OTTAWA, TRADITIONAL ALGONQUIN TERRITORY, March 6, 2020 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada is committed to putting in the time, energy and resources to right past wrongs and build a stronger relationship for the future with Indigenous Peoples across Canada.
The Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Indigenous Services, concluded a trip to British Columbia during which he joined First Nations partners and provincial counterparts to support First Nations health and education; learned about the challenges faced by communities affected by flooding; and addressed the BC Assembly of First Nations 16th Annual Special Chiefs Assembly.
During his trip, Minister Miller met with the First Nations Health Council, the provincial Minister of Health, the Honourable Adrian Dix, and the provincial Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, the Honourable Judy Darcy, to discuss the need for ongoing partnership to address the social determinants of health for First Nations in BC.
As part of a unique, collaborative tripartite partnership in support of First Nations education, Minister Miller also met with the First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC), the First Nations Leadership Council (FNLC), and the provincial Minister of Education, the Honourable Rob Fleming, to discuss their commitments for the BC Tripartite Education Agreement (BCTEA). This agreement will ensure that First Nations students who live on reserve and attend British Columbia public schools have improved transportation and more opportunities for extracurricular activities.
Minister Miller also met with the provincial Minister of Children and Family Development, the Honourable Katrine Conroy, and FNLC to discuss implementation of An Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families. The coming into force of the Act on January 1, 2020 marked an historic turning point for Indigenous children and families. It will finally put in place what Indigenous peoples across this country have been asking of governments for decades: that their jurisdiction over child and family services be affirmed so that they can decide what is best for their children, their families, and their communities.
While in British Columbia, Minister Miller travelled to Cowichan to meet with Chief William Seymour of Cowichan Tribes and Council to discuss the widespread damage to homes and the community's recovery efforts from the severe weather and flooding they experienced in January. Moreover, the Minister met with Chief James Thomas and Council of the Halalt First Nation to discuss the impact of flooding in the Cowichan Valley and the number of people still displaced from their homes. The Minister commended both communities for their resilience and noted the Government is working with them to recover from this event.
The Minister's trip culminated with an address to the BC Assembly of First Nations 16th Annual Special Chiefs Assembly in Nanaimo on Wednesday. In his speech, Minister Miller reiterated Canada's commitment to work with Indigenous Peoples through open and honest dialogue in order to renew this relationship to one that is based on respect, collaboration and the recognition of rights.
"Our Government is committed to right past wrongs and build a stronger relationship for the future. I will rely on the leadership, resilience and vision I experienced during my visits with First Nations partners and community leaders. As demonstrated by our progress to support First Nations health, transportation for First Nations students attending provincial schools, and our coordinated emergency response to recent flooding, everyone benefits when we work together."
The Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Indigenous Services
- In 2011, the FNHC, the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia signed the British Columbia Tripartite Framework Agreement on First Nation Health Governance which led to led to the creation of the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA). In 2013, the FNHA took over responsibility for the design, delivery and management of programs and services which were formerly delivered by the Government of Canada. Since then, the FNHA has been working to address service gaps through new partnerships, closer collaboration, health systems innovation, reform and redesign of health programs to meet community needs.
- BCTEA is a five-year agreement that replaced the BC Tripartite Education Framework Agreement originally signed in 2012, and is the result of an extensive engagement process between FNESC, Canada and BC. It benefits on-reserve students, from approximately 200 BC First Nations, who attend school either on or off-reserve.
- On April 27, 2019, ISC, the First Nations Leadership Council and the Province of British Columbia signed a Tripartite Memorandum of Understanding on emergency management services to ensure that First Nations are full partners in both the governance and operations of emergency management.
- The governments of Canada and British Columbia have a 10-year, $29.6 million bilateral Emergency Management Service Agreement to enhance the delivery of emergency management support services to on-reserve First Nations communities in British Columbia. This agreement enables all First Nations communities on reserves to receive emergency management support comparable to what is currently provided to other local authorities.
- The British Columbia Assembly of First Nations (BCAFN) is a Provincial Territorial Organization (PTO) representing the 203 First Nations in British Columbia. BCAFN representation is inclusive and extends to First Nations currently engaged in the treaty process, those who have signed modern treaties, and those who fall under historic treaty agreements which include the Douglas Treaties and Treaty 8.
First Nations Health Authority
First Nations Health Council
British Columbia Tripartite Framework Agreement on First Nation Health Governance
First Nations students to benefit from BC Tripartite Education Agreement with Canada, British Columbia and the First Nations Education Steering Committee
First Nations students in British Columbia to benefit from investments in education
Halalt First Nation
Canada, British Columbia and First Nations Leadership Council sign Tripartite Memorandum of Understanding to improve emergency management services for BC First Nations
Building back better: Emergency Management Assistance Program Strategy Guide
British Columbia Assembly of First Nations
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SOURCE Indigenous Services Canada
For further information: media may contact: Vanessa Adams, Senior Communications Advisor and Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Indigenous Services, 343-543-7645; Media Relations, Indigenous Services Canada, 819-953-1160, [email protected]