Elizabeth May only federal leader to accept invitation to Assembly of First Nations General Assembly

FREDERICTON — Green Party Leader Elizabeth May (MP, Saanich-Gulf Islands) spoke this morning to the Assembly of First Nations Annual General Assembly in Fredericton NB. All federal party leaders were invited to present their party’s plans and commitment to Indigenous peoples and reconciliation. Only the Green Party leader made the meeting a priority and attended.

In her speech Ms. May said: “Greens are overwhelmed by the leadership and clarity of the resolutions adopted yesterday at this all-important gathering. We are in a global climate emergency.  And everywhere, Indigenous peoples who contributed the least to this crisis are on the front lines of impacts. Whether floods or forest fires, melting permafrost or loss of multiyear ice, for Indigenous peoples the climate emergency is a threat to human rights.”

Greens commit to focus on real justice and reconciliation.  “We will honour and implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,” said Ms. May. “And we understand that ‘free, prior informed consent’ is not telling Indigenous people ‘the pipeline must be built and we’ll consult until you agree.’ ”

The Green Party is firmly committed to replacing the Indian Act with self-determining Indigenous governance, whereby individual nations opt out as their own governance structures replace the colonial history.  “It is unacceptable that a modern nation that prizes human rights and respects Indigenous peoples should continue to be governed by a racist piece of legislation from two centuries ago. It will take time for each nation to resolve its preferred traditional governance – or remain within the current structure -– but we must move on and end the structural violence of the Indian Act.”

The Green Party is committed to resolving land claims without an agenda to extinguish Indigenous rights. Greens also commit to implement the recommendations of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women inquiry and the calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.