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441-00039 (Indigenous affairs)

Paper petition

Original language of petition: English

PETITION TO THE HOUSE OF COMMONS IN PARLIAMENT ASSEMBLED

Whereas:

  • Canadian constitutional law is accountable to the human rights obligations outlined in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples;
  • Canada has also committed to the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action;
  • The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has called on Canada to:
    • immediately suspend work on the Coastal GasLink pipeline until free, prior, and informed consent is obtained from Indigenous Peoples;
    • Immediately cease the forced eviction of Wet'suwet'en Peoples;
    • Prohibit the use of lethal weapons against Indigenous Peoples and guarantee no force will be used against them;
    • Withdraw the RCMP and associated security and policing services, from traditional lands;
  • Hereditary Chiefs have the right to grant consent, or not, for activities on their territories; and,
  • The Coastal GasLink project has the potential to release massive amounts of methane through the extraction, transport, liquefaction and regasification processes

We, the undersigned citizens and residents of Canada call upon the House of Commons in Parliament assembled to:

  • Commit to upholding the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada's Calls to Action by immediately:
    • Halting all existing and planned construction of the Coastal GasLink project on Wet'suwet'en territory;
    • Ordering the RCMP to dismantle their exclusion zone and stand down;
    • Schedule nation-to-nation talks between the Wet'suwet'en Nation and federal and provincial governments; and,
    • Prioritize the real implementation of UNDRIP.

Response by the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): Jaime Battiste

The Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations (CIR) would like to thank the petitioners for expressing their interest in the Wet’suwet’en Nation and Coastal GasLink pipeline project. The Government endorsed the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in 2016 and on June 21, 2021, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act received Royal Assent and immediately came into force.  Canada is in the process of implementing the Declaration.

The former Minister of CIR and the former British Columbia Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation met with the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs between February 27 and 29, 2020. These talks initially focused on two separate topics: the recognition of Wet’suwet’en Aboriginal rights and title throughout their territory, and the issues arising out of the Coastal GasLink project. These topics were discussed separately. The parties made the decision to keep the pipeline matter separate from rights and title discussions, as the pipeline remains entirely within the jurisdiction of British Columbia and therefore is most appropriately addressed bilaterally between Wet’suwet’en and the Province.

Canada, British Columbia, and the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on May 14, 2020, which broadly recognizes Wet’suwet’en rights and title throughout the Yintah (traditional territory) and that Wet’suwet’en rights and title are held by Wet’suwet’en Houses under their traditional system of governance. Ongoing nation-to-nation talks are focused on exploring a path forward toward substantive agreements that would describe future governance, areas of jurisdiction, and the implementation of Wet’suwet’en rights and title. 

The federal Government remains committed to reconciliation with all Indigenous Peoples, including the Wet’suwet’en Nation. Despite the recent escalation of protest and enforcement activities, CIR is engaged in regular and ongoing negotiations with Wet’suwet’en and British Columbia with respect to the implementation of Wet’suwet’en rights and title within the territory.

Presented to the House of Commons
Mike Morrice (Kitchener Centre)
December 6, 2021 (Petition No. 441-00039)
Government response tabled
January 31, 2022
Photo - Mike Morrice
Kitchener Centre
Green Party Caucus
Ontario

Only validated signatures are counted towards the total number of signatures.

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