Westbank First Nation Council and Minister Carolyn Bennett on March 27 photo: contributed

Westbank First Nation talks implementation branch with Minister Carolyn Bennett

Bennett and the WFN discussed the development of Federal Implementation Branch, along with other initiatives March 27

The Westbank First Nation Government met with Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada on March 27 to discuss and continue the momentum behind the development of a Federal Implementation Branch, the funding announcement from the Collaborative Fiscal Policy Process, Treaty Loan Forgiveness, and Federal Policy with respect to rights recognition.

Bennett and her team joined the WFN Council and members of the WFN Administration to discuss the key priorities of new federal fiscal policy. Infrastructure, data and assessment collection and governance have been identified as key priorities to be addressed in order to close socio-economic gaps. The tone of the meeting was positive and began with acknowledging the recent Treaty Loan Forgiveness announcement made by the Federal Government.

“We were in treaty discussions for well over 10 years and we understand that the government announced a forgiveness of those treaty loans,” said WFN Councillor Christopher Derickson.

READ MORE: Morneau unveils principles for Indigenous ownership in Trans Mountain pipeline

READ MORE: Indigenous guardians sound alarm about climate change impacts in Canada

Bennett was also updated on the continuing need for a Federal Self-Government Implementation Branch designed to increase capacity for government-to-government relations, in particular regard to the land exchanges contemplated by the Westbank First Nation Self-Government Agreement.

“I want to thank Westbank. If it were not for communities like you, we would not be where we are in this country. I believe many of these issues can be corrected with the development of an appropriate Implementation Branch,” said Minister Bennett.

“We are working nation to nation, and we do have your back. Now we need to demonstrate that we have your back.”

“There is still a large need for the land exchange policy to be completed that provides additional land to support much needed community housing. Canada is a party to the SGA and needs to take an active role in this conversation. We are working with the other three self-governed communities to chart out our needs of the Implementation Branch in order for it to be effective,” said Raf De Guevara, manager of Intergovernmental Affairs for WFN.

READ MORE: 2019 BUDGET: Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples key theme in Liberal pre-election budget

READ MORE: National Arts Centre spotlights Indigenous and female artists in upcoming season

Since the dissolution of Indigenous and Northern Affair Canada, Minister Bennett has been tasked with creating new relationships with Indigenous People focusing on the recognition and implementation of Indigenous rights.

The group touched briefly on reconciliation and the importance of developing a rights and recognition framework. WFN believes the Federal Government has come a long way and looks forward to continuing this process with rights recognition on the forefront.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Kelowna city councillors support changes to parking bylaw

The updated bylaw passed second and third reading Tuesday night

West Kelowna mountain biker airlifted to hospital

The person suffered significant head trauma after wiping out in the Smith Creek trail system

BC Housing finds homes for remaining Airport Inn residents

BC Housing has found housing options for remaining residents if they want it

Former Kelowna Hells Angels associate could be deported, court rules

David Revell has lost his fight against deportation from Canada

New plans submitted for former Art Knapp site in Kelowna

Art Knapp was located at 1994 Springfield Road for almost 35 years

Girl power glows in Vernon STEM workshop

More than 100 students take part in STEM4Girls event

Beers on the job, smacking crotches: 10 police misconduct probes in B.C.

Recent report by the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner highlights a number of investigations

Seizure of cannabis edibles, including mac-and-cheese, prompt warning from B.C. RCMP

Potato chips, cheesecake and candy infused with cannabis also seized back in August

B.C. parents sue city and province in 12-year-old daughter’s drowning at lake

Beverly Park drowned at Rotary Lake in Dawson Creek in August 2016

Limited parking drives concerns for North Okanagan housing project

Public hearing scheduled for CMHA low-income expansion project proposal

Summerland curlers begin season on the ice

League action and bonspiels to continue into March

Penticton-bound plane forced to return to Vancouver

It’s the third flight in three weeks that has been unable to land at Penticton Regional Airport.

VIDEO: Chill with polar bears through an Arctic live cam

Cam reopens just ahead of Polar Bear Week

Most Read