Rosedale/Chilliwack – Now that the dust has settled from this past week’s meeting between the Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Stolo Elder and Cheam Chief Ernie Crey, (who is also Chair of the Indigenous Caucus and the Indigenous Advisory and Monitoring Committee), and the committee itself, a few things need to be cleared up.
Crey took to social media to emphasize that Trudeau wasn’t just in town for a meeting with him alone, and the Crey is hopeful that “being inside of the fence” would help in the understanding of the concerns from First Nations in regards to the Trans Mountain pipeline project and surrounding controversy.
Crey from Facebook: “Within a few short weeks we were able to turn the tide on negative reporting on the Kinder Morgan Expansion Project, First Nations supporting the KM stepped-up and spoke out. Now the world knows that not all First Nations are anti-pipeline.” Hey folks, I’d be flattered if the Prime Minister was coming to Cheam to meet with me, but he’s not. The PM will be attending a meeting of the Indigenous Advisory and Monitoring Committee (IAMC). The IAMC is renting Cheam Band facilities to hold their gathering.
The Indigenous Caucus’ key messages to the Prime Minister:
1. The government’s decision to buy the Trans Mountain system will have huge impacts on Indigenous nations in the pipeline corridor and shipping lanes. Some Indigenous Caucus members come from nations that support the pipeline, others who are opposed. But all have a shared interest in minimizing the impacts of the TMX expansion and existing pipeline.
2. The IAMC must be transformed from advising government to truly co-managing with government, in a manner consistent with United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. We urged the Prime Minister to work with us on regulatory changes and protocols in order to make co-management a reality.
3. If the government is going to build the TMX, then it must build it better than Kinder Morgan would have – safer, more respectful of Indigenous rights and title and treaty rights, and fairer in its distribution of economic benefits to affected Indigenous nations.
4. The IAMC must be improved to remove bureaucratic roadblocks and to support the work of the Indigenous Caucus.
5. Although IAMC is not a consultation body, we took the opportunity to urge the Prime Minister that Indigenous nations must be consulted and accommodated regarding the government’s decision to buy the Trans Mountain system.
The outline finishes with: We appreciated the opportunity to have an open and forthright discussion with the Prime Minister. If the
Prime Minister wants to bring about real change in the nation-to-nation relationship, we want him to work