“Implementing the Declaration as a long-term commitment requires appreciating the long and rich histories of relationships, cultures, and interactions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in this province and in Canada,” said Dave Rodney, PC Aboriginal Relations critic and the MLA for Calgary-Lougheed.
Today, Cabinet ministers received mandate letters that included expectations for a “renewed and improved relationship” with Indigenous peoples. PC Caucus is calling on Alberta’s Cabinet ministers to consider key items left out of the mandate letters, including recognizing the importance of community and spiritual health, acknowledging the diverse needs of Aboriginal Albertans living in urban, rural, reserve, correctional, and other settings, and consulting with federal ministers about areas of shared responsibility like health and education.
Rodney pointed to the importance of specific and measurable commitments when Alberta became the only province to constitutionally protect Métis settlement lands in 1990 in saying that the current government should draw on existing relationships to learn from past challenges. As MLA for Calgary-Lougheed, Rodney has developed robust relationships with members of the Tsuu T’ina Nation which neighbours his constituency, while collaborating over a decade on the southwest Calgary Ring Road and health and sports initiatives.
“All Albertans need to know how this government will live up to this large and important obligation,” said Rodney. “It’s concerning that the Premier could not commit to specific accountability mechanisms when I asked her in the Legislature in June,” he concluded.
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Communications, PC Caucus