Coast Salish Territory/Vancouver – On the eve of the sixth anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), Canada’s indigenous peoples continue to be dismayed over Canada’s shameful opposition and disregard of this valuable human rights instrument.

The UNDRIP affirms the “minimum standards for the survival, dignity and well- being of the indigenous peoples of the world”. It was overwhelmingly supported by the United Nations General Assembly on September 13, 2007, with 144 States voting in favour of adoption. Unfortunately, it took over three years for the UNDRIP to be “officially endorsed” by Canada (November 2010). Since then, Canada has maintained a dismissive position on the UNDRIP by indicating that such international instruments bear little impact on the day to day decisions of government.

“All Canadians must continue to put pressure on the Harper government to abandon their offensive and ill willed opposition to implementing and respecting the UN Declaration and the collective rights of the indigenous peoples in Canada and around the world”, said Grand Chief Edward John, a member of the First Nations Summit Political Executive and a North American Representative to the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.