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Legislation to advance Indigenous self-government adopted in Senate

Bill S-10 sent to House of Commons for consideration.

Legislation to enact a new governance agreement with the Anishinabek Nation and to modernize a historic self-governance agreement with the shíshálh Nation has been adopted in the Senate.

“This bill is a reflection of our country’s commitment to work with First Nation partners to implement their inherent right to self-government and self-determination, and to support their visions of a better future for their communities. It supports Canada’s goal of addressing our long history of colonization and it’s a tangible action toward reconciliation,” said Senator Patti LaBoucane-Benson, sponsor of the legislation.

Bill S-10 has two main parts.

First, it gives effect to the Anishinabek Nation Governance Agreement, which establishes two levels of government – the Anishinabek Nation Government and the local governments of the signatory First Nations. The agreement recognizes their jurisdiction over leadership selection, membership, culture and language, and the management and operations of government.

Second, it aligns the Sechelt Indian Band Self-Government Act and the Yukon First Nations Self-Government Act with newer self-government arrangements. The legislation reaffirms shíshálh Nation’s authority and responsibility for matters internal to their government, and incorporates key terms chosen by the shíshálh Nation to express their governance structures.

“If we want to have any hope of addressing the long history of colonization in this country, we must support initiatives like this. We must respect and acknowledge the long-standing and established practice of Indigenous governance. And we must lift up arrangements that are created by Indigenous communities, for Indigenous communities, so that they can achieve their own visions of success,” said Senator LaBoucane-Benson.

Legislation to advance Indigenous self-government adopted in Senate