DECLARATION ON THE RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES

Canada's Parliamentary Committee supports adoption of the Declaration

The Canadian Standing Committee of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development has resolved that the Government should immediately pledge their support for the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The Canadian Government's official position is to oppose the adoption of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This position does not have the support of the parliament's Standing Committee of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development. The Parliamentary Committee decided by the vote, with 7 in favour and 3 against, that the Declaration should be adopted. The Committee recommends the Government change from its opposition and return to its long-term position of support for the Declaration.

The Government of Canada refuses to accept this important policy advice, from its chosen expert group, and continues to claim that Canada's legal arrangements with Indigenous Peoples will be affected negatively by the adoption of the Declaration.

Canada remains adamant that it will vote against the Declaration in the Third Committee and the General Assembly. The Government does not have support for its position from the Indigenous Peoples of Canada but these interests do not seem to be of any relevance in Canada's version of democracy. The long-awaited Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples has arisen out of the need to address similar situations of Indigenous Peoples around the world who continue to lack political or economic power.

The Government of Canada, it seems, is prepared to pay the political price for opposing the Declaration as a universal human rights standard for Indigenous Peoples.

The Committee resolution was decided as follows:

RESOLVED:
That the Standing Committee of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development adopt the resolution that the Conservative Government should immediately pledge their support for the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; that this be adopted as a report of this committee; that the chair present the report to the House.

FOR: Todd Russell, Anita Neville, Nancy Karetak-Lindell, Gary Merasty, Marc Lemay, Yvon Levesque-Bloc, Jean Crowder

AGAINST: Harold Albrecht, Steven Blaney, Rod Bruinooge

General Assembly President, HE Madame Sheika Heya Rashed Al Khalifa, receives greetings from Indigenous delegate, Jose Carlos Morales. The President listened to requests that the Indigenous Peoples be acknowledged in the General Assembly when the Declaration is formally adopted.

USEFUL LINKS
for more information
on the Declaration

Permanent Forum on
Indigenous Issues

Office of the High Commissioner
for Human Rights

Documentation Centre
for Indigenous Peoples

Tebtebba Foundation

International Indian Treaty Council

American Indian Law Alliance

International Work Group
for Indigenous Affairs

Rights and Democracy

Amnesty International, Canada

University of Minnesota
Human Rights Library


MEDIA KIT
(Download Kit)

Letter to States by
Special Rapporteur & Chair of PFII

Letter to States by
Indigenous Peoples Caucus

Letter to States by
Ambassadors to UN

Ten Key Points

Declaration (download)

How States voted in the
Human Rights Council