Remarks on the 6Th Anniversary of the Adoption of the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Today I celebrate alongside the Indigenous Peoples in Canada on  the 6th Anniversary of the adoption of the UN Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The passage of the UNDRIP was an important and historic victory. 

Indigenous people from Canada, in solidarity with Indigenous people from around the world, worked hard for many years to have the UNDRIP ratified. The creation of a rights based framework for Indigenous peoples within Canada, is a major tool for achieving justice and sovereignty for First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples. 

As signatories on this document, Canada is beholden to give First Peoples full sovereignty over their lands, territories, cultures and languages. As well, we must provide for the conditions under which Indigenous peoples can enjoy their rights free from discrimination, persecution and any other systemic hindrances. Unfortunately in Stephen Harper’s Canada I am too often confronted with violations of the UN Declaration and the significant effect it has on the lives of Canada's Indigenous persons.

Today, and everyday, I urge this Government to comply with the UNDRIP and uphold its principals for the good of all peoples in Canada.