Vancouver Sun – Collaborative consent is path to govern according to UNDRIP. Merrell-Ann Phare, Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources; Rosie Simms and Oliver Brandes POLIS Project ; Michael Miltenberger spent 20 years as an MLA in the Northwest Territories.
In an era of conflict around pipelines, new hydropower dams, and developments of all sorts in Indigenous traditional territories across B.C., we welcome the premier’s Sept. 6 announcement that, going forward, B.C. will be governed according to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).
Beyond good intentions, the urgent need to build a different trajectory forward is clear: trends in the Supreme Court from three important cases originating from B.C. Delgamuukw, Haida Nation, and Tsilhqot]in Nation) only reinforce this, emphasizing that decision-making without the consent of Indigenous nations comes at a high cost and with significant risks. T
he current system of consultation and accommodation is not working. It is based on the premise that it can be acceptable to infringe Indigenous rights and does not embrace Indigenous governments as partners in the governance of Canada. The premier’s announcement certainly signals a step in the right direction. But what would it truly look like â€” and what changes would be required to realize UNDRIP as well as commitments to reconciliation and equitable and just nation-to-nation relationships with Indigenous nations?