So what exactly has been undertaken since the election of Justin Trudeau and the forming of a Liberal Government?

Did the “Nation-to-Nation” relationship that the Prime Minister called his most important even materialize?

And what is the legacy of the Rights Framework? 


WITH THE 2019 ELECTION LOOMING, Yellowhead is looking back at the last four years of Liberal Government. Specifically, Yellowhead is considering the centre-piece of the Government’s Indian policy: the Rights Framework. While the Indigenous Rights, Recognition and Implementation Framework legislation was ultimately shelved (or delayed until after election), many of the policy prescriptions endure. Changes to the fiscal regime, service delivery, education, impact assessment, status rules, and so on, have been made or are currently underway. This, despite a rejection by First Nation leadership and youth about the federal government’s approach.

In other words, much of the Rights Framework has proceeded, even without the legislation.

Building on Yellowhead’s June 2018 report, Canada’s Emerging Indigenous Rights Framework: A Critical Analysis, we continue the conversation with a series of multi-media tools. These resources include our first podcast answering crowd-sourced questions on the Framework with an up-to-date state of Indian Policy today; and a comic explainer that breaks down why the Framework was shelved and offers the possibility of an alternative approach. But first, we invite you to start by watching the videos below that feature clips from a dynamic presentation and panel discussion on the Rights Framework.


Indigenous Strategies for Transformative Change:
A Discussion on the Rights Framework

ON TUESDAY, OCTOBER 23, Yellowhead Institute officially launched in Toronto with an event titled Indigenous Strategies on Transformative Change. We invited four prominent Indigenous leaders and advocates to join Yellowhead Executive Director and Research Director, Hayden King and Shiri Pasternak, to share their analysis on the Framework before it was shelved. Despite the current status of this legislation their comments are still relevant today.

Featured panelists: Gordon Peters (Lunapeew, Turtle Clan) Deputy Grand Chief, Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians; Courtney Skye (Mohawk, Turtle Clan) Policy Analyst; Khelsilem Rivers (Sḵwx̱wú7mesh-Kwakwa̱ka̱’wakw) Spokesperson and elected councillor, Squamish Nation Council; and Tanya Kappo (Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation). 

Is it Dead Tho?
An Update on the Rights Framework

IN THIS INAUGURAL Yellowhead podcast, directors Hayden King and Shiri Pasternak answer questions crowd-sourced on social media about the Liberal track record on Indigenous rights. Framed around the question of whether or not the Indigenous Rights and Recognition Framework has actually gone away—despite the fact that Liberals have formally withdrawn the legislation—we look at all of the changes and broken promises left behind in Trudeau’s wake.

Indigenous Rights:
Frameworks for the Future

INSPIRED BY EVENTS at the AFN Special Assembly in Fall 2018, this comic chronicles the demise of the proposed Indigenous Rights and Recognition Framework legislation. It was at this meeting that the Liberals announced the delay in the legislation, while community members protested outside. The comic also imagines alternative “framework” possibilities for the future before and beyond the next federal election. Scroll through the comic below or click here to download a PDF version.


Video Editing by Shane Powless
Podcast Editing by Eric Anderson, Humble Man Recording 
Comic Illustration by Joshua Pawis-Steckley
Photography by Stan Williams

Start typing and press Enter to search