Justice Minister Wilson-Raybould Delivers Powerful Statement on Indigenous Rights to the United Nations

Canadian Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould and Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett are in New York this week delivering an unprecedented commitment by Canada to a nation-to-nation approach with the Indigenous peoples of Canada and to fully adopt and work to implement the terms of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Today, the Justice Minister promised to begin reversing the colonial legacy shaping Canada’s Indigenous policies and start down the road of self-determination based on a nation-to-nation relationship between Ottawa and the First Nations, the Métis Nation and the Inuit.

Tomorrow, Indigenous Affairs Minister Bennett will address the U.N. Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

“We want to demonstrate today and in these coming weeks our commitments to ensure that all Canadians have a truly concrete roadmap to reconcile with Indigenous people,” said Bennett. “I am pleased to confirm that tomorrow it is Canada’s intention to remove our permanent objector status and become a full supporter of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,” she added.

The endorsement represents a shift in policy away from that of the Harper government, which placed Canada among four countries that did not support the declaration. It is expected that Bennett’s address tomorrow will elaborate on the roadmap for reconciliation with Indigenous peoples in Canada.

MNC President Chartier, attending the deliberations in New York, voiced strong support for Canada’s new approach:

“At last we have a government that is working to adopt and apply international legal instruments that support Indigenous rights instead of containing and undermining those rights”, said Chartier. “I am looking forward to Minister Bennett’s statement tomorrow on how the government intends to move forward with the Métis Nation.”

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