ day of __________ 2022, in the English, French, and Te Reo Māori languages, each version being equally valid.
For the Government of Canada
For the Government of Aotearoa-New Zealand