A Review of All of the Relevant AFN Resolutions Regarding UNDRIP

Russell Diabo

Good Morning; I believe I have reviewed all of the relevant AFN Resolutions regarding UNDRIP. However, if I missed any perhaps Roseanne can correct me.

From my review of AFN Resolutions, the only mandate I can find of the AFN. National Chief (and Executive Committee) from the Chiefs-in-Assembly regarding UNDRIP and now Bill C-15 is as follows AFN Resolution no. 86/2019:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Chiefs-in-Assembly:

1. Seek a collaborative process with the federal government, consistent with the Liberal Party of Canada' s commitment during the 43rd federal election whereby they promised that they "... will move forward with introducing co -developed legislation to implement the Declaration as government legislation by the end of 2020. In this work, we will ensure that this legislation fully respects the intent of the Declaration, and establishes Bill C-262 as the floor, rather than the ceiling, when it comes to drafting this new legislation."

2. Call upon the Government of Canada to develop with First Nations
a national action plan to implement the UN Declaration,      mindful that there are other United Nations instruments upholding Indigenous rights, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international human rights law, as well as the Organization of American States' (OAS) American Declaration on the   Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

However, previous AFN Chiefs-in-Assembly Resolutions set out conditions to support UNDRIP and/or federal legislation regarding UNDRIP. For example AFN Resolution no. 128/2016, sets out these conditions:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Chiefs-in-Assembly:

1. Call upon Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada to provide a purposive and liberal approach based on international norms and standards when applying present and future federal laws, polices, acts and regulations including the Constitution Act, 1982.

2. Call upon the Government of Canada, its ministers and the Assembly of First Nations to ensure the free, prior and informed consent of Indigenous peoples in the creation of a United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples framework in           accordance with the respect for and honoring of the four Treaty principles:

a. Inherent right to self-determination and Indigenous government.

b. The original spirit and intent of Treaty as treaties are sacred agreements.

c. Mutual consent, including non-interference.
d. Peaceful co-existence and mutual responsibility to honor theinter-national Treaties.

There was no FPIC for Bill C-15 as a condition for support set out in AFN Resolution no. 128/2016. Bill C-15 was the result of a six week "engagement

process" led by the Department of Justice.

In 2016, the Chiefs-in-Assembly via AFN Resolution no. 28/2016 gave the AFN Executive Committee (which includes the National Chief) clear direction andvarious conditions regarding support for UNDRIP and/or any federal legislation regarding UNDRIP like Bill C-15:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Chiefs-in-Assembly:
1. Instruct the AFN Executive to implement the following in full and
meaningful participation with Canada, including, but not     limited to the following:

a. Formal adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UN Declaration) without qualifications or subjection to Canadian Constitution and Laws.

b. That Canada will adopt and pass legislation that will incorporate and reflect the UN Declaration before the Anniversary date of September 13, 2017 without qualifications or alterations to the UN Declaration.

c. That Canada will reform its Constitution and all policies to reflect the adoption of the UNDRIP by the Anniversary date of September 13, 2017.

d. That a World Conference of Indigenous Nations be convened and sponsored by Canada in 2017.

e. That preparatory conferences occur across Canada to gain the Indigenous Peoples' input to the outcome document(s) of the World Conference of Indigenous Nations.

f. That the proposed outcome document will instruct Canada and its provinces on methodologies and processes necessary to gain a just and equitable relationship with the Indigenous Peoples.

g. That Canada and its provinces and territories must cease all efforts and processes of legal and political importance that adversely affects, impacts, alters, denies or breaches Indigenous Peoples rights or the Treaties.

h. That Indigenous Peoples possess permanent sovereignty over natural resources and that this inherent and time immemorial belief and principle supersedes and transcends non-Indigenous colonial doctrines.

i. That redress, reparation, restitution, compensation and recourse are necessary interrelated, interdependent and indivisible principles to address our survival and well-being and are to be included in all developments and agreements going forward.

j. That the Treaty principles of free, prior and informed consent together with the right to participate in decision making shall at all times be referenced and utilized to guide all interrelations with other
governments.
k. That general public education occur and that educational material be designed and developed with Indigenous Peoples rights experts concerning the UN Declaration.

l. That non-Indigenous governmental and departmental representatives and staff receive critical training on the UN Declaration and other international instruments and standards from Indigenous Peoples rights experts.
m. That local education boards, leaders, teachers and administration staff receive training on the UN Declaration and other international instruments and standards from Indigenous Peoples rights experts.

n. That training on the UN Declaration and other international instruments and standards be provided to Indigenous Nations beginning immediately by Indigenous Peoples rights experts.

o. That an appropriate national action plan of strategies and other concrete measures including adequate monetary considerations to achieve the promotion and celebration of the Indigenous Peoples ten year anniversary
be developed in conjunction with Indigenous Nations or their representative  institution(s).

p. That the Government of Canada will uphold its commitment to implement the 94 Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Canada's unqualified endorsement of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

q. That all provinces and territories in Canada will uphold the Government of Canada's unqualified endorsement of the Declaration and similarly commit to the full implementation of the 94 Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

r. That the Assembly of First Nations is directed to call on the provincial and territorial governments to undertake action in response to the TRC's final report and Calls to Action.

Clearly, Bill C-15 is not consistent with AFN Resolution no. 28/2016 1. a. and b.

The Chiefs-in-Assembly via AFN Resolution no. 97/2017 did not support Bill C-262, they only asked Parliamentarians to support Bill C-262:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Chiefs-in-Assembly:

1. Call upon all Canadian federal parliamentarians to support Bill C-262 which represents a principled human rights legislative framework to advance reconciliation.

While AFN Resolution no. 86/2019 mandates AFN to " Seek a collaborative process with the federal government... [to] ensure that this legislation fully respects the intent of the Declaration, and establishes Bill C- 262 as the floor, rather than the ceiling, when it comes to drafting this new legislation" does not mean that previous conditions set by the Chiefs-in-Assembly can be ignored or avoided. The Resolution no. 86/2019
does not state that it supersedes all previous AFN Resolutions regarding UNDRIP of federal legislation purporting to implement UNDRIP!

I do not see how AFN can support Bill C-15 without having an explicit AFN Chiefs-in-Assembly Resolution to support it?

This is quite similar to former AFN National Chief Shawn Atleo having a mandate to support in principle getting an agreement with the federal government on First Nations Education, but then National Chief Atleo went on to support Bill C-33 the First Nations Education Act without first getting a mandate from the Chiefs-in-Assembly to support Bill C-33, the FNEA.

The manufacture of consent by the AFN National Chief and the silence of the AFN Executive Committee on Bill C-15--who are charged with making sure theChiefs-in-Assembly Resolutions are implemented--is appalling!

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