The provincial government is committed to true and lasting reconciliation with Indigenous peoples in British Columbia.
Adopting and implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, and the Supreme Court of Canada Tsilhqot’in decision are part of a cross-government vision. Every B.C. cabinet minister shares this mandate. Government is working in partnership with Indigenous peoples to build healthier communities and create shared prosperity that benefits all British Columbians.
Over the past year, the provincial government has taken action, together with Indigenous partners, to build important foundations for reconciliation and to enable self-determination.
Communities, people and culture:
- $550 million over 10 years to support the construction of 1,750 affordable housing units for on- and off-reserve, including 1,100 units approved to be built in the next two to four years
- $6 million over three years to Friendship Centres, to support the well-being of Indigenous people living in urban areas
- $50 million to support the work of the First Peoples’ Cultural Council and First Nations communities to revitalize Indigenous languages in danger of disappearing forever
- Dedicated engagement process for urban and off-reserve Indigenous communities, as part of the development of B.C.’s first poverty reduction strategy
- $50 million to support First Nations and local governments to reduce the risk of wildfires around their communities
- $22 million to assist rural and Indigenous communities recover natural resources affected by wildfires
- $22.5 million from the federal-provincial Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program - Community, Culture and Recreation fund to support projects that benefit Indigenous peoples living off-reserve
- Since January 2018, more than $83 million in federal, provincial and partner funding announced to improve connectivity in British Columbia. This will help 187 rural communities, including 69 Indigenous communities, get closer to reliable access to high-speed internet
Children and families:
- Changes to the Child, Family and Community Service Act introduced to implement Grand Chief Ed John’s recommendations to help keep Indigenous children out of care and give Indigenous communities greater involvement in child-welfare decisions
- Individual agreements with the Wet’suwet’en and Secwépemc Nations and Métis Nation British Columbia to work together to transfer jurisdiction for child and family services
- $7.7 million to support youth aging out of care, the majority of whom are Indigenous
- Tuition and mandatory fee waivers for former youth in care at all 25 public post-secondary institutions, Native Education College and 10 union institutes in British Columbia. Indigenous representation is in place on the boards of all 25 public post-secondary institutions as of July 2018
- $30 million over three years through the Early Learning and Child Care Agreement with the Government of Canada to expand Aboriginal Head Start programs, which provide culturally based, inclusive child care and early learning, family bonding and prevention services
- $3.6 million over three years to support 11 new early learning and child care planning and navigator positions to help address the specific child care needs of Indigenous children, families and communities throughout the province. The money is helping Métis Nation British Columbia create seven new Métis navigator positions; B.C. Aboriginal Child Care Society to hire three new planners; and the B.C. Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres to create one new position.
- Indigenous content built into all grades and subjects in B.C.’s new curriculum – from math to science to literature
- The Province, Government of Canada and First Nations Education Steering Committee signed a tripartite agreement in support of First Nation student success.
Mental health and wellness:
- $20 million over three years to support Indigenous communities and people to address the overdose crisis, which has disproportionately affected Indigenous families
- Tripartite agreement between the Province, Government of Canada and First Nations Health Council to support a community-driven, Nation-based approach to address the social determinants of mental health and wellness. Over two years, $10 million each from B.C., Canada, and the First Nations Health Authority – for a total of $30 million – has been allocated to support implementation of the agreement.
Justice and public safety:
- $2 million to support the Moose Hide Campaign and emphasize B.C.’s ongoing commitment to end violence against women and children
- Partnership with the Aboriginal Justice Council to develop an Indigenous Justice Strategy to reduce over-representation of Indigenous peoples in the justice system
- $2 million to establish the first Indigenous law program in Canada at the University of Victoria
Shared sustainable prosperity:
- Tahltan Central Government and Nisga’a Nation to share mineral tax revenue from the Brucejack Gold Mine
- Commitment to First Nations benefiting from LNG development as full partners, through benefit agreements, environmental stewardship and skills training
- $30 million over three years to continue the Indigenous Skills Training Development Fund and give Indigenous people access to skills training programs
- Investing $21.1 million over three years for Community-Based Training Partnerships in Indigenous communities
- $420,000 over three years to support the new Indigenous Intern Leadership Program, partnership with the BC Assembly of First Nations, Business Council of B.C. and Vancouver Island University, that will support 150 Indigenous post-secondary graduates in job opportunities with B.C. businesses
Agreements, treaties and land:
- In collaboration with Indigenous groups, legislation introduced to revitalize the environmental assessment process, ensuring their interests, rights and ecological knowledge are respected
- $16 million to modernize land-use planning through engagement and collaboration with Indigenous peoples, governments, communities, stakeholders and industry
- Additional $5 million over three years to continue work on treaties and other agreements, environmental stewardship initiatives and socio-economic development
- Government has recently signed agreements with:
- Stó:lō Xwexwilmexw Treaty Association – a treaty memorandum of understanding with B.C. and Canada;
- Southern Dakelh Nation Alliance on a foundational framework to create a government-to-government commitment to reconciliation;
- shíshálh Nation and B.C. reconciliation agreement to recognize and respect Indigenous title and rights, and support self-determination;
- Northern Secwépemc te Qelmucw government-to-government commitment to reconciliation; and Agreement-in-Principle with B.C. and Canada;
- Tsilhqot’in National Government to collaborate on emergency management, as well as five other agreements that provide greater certainty on activities in the Tsilhqot’in Declared Title Area;
- Malahat First Nation to purchase 230 hectares of land to advance treaty negotiations;
- Maa-Nulth First Nations to affirm government-to-government treaty partnership; and
- Halfway River First Nation to create a collaborative land and wildlife stewardship.
- Letter of Understanding with the ‘Namgis, Kwikwasutinuxw Haxwa’mis and Mamalilikulla First Nations to resolve longstanding concerns about open net-pen salmon farms in the Broughton Archipelago
- Draft 10 Principles adopted as a resource guide to help public servants strengthen relationships with Indigenous peoples based on respect and recognition of inherent rights
- New dedicated Cabinet Committee on Reconciliation established in October 2018 to provide strategic cross-government direction and focus for achieving meaningful, permanent progress on reconciliation
- Commitment to concrete actions with the First Nations Leadership Council to advance reconciliation, including co-developing legislation by 2019 to implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
- Twenty-eight youth hired under the Indigenous Youth Intern Program across 15 ministries and agencies in 2018-19, the highest number of interns in any year since the program began in 2007. There have been 270 interns through the program.
The adoption of UNDRIP, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action and the Tsilhqot’in Supreme Court decision is a foundational part of the relationship between government and the B.C. Green caucus, and forms part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.