February 22, 2024

(xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh)/Vancouver, B.C.) The First Nations Leadership Council (FNLC) is extremely disappointed with the decision to postpone introduction of straightforward amendments to the Land Act that would remove barriers to commitments already made five years ago in the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act.

Five years ago, the provincial legislature unanimously passed the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (“Declaration Act”), establishing a framework for the implementation of Indigenous rights in B.C., including a process for entering into agreements with First Nations about decision making. This process is public, transparent, and requires many steps to obtain a Cabinet mandate, and additional legislative amendments – such as those contemplated by proposed Land Act amendments – are needed to implement agreements. In other words, these amendments create space in the law to implement an agreement that may be reached in the future – agreements which are negotiated in accordance with the process and requirements of section 7 of the Declaration Act passed in 2019.