New Paths



New Paths is an action plan designed to renew the relationship with the Aboriginal people of Canada. This plan builds on the principles of mutual respect, mutual recognition, mutual responsibility and sharing which were identified in the report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. That report has served as a catalyst and an inspiration for the federal government's decision to set a new course in its policies for Aboriginal people.

New Paths looks both to the past and the future. It begins with a Statement of Reconciliation that acknowledges the mistakes and injustices of the past; moves to a Statement of Renewal that expresses a vision of a shared future for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people; and outlines four key objectives for action to begin now:

  • Renewing the Partnerships speaks to bringing about meaningful and lasting change in our relationship with Aboriginal people;
  • Strengthening Aboriginal Governance is about supporting Aboriginal people in their efforts to create effective and accountable governments, affirming treaty relationships, and negotiating fair solutions to Aboriginal land claims;
  • Developing a New Fiscal Relationship means arriving at financial arrangements with Aboriginal governments and organizations which are stable, predictable, and accountable and will help foster self-reliance; and
  • Supporting Strong Communities, People and Economies focuses on improving health and public safety, investing in people, and strengthening Aboriginal economic development.

A separate section in New Paths focuses on how these objectives can be achieved in the unique circumstances of Canada's northern territories.

This action plan is best described as a framework for new partnerships with First Nations, Inuit, Metis and Non-Status Indians. It is a first step toward more effective working relationships between the Governrment of Canada and Aboriginal people. We want to work with them to develop agendas that respond to their unique needs and circumstances. Work is already advanced on this front.

The partnerships in this action plan are broadly based, and should include Aboriginal people and organizations, the Government of Canada, other levels of government, the private sector -- indeed, all Canadians. Working together, we can address the needs of Aboriginal people and communities. Working together, we can make the promise of a renewed partnership a reality.