Some see Bill C-15 as a small step in the right direction of aligning Canadian law with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).
Others see the proposed federal legislation as just another attack on Indigenous sovereignty and self-determination.
So on this episode of Nation to Nation we tried to get to the bottom of it beginning with two guests who agreed to debate the UNDRIP bill.
These two have been going at it on Twitter for weeks – trading barbs, some of it getting personal.
On one side we have former NDP MP Romeo Saganash, who has long pushed for UNDRIP’s implementation and he supports Bill C-15.
“It’s a small step, but I’ll take any step, however small it is,” said Saganash during the debate.
And on the other side we have Indigenous policy analyst Russ Diabo, who believes the bill is flawed.
“No law is better than a bad law,” said Diabo. “Bill C-15, in my opinion, is a bad law and they should go back and talk to the rights holders from the ground up.”
The rules of the debate were simple: Each had 90-second opening statement followed by round of questions ending with a closing statement from each.
The episode wraps up with a discussion between host Todd Lamirande and Conservative MP Jamie Schmale, who represents the riding of Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes.
Schmale is also the vice-chair of the standing committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs.
He’s asked why the Conservatives have tried to turn a human rights bill into a resource bill.
Watch the full episode below.