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Ministry of Attorney General

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Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation

Media Relations
250 356-7324


What people are saying about legislation changes

Emily Ohler, chair, BC Human Rights Tribunal –

“The tribunal welcomes the amendment to the Human Rights Code, as recommended by Ardith Walpetko We’dalx Walkem in Expanding Our Vision: Cultural Equality and Indigenous Peoples’ Human Rights, and strongly supported by the committee advising the tribunal in its implementation of the report. As set out in the report, the addition of Indigenous identity sends a ‘message of inclusion’ and reflects ‘the individual and collective nature of Indigenous human rights.’ With Indigenous identity now a specific ground of discrimination under the Human Rights Code, the tribunal will be better equipped to provide meaningful recourse for the specific kinds of harms that so many Indigenous Peoples continue to face in this province.”

Louis De Jaeger, Minister of Economic Development and Natural Resources, and acting vice-president, Métis Nation British Columbia –

“As Métis people, we have our own customs and collective identity that are distinct from First Nations and our European forebears. This legislation is an important step towards achieving respectful recognition and protection of our Aboriginal rights and identity. We must work together to create a more inclusive province that truly reflects the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Discrimination of Métis people must come to an end.”

Val Napoleon, acting dean, Faculty of Law, and co-founder of the Indigenous Law Degree Program at the University of Victoria –

“The two legislative amendments brought forward by the provincial government speak to the importance of the UN Declaration and Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act. First, the addition of Indigenous identity as a protected ground in the Human Rights Code is a step that expands the ability of Indigenous Peoples to rely on this legislation. Second, the addition of the non-derogation clause to the Interpretation Act alleviates some of the worry for Indigenous Peoples in the sorting out of our contemporary political and legal relationships. What matters with both measures is that they begin to open up spaces for Indigenous law on the one hand, and Indigenous rights in Canadian law on the other.”