September 11, 2014, 9 am - 5 pm:
Fairmont Hotel, 900 West Georgia, Vancouver, BC
In a unanimous decision, Supreme Court of Canada grants declaration of aboriginal title to the Tsilhqot'in Nation
Supreme Court of Canada, in a unanimous decision, has granted a declaration of aboriginal title to the Tsilhqot'in Nation Read the SCC decision (PDF)
First Nations Summit Celebrates Supreme Court of Canada's Declaration of Tsilhqot'in Title: Read FNS Release
Tsilhqot'in Nation Welcomes Recognition of Full Aboriginal Title for the First time in Canadian History: Read Tsilhqot'in release
AFN congratulates Tsilhqot'in National Government on Landmark Legal Victory at SCC, Calls on Federal Government to Work with First Nations on New Approaches to Support Real Reconciliation with First Nations Read Press Release
June 19, 2014: Canada's failure to uphold the human rights of Indigenous peoples in its approval of Northern Gateway
Joint statement from the BC Assembly of First Nations, First Nations Summit, Union of BC Indian Chiefs, Amnesty International Canada, Canadian Friends Service Committee (Quakers), Chiefs of Ontario, Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations, Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee), Indigenous Rights Centre, Indigenous World Association, and KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives
The overall process surrounding the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline has failed to respect and protect the human rights of Indigenous peoples whose lands and waters would be affected by the project. Having reviewed the environmental impact assessment and the positions taken by affected First Nations, as well as the federal and provincial governments, our organizations conclude that this week's conditional approval of the project by the federal government violates Canada's legal obligations under both domestic and international law. Unfortunately, these serious concerns were only minimally addressed in the federally commissioned Eyford Report on the broader issue of West Coast energy infrastructure. Read full statement
First Nations Going to Court United Against Enbridge's Northern Gateway Project
June 17, 2014: Federal and provincial governments disregard Indigenous Title and Rights
"Today, we unequivocally reject the Harper Government's decision to approve the Enbridge Northern Gateway tanker and pipelines project and First Nations will immediately go to court to vigorously pursue all lawful means to stop the Enbridge project..." Read Full Press Release.
June 17, 2014: First Nations Leadership Council responds to the Federal decision regarding Enbridge's Northern Gateway Project
Coast Salish Territory (Vancouver, BC) - On December 19, 2013 the Joint Review Process released its report on Enbridge's Northern Gateway project which included 209 recommended requirements for approval of the project. Today, the federal cabinet announced that it would approve the project. The First Nations Leadership Council (FNLC), which is composed of the BC Assembly of First Nations, First Nations Summit, and Union of BC Indian Chiefs, is completely disgusted at this decision. Read the FNLC Press Release.
Premier, Aboriginal leaders partner to end violence against Aboriginal women and girls
VICTORIA, June 13 - Premier Christy Clark and Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Minister John Rustad joined Aboriginal leaders today to sign a memorandum of understanding that confirms their shared commitment to end violence against Aboriginal women and girls.
Turning Point for Indigenous Land Rights in Canada
Highlights from a public forum discussing the Tsilhqot'in title case, and its implications. The forum was held in Ottawa on November 8, 2013, the day after the Tsilhqot'in case was heard at the Supreme Court of Canada. A panel of legal experts discussed Canada's failure to respect the pre-existing land rights of Indigenous peoples and the implications of international human rights standards like the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
FNS leaders encouraged by recommendations in Eyford Report
First Nations Summit leaders are encouraged by the recommendations contained in the report to the Prime Minister entitled Forging Partnerships Building Relationships: Aboriginal Canadians and Energy Development by Douglas Eyford, the Special Federal Representative on West Coast Energy Infrastructure.
Reconciliation Canada has established a Legacy Fund for the purpose of developing, implementing and supporting public education programs, community engagement initiatives and other activities that:
(a) increases public awareness of the Indian residential school experience and the reconciliation process in Canada;
(b) establishes a groundswell of Canadians from every level of society who are committed to fostering positive relationships between Aboriginal peoples and all Canadians; connects Aboriginal communities with a diversity of cultural, faith-based and multi-generational groups in Canada to gain a better understanding of one another's shared histories; and promotes physical, psychological and spiritual healing within Aboriginal communities.
Research shows Nutrition Experiments conducted without consent in First Nations Communities and Residential Schools
Between 1942 and 1952, some of Canada's leading nutrition experts, in cooperation with various federal departments, conducted an unprecedented series of nutritional studies of Aboriginal communities and residential schools. The most ambitious and perhaps best known of these was the 1947-1948 James Bay Survey of the Attawapiskat and Rupert's House Cree First Nations. Less well known were two separate long-term studies that went so far as to include controlled experiments conducted, apparently without the subjects' informed consent or knowledge, on malnourished Aboriginal populations in Northern Manitoba and, later, in six Indian residential schools.
