February 1, 2024

(xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh)/Vancouver, B.C.) The First Nations Leadership Council (FNLC) is concerned about recent reactions to the Province of B.C.’s proposed Land Act amendments that are inaccurate and unhelpful, and implicitly rely on outdated, mistaken, and regressive views relating to the rights of First Nations.

In 2019, the provincial legislature unanimously passed the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (Declaration Act) which affirms the application of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UN Declaration) to the laws of British Columbia and contributes to its implementation. Among other things, the UN Declaration recognizes that First Nations have the inherent right to self-determination and to participate in decision-making in matters which would affect their rights. In furtherance of that recognition, the Declaration Act provides the opportunity for the Province to negotiate joint and consent-based decision-making agreements in relation to matters affecting First Nations with First Nations governments.