Two national Indigenous groups are accusing the Trudeau government of being exclusionary when it comes to the new National Council for Reconciliation (NCR).
“Bill C-29 is really very, very disappointing,” said Kim Beaudin, vice-chief of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples (CAP). “Again, the federal government has ghosted the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples.
“When you look at it even deeper, they’ve ghosted Daniels (Harry), the Supreme Court ruling that came down in 2016. And it seems like they only want to play with certain organizations and address certain organizations and CAP is not one of them.”
Last week, the federal government introduced legislation to create the NCR.
Once fully up and running, it will monitor progress on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 calls to action.
According to the legislation, the council’s board of directors will consist of between nine and 13 members.
Three of which are guaranteed to representatives from the Assembly of First Nations, Métis National Council and Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami.
There is no mention of CAP or the MMF.
MMF President David Chartrand said he takes issue with C-29 since the organization is no longer part of the Métis National Council.
“I think Canada needs to catch up with their agreements that they’ve signed, commitments they’ve made,” said Chartrand. “I am looking forward to a call or a letter with minister Miller (Marc Miller, Crown-Indigenous Relations), whoever is going to be the lead, to advise the Red River Métis of our involvement.”
Beaudin says CAP said its exclusion from the council is more than just simple oversight by the government.
He said it is part of an ongoing strategy to exclude off-reserve and non-treaty status people from the decision-making process.
“One thing that is really frustrating is that this is a divide and conquer policy that’s been around for hundreds of years by the federal government and these organizations – ITK, MNC AFN – they’re playing right into that playbook,” he said.
“That’s why I don’t get it, I don’t understand it.”
The government said it plans to have the legislation passed and the NCR in place by the end of the year.