Indigenous Peoples Social Issues

Immediately adopt the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

News (APTN) In the video at 2 min 40 sec October 15, 2015
May 2017

Email reveals Trudeau Liberals playing double game on UNDRIP: Saganash

APTN May 11, 2017

Two months after Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett declared to the world that Canada was fully embracing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the most senior official in her department told underlings the international document would not be guiding planned consultations with First Nations, Inuit and Metis, according to an internal email.

Indigenous Affairs deputy minister Helene Laurendeau told her senior adviser that the government “may not consult specifically on UNDRIP” during consultations with Indigenous groups and the provinces, according to the email obtained through the Access to Information Act by NDP MP Romeo Saganash’s office.

The startling statement by the department’s most senior official emerged in an email discussion between senior officials in the department over media lines requested by Bennett’s office on UNDRIP and its article on free, prior and informed consent (FPIC).

Sep 2016

Site C Dam Project Undermines Trudeau’s Promise To Indigenous Peoples: Bellegarde

Huffington Post September 10, 2016

The federal government’s approach to the Site C dam project in British Columbia is not in keeping with Canada’s constitution nor with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, says Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde.

The project also goes against Trudeau government’s pledge to have a nation-to-nation relationship, Bellegarde added, noting it involves flooding a valley where indigenous people have lived, hunted, trapped, fished and gathered medicines.

Jul 2016

John Ivison: First Nations hear hard truth that UN indigenous rights declaration is 'unworkable' as law

National Post July 14, 2016

Jody Wilson-Raybould, the justice minister, spoke at the AFN’s [Assembly of First Nations] general assembly in Niagara Falls Wednesday, where she dropped the bombshell that adopting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as Canadian law is "unworkable." She went further. "Respectfully, it is a political distraction to undertaking the hard work required to actually implement it," she said.

[...] native activists and the NDP portrayed the news as another broken Liberal promise. Adoption of UNDRIP in the first place was "smoke and mirrors," said NDP MP Romeo Saganash, who sponsored a private member’s bill that called for full implementation of UNDRIP’s articles in the last parliament. It is certainly hard to reconcile previous Liberal comments on the far-reaching UN declaration with the more reserved position advanced by Wilson-Raybould.

Full implementation of the declaration is not just problematic from the point of view of constitutional and judicial niceties. As a report for the Macdonald-Laurier Institute by former Plains Cree chief, Blaine Favel, and Canada Research Chair, Ken Coates, pointed out, it could make the country ungovernable.