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.

BC legislature

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

Just Posted

Quesnel RCMP investigating hit and run on Quesnel River Bridge

Bridge traffic reduced to single lane alternating

B.C. First Nation hopes to offer new visitor experiences in 2021

Travellers reminded to check for updates on access to Title Lands if visiting this summer

Local war hero ceberating 100 years of life

Derek Beningfield records his grandfather’s history ahead of his 100th birthday on July 14

Editorial: Thanks for the memories

Sasha Sefter says farewell to our readers

B.C. records 62 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths since Friday

Province has just over 200 active cases

Hotel rooms for B.C. homeless too hasty, NDP government told

Businesses forced out, but crime goes down, minister says

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

B.C. government prepares for COVID-19 economic recovery efforts

New measures after July consultation, Carole James says

Tree planters get help with COVID-19 protective measures

Ottawa funds extra transportation, sanitizing for crews

Trudeau apologizes for not recusing himself from WE decision

He says his and his family’s longtime involvement with the WE organization should have kept him out of the discussions

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Most Read