Trudeau Government’s “Recognition & Self-Determination” Tables

Truth Before Recognition Campaign 2020

Russ Diabo, June 2020

After the reelection of the Trudeau government last fall, its plan continues to be the implementation of their socalled “Reconciliation Framework” agenda and it seems no First Nations (except maybe the Wet’suwet’ en Hereditary Chiefs and Clans) were challenging the Liberal agenda because the Trudeau government has hundreds of self-government and modern treaty negotiation tables operating a cross Canada and in 2016, the federal government created a new category of tables called  “Recognition and Self-Determination” tables.

As of January 2020, there are over 80 “Recognition Tables”, which represent more than 390 Indigenous communities (First Nations, Metis & Inuit), with a total population of more than 760,000 people. To date, 28 preliminary-type agreements have been signed as a result of Recognition of Indigenous Rights and Self-Determination discussions. Over $118 million has been allocated to support Recognition of Indigenous Rights and Self-Determination discussions.

The federal government makes a distinction between nonbinding “discussions” at “Recognition & Self -Determination Tables” and “ negotiations” of Modern Treaties and Self- Government Arrangements.

The process for moving forward is advertised as “jointly designed ” by the parties through co-developed agreements (such as Letters of Understanding, Memoranda of Understanding and Framework Agreements).

Under the agreed-upon process, the parties then work to find the common ground for moving ahead in partnership toward a shared and balanced solution for “mutually beneficial outcomes”.

However, the federal (and provincial) negotiators at these “Recognition Tables” essentially have a veto over what subject matter gets forwarded   from the “Recognition Tables” to the federal and/or provincial Cabinets as a “ co-developed negotiation mandate”, hence the reference to “ mutually beneficial outcomes”.

These “Recognition Tables” were set up to get Indian Act bands into self- government negotiations either by sector (education, health, etc.) or comprehensively (local constitution) the government of Canada even has a website on “Self-Government”.

The 1995 so-called ‘Inherent Right’ to self-government policy unilaterally imposed by then Prime Minister Jean Chretien, remains the umbrella policy for all negotiations with Canada, including “land claims”.

While we are self-isolating at home the Trud eau government is taking advantage of the pandemic and advancing their so-c alled “reconciliation agenda” through virtual “ tables” as part of implementation of their Crown-Indigenous Relations and Indigenous Services Canada Departmental Plans for 2020-2021.

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