Terry Teegee, B.C. regional chief of the Assembly of First Nations, and Cheryl Casimer of the B.C. First Nations Summit, speak on the bill to endorse UN Indigenous rights, B.C. legislature, Oct. 24, 2019. (Hansard TV)

B.C. first to endorse UN Indigenous rights legislation

John Horgan’s NDP pledge to adapt B.C. laws to declaration

After sometimes acrimonious debate, the B.C. legislature has unanimously endorsed North America’s first bill to adopt the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

B.C.’s framework legislation was examined at length Tuesday, before a vote that had support of the NDP, B.C. Liberals and B.C. Greens. The UN doctrine of “free, prior and informed consent” from Indigenous inhabitants for land development has been much discussed, with critics noting that the many overlapping territorial claims in B.C. create investment uncertainty.

RELATED: B.C. builds on reconciliation plan with summit

RELATED: B.C. debate becomes bitter over UN rights bill

The province has signed hundreds of agreements to share forest, mining and other resources on Crown land, as modern treaty talks drag on for most of the more than 200 identified Indigenous groups in B.C.

Adopting UNDRIP was a term agreed to by the B.C. NDP and Green parties in their minority government support deal in 2017.

In debate on the historic bill, B.C. Green MLA Adam Olsen said Indigenous consent is a key to stopping energy projects like the Trans Mountain oil pipeline and Coastal Gaslink line for gas exports.

Skeena B.C. Liberal MLA Ellis Ross argued that Indigenous consent already exists in case law.

“That’s why we have LNG,” said Ross, a former chief councillor of the Haisla Nation. “That’s why we have peace in the woods.”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislature

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

QUIZ: Put your knowledge of Canada to the test

How much do you know about our country?

Selkirk College offering employees voluntary resignations

The college is canvassing employees for those who may want some time off or reduced work loads

City of Castlegar releases Canada Day video

The video showcases the city’s people, geography and stories

VIDEO: Castlegar students create music video

Twin Rivers Elementary students show off their musical skills

Province releases report on Columbia River Treaty public feedback

Reservoir levels, fair compensation for impacted communities, among many issues raised

‘This year is unlike any other’: Trudeau delivers Canada day address

Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and the Prime Minister release video celebrating the national holiday

PHOTOS: Dual rallies take over Legislature lawn on Canada Day

Resist Canada 153 highlighted colonization and genocide, Unify the People called COVID a hoax

Gov. General honours Canadians for bravery, volunteer service

Five categories of winners presented on Canada Day

COVID-19: Should non-medical masks be mandatory in Canada?

New poll shows Canadians are divided on the rules around mandatory masks

‘A little bit scary for everybody’: Air passengers wary as new rules take effect

Masks or face coverings have been mandatory on flights since April 20

VIDEO: Prince William and Kate chat with B.C. hospital staff about COVID-19

Seven-minute video posted to Youtube on Canada Day

River centre says heavy rains could bring flooding to central, northeastern B.C.

Water levels are already unusually high and river banks can be extremely unstable

Most Read