Debt burden on reconciliation eliminated in federal Budget 2019
The Treaty Commission acknowledges the federal government for eliminating outstanding treaty negotiations loans in the Budget 2019: Investing in the Middle Class to Grow Canada’s Economy.
“The Treaty Commission has long advocated for the elimination of loans in treaty negotiations. It is encouraging to see this issue finally being addressed and demonstrates real progress towards reconciliation,” said Chief Commissioner Celeste Haldane.
Treaty loan elimination, contribution-only funding, Indigenous rights recognition, and implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People together make for an entirely new treaty negotiations process. These changes renew commitment to the made-in-BC treaty negotiations process as the best mechanism to advance reconciliation, Indigenous self-government, and self-determination. Modern treaty First Nations bring prosperity to regions throughout BC will benefit from loan elimination and repayment.
“Negotiations support funding for treaty negotiations never should have been in the form of loans,” said Chief Commissioner Haldane. “This is a debt that never should have accumulated in a process of rights recognition.”
In the 2018 budget, the federal government announced that going forward it would replace loans with non-repayable contribution funding for First Nations participating in modern treaty negotiations. This change commenced April 2018.
The Treaty Commission looks forward to working with First Nations, the federal government, and the provincial government to facilitate this momentous commitment.