Statement from Jean Crowder on International Day of the World’s Indigenous People

To celebrate this 19th International Day of the World’s Indigenous People, on behalf of New Democrats I encourage all Canadians to reflect on the commitments made that helped create the modern country where we all share the land.

From the Peace and Friendship treaties signed in the Maritimes to the modern land claims agreements that create economic and social independence for indigenous peoples, the treaties are the foundation for the creation of Canada as we know it.

This year’s theme: "Indigenous peoples building alliances: Honouring treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements" has even greater resonance in Canada where growing political activism among Indigenous peoples, particularly youth, has helped create dialogue among Canadians about the benefits of our treaties and the obligations they bring.

As the United Nations has said, treaties are “agreements [that] outline a political vision of different sovereign peoples living together on the same land, according to the principles of friendship, cooperation and peace.”

Our treaties are not relics of an ancient past but living documents that will help define our country into the future. New Democrats are committed to re-establishing a nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous peoples that sees treaties implemented and honoured.