Progress Report on Implementation of the Recommendations of the Panel on the Ecological Integrity of Canada's National Parks


Chapter 7: Working with Aboriginal Peoples
Panel Recommendation Considerations Action
(7-1) To foster the development of relationships based on trust and respect between Parks Canada and Aboriginal peoples, we recommend that Parks Canada initiate a process of healing between Aboriginal peoples and Parks Canada. Through this process Parks Canada will ... Consistent with Gathering Strength, the government's response to the Royal Commission on Aboriginal People, Parks Canada established an Aboriginal Affairs Secretariat in 1999 to encourage and assist in the development of more effective relationships between Parks Canada and Aboriginal peoples. UNDER WAY - FUNDING. Improving relationships with Aboriginal peoples, by addressing the past and strengthening mutual trust and respect, is a priority for Parks Canada. Initiatives for doing so, based on the goal of including Aboriginal peoples more fully in park activities, have been included in the implementation strategy that has been prepared for government consideration as part of the normal budget process. Healing processes will be focused on the local level. The extent and timing of this activity are subject to the availability of new funding.
(7-2) We recommend that Parks Canada adopt clear policies to encourage and support the development and maintenance of genuine partnerships with Aboriginal peoples in Canada. Through these policies, Parks Canada will ... Special funding is available in some parks for comprehensive claim settlement implementation.

UNDER WAY - FUNDING. Measures for building improved relations with Aboriginal peoples have been included in the implementation strategy that has been prepared for government consideration as part of the normal budget process. The extent and timing of building stronger partnerships are subject to the availability of new funding.

The new Canada National Parks Act requires that the Minister consult with Aboriginal people on the establishment of new parks.

(7-3) We recommend that Parks Canada, together with Aboriginal communities, develop mutually-reinforced educational projects that will lead to better mutual understanding and joint action toward protection of ecological integrity in national parks. Through these educational projects Parks Canada will ... Some parks have educational projects with Aboriginal communities and expansion is under way to additional communities.

UNDER WAY - FUNDING. Improving educational projects with Aboriginal communities is a priority for Parks Canada and has been addressed in the implementation strategy that has been prepared for government consideration as part of the normal budget process. The extent and timing of implementation are subject to the availability of new funding.

The new Canada National Parks Act provides for the use or removal of flora and other natural objects by Aboriginal peoples for traditional spiritual and ceremonial purposes in recognition of the special relationship between Aboriginal peoples and the land. Parks Canada respects existing Aboriginal and treaty rights and will work with Aboriginal peoples toward common goals embodied in the spirit of conservation.

(7-4) We recommend that Parks Canada ensure protection of the current cultural sites, sacred areas and artifacts that are under the auspices of Parks Canada. As part of this process, Parks Canada will ... Parks Canada protects cultural sites, sacred sites and artifacts under its auspices and has developed a procedure for negotiating the repatriation of sacred objects to Aboriginal communities requesting it. DONE. A new directive on the Repatriation of Moveable Cultural Resources of Aboriginal Affiliation has been developed and is in effect.