Terry Teegee, B.C. regional chief of the Assembly of First Nations, and Cheryl Casimer of the B.C. First Nations Summit, speak on the bill to endorse UN Indigenous rights, B.C. legislature, Oct. 24, 2019. (Hansard TV)

B.C. first to endorse UN Indigenous rights legislation

John Horgan’s NDP pledge to adapt B.C. laws to declaration

After sometimes acrimonious debate, the B.C. legislature has unanimously endorsed North America’s first bill to adopt the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

B.C.’s framework legislation was examined at length Tuesday, before a vote that had support of the NDP, B.C. Liberals and B.C. Greens. The UN doctrine of “free, prior and informed consent” from Indigenous inhabitants for land development has been much discussed, with critics noting that the many overlapping territorial claims in B.C. create investment uncertainty.

RELATED: B.C. builds on reconciliation plan with summit

RELATED: B.C. debate becomes bitter over UN rights bill

The province has signed hundreds of agreements to share forest, mining and other resources on Crown land, as modern treaty talks drag on for most of the more than 200 identified Indigenous groups in B.C.

Adopting UNDRIP was a term agreed to by the B.C. NDP and Green parties in their minority government support deal in 2017.

In debate on the historic bill, B.C. Green MLA Adam Olsen said Indigenous consent is a key to stopping energy projects like the Trans Mountain oil pipeline and Coastal Gaslink line for gas exports.

Skeena B.C. Liberal MLA Ellis Ross argued that Indigenous consent already exists in case law.

“That’s why we have LNG,” said Ross, a former chief councillor of the Haisla Nation. “That’s why we have peace in the woods.”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

USS Wrestling team takes unique detour around Tofino-Ucluelet highway closure to rock Abbotsford tournament

“It was a pretty fun weekend actually. We had a good time. It was a bit of an adventure.”

Friday’s earthquake a reminder to be prepared, says Ucluelet mayor

“When someone says, ‘Be prepared for 72 hours,’ that means exactly that: be prepared.”

Central Westcoast Forest Society is searching for wood and trees

Scrap wood will be used to help rebuild the local salmon populations near Tofino and Ucluelet.

UPDATED: Tofino-Ucluelet highway reopens after bridge installed earlier than expected

Hwy. 4 now open to all vehicles, including delivery trucks and RVs

VIDEO: Canada’s first presumptive case of coronavirus officially confirmed

Both patient and wife arrived on a China Southern Airlines flight after having been to Wuhan

Swapping grape varieties can help winemakers adapt to climate change: UBC study

Report says 56% of wine-grape-growing regions would be lost if global climate warms by 2 C

Alberta premier wants feds to approve Teck mine for benefit of First Nations

Kenney: ‘Surely [reconciliation] means saying yes to economic development for First Nations people’

Police search for man who went missing from Vernon hotel

Jay Rosenberger, 38, was last seen Friday

Filming for Resident Alien begins in Ladysmith

Aliens and excitement take over the streets of Ladysmith during new TV series

NDP suggests easing secondary housing rules for B.C. farmland

Lana Popham proposes guest homes not just for relatives

After four sexual assaults in the same B.C. park, RCMP ask women not to walk alone

Four sexual assaults took place in Glen Park over two months

The Three Bears are down to two after baby bear carving stolen from his perch in Island community

Thief repeatedly kicked it and dislodged it from cement and rebar

Most Read