Coast Salish Territory/Vancouver – One year ago today the United Nations Human Rights Council adopted the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. To Canada’s shame, it, together with Russia, voted against the adoption of the Declaration. Since then, Canada has been actively engaged through the UN process to continue to undermine the resolution adopted by the Human Rights Council. While Canada is taking some measures to address human rights issues domestically, it is still working hard to undermine the Declaration at the United Nations. If Canada is truly serious about its dealings with Indigenous Peoples, it would support the Declaration as it was adopted by the UN Human Rights Council on June 29, 2006.
Canada, in letters from the Hon. Jim Prentice, Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs, has said that unless changes are made to the Declaration it will vote against the adoption of the Declaration.
Canada’s approach to human rights issues is being severely tarnished by this position and actions of the federal government.
The Declaration provides minimum INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS for the protection of the “dignity, well being and the survival” of the world’s 370 million Indigenous Peoples. It is clear the current domestic/Canadian standards are unilateral, arbitrary and self serving. Canada’s comprehensive claims policies, self government policies and specific claims policies are all products of Canada’s unilateral and arbitrary standard setting.