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

On the job hunt with Nelson’s Make A Change Canada

The employment charity is organizing next week’s Kootenay Patricks, Montreal Canadiens game

FedEx distribution centre coming to Castlegar

Development permit for ground facility before council next week.

Heart, minds, and 100 years of the Nelson library

Past and future collide this year at the Nelson library, and it all kicks off this weekend

Crows, pirates and Segways: L.V. Rogers students make projects out of passions

The Grade 12 students presented their capstone projects Wednesday

Kootenay teams heading for curling provincials

Team Buchy and Team Nichols won the senior playdowns.

Kids across Canada more at risk of hospitalization from flu this season: doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam said influenza B does not usually peak until February or later

Closed mills, housing surge support a positive forecast for lumber industries

B.C. lumber producers have closed mills accounting for 18% of province’s capacity, RBC report says

Good Samaritan pays part of rent for B.C. woman facing eviction in can-collecting dispute

Zora Hlevnjak, 76, supplements her pension by collecting cans and receiving public donations

Kelowna’s ‘Baby Mary’ finds biological parents after more than 30 years

Geneologist and DNA test helped her connect with her biological parents

Kelowna hotel to award couples for baby-making with Nooner deal

The deal includes a free stay every Valentine’s Day for the next 18 years

‘Scariest boat ride of my life’: Passengers trapped by ice on rocky B.C. ferry sailing

The Nimpkish docked in Bella Coola on Jan.12 coated in a thick layer of ice

B.C. pair ordered to pay $55,000 for oil tank discovered four years after selling home

Judge says defendants breached contract, despite being unaware of tank until basement flooded

Canada to give $25,000 to families of each Canadian who died in Iran plane crash

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also made it clear that Canada still expects Iran to compensate victims

Oil and gas industry applauds top court’s dismissal of B.C.’s Trans Mountain case

The high court’s ruling Thursday removes one of the remaining obstacles for the project

Most Read