Trudeau government to create new legal framework for Indigenous people

Trudeau government to create new legal framework for Indigenous people

"I think it's time we recognize that a rights-based approach to Indigenous issues and to a partnership with Indigenous people to reconciliation is what we have to do", Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters Wednesday as he entered the Liberal party's weekly caucus meeting. While pressure from aboriginal groups and their supporters reversed that stance - and the Constitution does enshrine the rights of Indigenous people - the younger Mr. Trudeau acknowledged that there had been widespread disappointment about the effectiveness of the protections.

The consultations will be led by Jody Wilson-Raybould, the justice minister, and Carolyn Bennett, the Indigenous relations minister, with the aim of putting changes in place by fall 2019.

"This is a fight that we need to continue to do and this is a huge injustice that has been done", she said, calling for an inquiry into more inclusive jury selection processes.

While Trudeau hd been planning this initiative for some time, it comes just five days after the controversial acquittal of Saskatchewan farmer Gerald Stanley in the death of 22-year-old Colten Boushie.

"There should be an appeal and it should never should have happened", she said.

In the wake of that decision, questions have been raised about the fairness of the justice system to Indigenous peoples.

Trudeau said the status quo is unacceptable.

"Through all their grief and anger and frustration, their focus was not on themselves and the tragedy they have endured, but on how we must work together to make the system and our institutions better", Trudeau said.

A woman had complained against the distinct treatment against the Indigenous people.

Photo Perry Bellegarde, national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, and Jane Philpott, Canada's minister of indigenous services, at a special assembly meeting in Ottawa past year.

Neskonlith First Nation Chief Judy Wilson told CBC News that Trudeau's speech omitted an important component of the rights equation: Indigenous title to lands.

Students at Lakehead University's Bora Laskin School of Law march on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018 for Colten Boushie.

"It's those welcoming arms, it's those open doors that's not only impacted us as a family, but shown that leadership is serious about the issue and the experiences that we have felt", Tootoosis said.

The family members said the police had treated them more like criminals than victims and had conducted an inadequate investigation. "This does not end here", she said.

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