The First Nations Summit Chiefs in Assembly have elected Grand Chief Edward John (Akile Ch'oh), Cheryl Casimer and Robert Phillips to the FNS Political Executive. Leah George-Wilson and Ray Harris were also re-elected Co-Chairs of the FNS. All terms are from June 2013 - June 2016. Read FNS release...
Pictured left to right: Robert Phillips (FNS Political Executive), Leah George-Wilson (FNS Co-Chair), Ray Harris (FNS Co-Chair), Cheryl Casimer (FNS Political Executive), and Grand Chief Edward John (FNS Political Executive)
Joint Statement: Implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Doctrine of Discovery
The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in its entirety is rooted in the principle
of racial non-discrimination, a peremptory norm from which no derogation is permitted. Full and
effective implementation of the UN Declaration is dependent on ensuring that racial
discrimination against Indigenous peoples is eradicated.
Last year... the Permanent Forum... called on all States to repudiate colonial doctrines such as the doctrine of discovery, and associated legal fictions as the doctrine of terra nullius, "as the basis for denying indigenous peoples' human rights."
Grand Chief Edward John of the First Nations Summit presents to House of Commons Standing Committee on Natural Resources
Grand Chief Edward John of the First Nations Summit political executive presented to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Natural Resources on May 2, 2013 to provide a First Nations perspective on the committee's current study of the potential importance of market diversification to Canada's energy future and economic growth.
BC Chiefs and leaders sign declaration endorsing the eight action items set out by the AFN Executive
(Jan 25, Coast Salish Territory / Vancouver) - BC Chiefs and leaders gathered for a meeting in Vancouver this week to discuss the recent meetings held in Ottawa, to create dialogue around the AFN Consensus Document "Fundamental Change, Remedies and Actions Required
Immediately" and to create an opportunity for BC Chiefs to continue to strategize on an approach for BC First Nations moving forward. The Chiefs and leaders unanimously passed a resolution in support of the declaration, "DRIVING CHANGE FOR OUR CHILDREN". Read Full Press Release [PDF]
Prime Minister must commit to the human rights of Indigenous Peoples
Canada must demonstrate a clear commitment to upholding the rights of Indigenous Peoples affirmed in Treaties, and articulated in both domestic and international law. Such a commitment must ensure Indigenous peoples' full and effective participation in decisions that could affect those rights.
Prime Minister Harper will be meeting with First Nations leaders this Friday to discuss issues, including those related to economic development and Treaty implementation.
The meeting comes after more than a month of unprecedented public mobilization sparked by a government legislative agenda which has far reaching impacts on the rights of Indigenous peoples, and advanced without meaningful consultation or consent. The mobilization included grassroots demonstrations across Canada under the banner of "Idle No More". The mobilization has also included an ongoing hunger strike by Chief Theresa Spence of Attawapiskat.
Last week, 36 prominent Indigenous peoples', human rights, and environmental organizations issued a public statement outlining very serious concerns with the government's actions with regard to its legislative agenda. Such actions erode democracy, the rule of law and integrity of Parliament.
The statement emphasized, "Cooperative and harmonious relations cannot be achieved by devaluing Treaties or by unilateral government actions." The statement concluded: "It is tragic that a hunger strike and Canada-wide protests are necessary in order for Indigenous peoples to bring attention to violations of their dignity, Treaties and human rights."
First Nations Summit congratulates all recipients of 2012 BC Aboriginal Business Awards
The First Nations Summit congratulates recipients of this year's BC Aboriginal Business Awards (pictured above), which were presented at a banquet in Vancouver on Monday November 26th. This year's recipients truly embody perseverance, tenacity and success. They are an indicator that Aboriginal businesses are a strong and vital component of BC's economy and will serve as an inspiration for other BC aboriginal businesses. Further information on the 2012 BC Aboriginal Business Awards recipients can be found here.
On 20th Anniversary of Treaty Negotiations in BC; First Nations Summit leaders call for renewed commitment from governments
September 21, Coast Salish Territory (Vancouver, BC) - The signing of the BC Treaty Commission Agreement, 20 years ago today, marked a significant moment in the history of the relationship between the Crown and First Nations in BC. This agreement, signed by the Prime Minister of Canada, the Premier of BC and the leaders of the First Nations Summit, was celebrated by a sacred Coast Salish cultural ceremony, which honored the parties' commitments to move beyond their difficult past and build a new relationship based on mutual trust, respect and understanding. Unfortunately, negotiations have been far too slow, far too costly and have not met these commitments.
