Bill 41 a ‘step toward reconciliation’: MLA

Katzie will get meaningful consultation, says Chief George

Premier John Horgan announces Indigenous rights will be recognized in B.C. with the introduction of the Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act. (Chad Hipolito – The Canadian Press photo)

Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows MLA Lisa Beare said it was a huge moment when the B.C. government became the first in North America to recognize the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People.

Beare said passing Bill 41 was the highlight of the fall session of the B.C. Legislature.

“It’s a truly historic piece of legislation. We’re enshrining the rights of indigenous people,” she said. “It’s an amazing step toward reconciliation.”

It passed unanimously, and now all government legislation will be looked at through the eyes of First Nations rights and indigenous governments will have the ability to be at the table with government, said Beare.

The government has already made moves in this direction, Beare added, such as seeking First Nations input on environmental issues and child welfare.

She said the government is not giving First Nations new rights.

“These rights already exist – that has been made amply clear by the courts.”

The cabinet minister said it will help all levels of government by ultimately providing stable, predictable processes for future decisions on land use and other issues.

Katzie First Nation Chief Grace George also called it a historic moment, saying the bill creates a pathway for meaningful consultation, recognition, and acknowledgment of her people’s rights and title to the land and waterways.

“Katzie will have access to meaningful consultation thorough Bill 41, and I’m happy about that as Katzie people have occupied these lands for over 10,000 years,” she said.

“We actually have something that supports our work with restoring waterways, maintaining significant artifact sites, protecting our sacred sites, and restoring environmental impacts on our lands. Daily, our Katzie leadership council and staff work hard to protect what little we have left, and it’s not always easy.”

George said she has attended numerous gatherings of First Nations leaders to talk about the bill, and watched it transform. Now, there will be a lot more work to do, to ensure all B.C. laws are consistent with the UN declaration.

The new law creates a respectful foundation for government-to-government decision making with the six municipalities Katzie is working with directly, added George.

Grand Chief Doug Kelly, chair of the First Nations Health Council, said Bill C41 is a call to action.

“What it will require, however, is for First Nations leaders and citizens to work together like never before, and it also requires the provincial government to change.”



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

Front line workers in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows calling out for supplies

Doctors and specialists say they are in desperate need

CHEF DEZ ON COOKING: Perfecting gravy for Easter dinner

The size of the party may be small, but the meal can still be scrumptious

Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Art Studio Tour on hold

Event was scheduled for May 9 and 10

LETTER: Writer supports government ousting non-compliant hospice

MAiD: Make the decision for yourself, but keep your nose out of other people’s choices

Private investigator joins hunt for missing Maple Ridge pharamacist

Family and friends of Port Coquitlam’s Atefeh Jadidian raise money to help in search

B.C. records first at-home death from COVID-19, but 70+ hospital patients have recovered

Total of 970 novel coronavirus cases in B.C., with the majority in the Lower Mainland area

Helping those at risk, one piece of paper at a time through ‘isolation communication’

Simple paper tool during pandemic making its way across Canada thanks to social media.

‘Back to school, in a virtual way’ for B.C. students in COVID-19 pandemic

Province adds online resources to help parents at home

Canadian COVID-19 round-up: Air Canada cuts 15,000 jobs, 90% of flights

Comprehensive Canadian news update as of 2:30 p.m., Monday, March 30.

Canada expands 75% wage subsidy to COVID-19 affected businesses of all sizes: Trudeau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

Pay parking suspended at B.C. hospitals due to COVID-19

Temporary free parking reduces need for keypads, contact

Canadian ferry operators call for inclusion in COVID-19 travel restrictions

Domestic travel restrictions should include ferries, operators say

Snowfall warning in effect for Coquihalla Highway

Total accumulations of up to 25 cm can be expected by this evening

Cruise ships, one with COVID-19 on board, carry Canadians covertly through Panama Canal

Zaandam, Rotterdam pass through canal under cover of darkness in face of local protests

Most Read