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Politics National Chief urges all parties to pass bills of ‘fundamental importance’ to Indigenous Peoples before election

Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde is calling on all party leaders to make sure three pieces of legislation he says are of “fundamental importance” to Indigenous Peoples and the country pass before the election.

Mr. Bellegarde says in a letter to all the party leaders in Parliament that he believes their help is “absolutely critical” to ensure the passage of the bills.

The list includes Bill C-262, a plan to ensure Canadian laws are in harmony with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and bills on Indigenous languages and child welfare.

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Mr. Bellegarde says the bills are tied closely to calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission after it probed the long-standing impacts of Canada’s residential schools.

He says reconciliation between Indigenous people and non-Indigenous people is a non-partisan responsibility and he believes “troubling partisan dynamics” are on display in the Senate.

Former interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose used Twitter earlier this week to say she’s been told her own party will block legislation, including her separate bill on mandatory education on sexual assault for judges, to make sure C-262 never passes, calling it a “sad day.”

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