AMC Calls Bill C-29 Redundant to Reconciliation

May 1, 2024

Treaty One Territory, Manitoba

AMC Communications

Winnipeg, Treaty One Territory – The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) says the exclusion of First Nations representation from the development of Bill C-29 is a continuation of the federal government’s suppression of legitimate First Nations involvement in legislation that is intended to hold the government accountable for the implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation 94 Calls to Action.

The bill calls for the creation of an oversight body tasked with tracking Canada’s reconciliation efforts. Despite concerns raised by the AMC for over a year, the House of Commons unanimously agreed to adopt a final version of the bill as amended by the Senate, which received royal assent on April 30, 2024.

“The federal government continues to choose to unilaterally administer reconciliation according to its own preferred standards rather than listen to and work in partnership with First Nations,” said AMC Grand Chief Cathy Merrick. “When you have multiple leaders telling you to reassess this legislation, and you don’t heed that advice, that sends a very strong message about the status of reconciliation in this country.”

Bill C-29 calls for the creation of a national council of thirteen directors to monitor, evaluate and report annually on progress toward reconciliation across all sectors.  Most of these seats are to be appointed by the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, with three seats reserved for national Indigenous organizations.

“First Nations are the only people who share a Nation-to-Nation relationship with the Crown. Our distinct rights and needs necessitate a distinctions-based approach that rightfully acknowledges the unique position of First Nations as Treaty partners with the Crown and as the original inhabitants of the land that is now called Canada.”

The AMC Grand Chief did present to the Senate Standing Committee on Indigenous Peoples on Bill C-29 in May 2023 about the lack of inclusivity of First Nations Leadership in Manitoba on this piece of legislation and its subsequent amendments by Canada.

Grand Chief Merrick says that this decision sends the wrong message to First Nations in Manitoba. “Consistently side-stepping First Nations from being active participants in Canada’s reconciliation journey is redundant to the process of reconciliation entirely. First Nations expect to be included in any and all discussions that affect our rights, as reiterated throughout the United Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People. Ignoring First Nations concerns and excluding us from these tables directly implicates Canada’s complicity in the ongoing disruption and violation of not only our inherent and Treaty Rights but also the UNDRIP legislation that it’s already adopted.”

For more information, please contact:

Communications Team
Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs

About the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs

The AMC was formed in 1988 by the Chiefs in Manitoba to advocate on issues that commonly affect First Nations in Manitoba. AMC is an authorized representative of 62 of the 63 First Nations in Manitoba with a total of more than 172,000 First Nations citizens in the province, accounting for approximately 12 percent of the provincial population. AMC represents a diversity of Anishinaabe (Ojibway), Nehetho / Ininew (Cree), Anisininew (Ojibwe-Cree), Denesuline (Dene) and Dakota Oyate (Dakota) peoples.