VIDEO: Highlights of the 1992 BCTC Agreement Signing Ceremony
Fifth anniversary of United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: protection of Indigenous peoples' rights to lands, territories and resources more urgent than ever
September 12, 2012 - There is urgent need to uphold international human rights standards in response to intensive resource development activities affecting the lands of Indigenous peoples at home and abroad. Read the Joint Statement [pdf, 22 kb]
Senate Standing Committee Report Recommends Immediate Action on BC Treaty Implementation
First Nations Summit welcomes federal report on treaty negotiations in BC, encourages Canada to take urgent action to implement recommendations
Coast Salish Territory/ Vancouver, BC, May 4 - The First Nations Summit welcomes the long-awaited public release of the report on treaty negotiations in BC by James Lornie, Special Representative to the Hon. John Duncan, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development. Read the Press Release... [PDF, 30 kb]
Ancient Musqueam Marpole village site must be protected from further desecration
Musqueam rally to fight for protection and preservation of ancient village site
Coast Salish Territory/ Vancouver, BC, May 3 - First Nations Summit leaders are speaking out in support of the Musqueam Nation in their continuing fight to protect the remains of their ancestors located on the former Musqueam village site now known as the Marpole Midden.
Open Letter: Groups affirm boycott of discriminatory Missing Women Commission
Fifteen organizations issued letters directed to Commissioner Wally Oppal confirming that they will not be participating in the “second phase” of the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry, citing concerns about discrimination and the conduct of the Commission to date. Read the Press Release and Letters [PDF, 1 GB]
First Nations Summit withdraws from participation in Missing Women Commission of Inquiry: An Open Letter to Wally Oppal, Q.C., Commissioner
March 6, 2012
The First Nations Summit today released an open letter to Wally Oppal, Commissioner of the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry. The letter concluded that given recent developments, including the withdrawal of the Independent Legal Counsel for Aboriginal interests and the overall conduct of the Inquiry, the voices of the families of the missing and murdered Aboriginal women and Aboriginal communities are clearly not being heard or respected. Therefore, given the realization that the Inquiry will clearly not be able to fulfill a critical part of its mandate, the First Nations Summit has indicated it has no choice but to withdraw as an active participant in the Inquiry.
First Nations Summit presents to
Missing Women Commission of Inquiry
October 12, 2011
Coast Salish Territory/ Vancouver, BC – Grand Chief Edward John of the First Nations Summit Political Executive appeared before the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry on Wednesday October 12, 2011 to make a presentation on behalf of the First Nations Summit.
BC First Nations & China: Transforming Relationships
The First Nations Leadership Council and Asia Pacific Foundation Canada have jointly launched “First Nations & China: Transforming Relationships”. The strategy is aimed at cultivating stronger relations with China and responding to growing commercial interest from Asia to British Columbia’s natural resources sector, the respective traditional territories of First Nations. Read Press Release
VIDEO (courtesy of CBC): Grand Chief Edward John discusses China trade opportunities for BC First Nations…
First Nations Summit represents the interests of First Nations working
to negotiate treaties throughout the province of British Columbia.
from its office in North Vancouver, the Summit does not carry out
the actual negotiations, providing instead crucial support and resources
to First Nations working to make treaties.
Summit recognizes that some B.C. First Nations have chosen not to
participate in the treaty-making process. The Summit respects each
First Nation's right to determine its own course of action.
1991 Report of the British Columbia Claims Task Force Report lays
the foundation for the treaty process in this province. The First
Nations Summit adopted fundamental principles, which are the basis
of our discussions with Canada and British Columbia.
Summit works hard to provide a friendly, inclusive environment where
people can share ideas and strategies as they work to negotiate
treaties in an effective and timely manner.
September 12, 2012: Fifth anniversary of United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: protection of Indigenous peoples' rights to lands, territories and resources more urgent than ever. Read the JOINT STATEMENT [pdf]
Grand Chief Edward John travels to UN Headquarters for International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples
[Aug 2012, Read Interview]
The Union of BC Municipalities and First Nations Summit are pleased to announce that funding for local government and First Nation regional Community to Community Forums is available again this fall with renewed financial support from the provincial and federal governments.
2014/15 C2C FUNDING NOW AVAILABLE FOR SPRING/SUMMER
This report has been prepared as part of the First Nations Summit’s participation in Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada’s (AANDC) “Exploratory Process” regarding Bill C-3. The Exploratory Process was announced at the time Bill C-3 was tabled in the federal Parliament to address concerns raised by First Nations and others about Bill C-3. The Exploratory Process is intended to examine and explore broader issues related to First Nations citizenship, Band Membership and registration as Status Indians.
Realizing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: Triumph, Hope, and Action Edited by Jackie Hartley, Paul Joffe, and Jennifer Preston
“The Declaration is a visionary step towards addressing the human rights of indigenous peoples” proclaimed United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “[I]t provides a momentous opportunity for States and indigenous peoples to ... promote reconciliation and ensure that the past is not repeated.” Contributors to this collection discuss the realization of the Declaration, and ways and means to implement it. For further information and to order a copy visit Purich Publishing