OTTAWA, ON, Sept. 11, 2020 /CNW/ - The Métis Nation strongly supports the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Canada and urges Parliament to pass implementation legislation in 2020.
Adopting legislation to implement the UN Declaration by the end of 2020 was a key pillar of the Liberal government's 2019 election platform, and we now look to the Liberal Party to table this legislation as soon as possible, upon Parliament resuming, so the legislation can be passed by the end of 2020. The Government of Canada has affirmed its commitment to achieving reconciliation with the Indigenous Peoples of Canada and this is a key action required to meet this goal.
These are difficult times. Social unrest and a global pandemic have exposed the many areas in which the Métis Nation, Inuit and First Nations in Canada continue to be left behind. It has become clear that we can only move forward as a country when the human rights of Indigenous Peoples are respected and when the relationship between the Crown and Indigenous Peoples is built on a foundation of meaningful self-determination.
The UN Declaration is a new way forward. It sets out the minimum standards for the survival, well-being and dignity of Indigenous Peoples. It is a comprehensive declaration that places self-determination and the right to live equally, free from discrimination at the heart of State interactions.
Canada has publicly stated it officially adopted the UN Declaration and expressed its unqualified support in 2016. Federal legislation committing to implement the Declaration domestically is a necessary next step.
Métis National Council President Clément Chartier states, "We are encouraged by steps taken in recent years, including the signing of the Canada-Métis Nation Accord. Establishing a Nation-to-Nation, government-to-government relationship with Canada is consistent with the intent of the UN Declaration and demonstrates that its full implementation is within our reach. We now look to all Parliamentarians to honour our Nation's inherent right to self-determination through the implementation of the UN Declaration."
There is widespread support for the implementation of the UN Declaration because Canadians of all stripes recognize that it is the right thing to do. British Columbia recently adopted implementation legislation with the support of all parties. Bill C-262 was well-received across Canada and passed the House of Commons before being procedurally stifled by a few Senators.
Key industry associations supported both of these initiatives and we continue to work with our industry partners to build relationships around the rights affirmed by the UN Declaration. It is critical that Parliament heeds this broad consensus. Using Bill C-262 as the floor, all parties must ensure that implementation legislation is passed this Parliamentary session.
"We call on the Government of Canada to pass implementation legislation that affirms its commitment to the Métis Nation," said Métis National Council's Vice President and National Spokesperson David Chartrand, "Canada must act now in recognizing the importance of implementing the UN Declaration in Canada to overcome past harms on our people by ensuring our human rights are now fully realized.
"Canada will have a brighter future when this is achieved," President Chartrand went on to say. "We call upon our federal, provincial, municipal, and industry partners, and indeed all Canadians, to join us in supporting this important historical change. We are doing this for our children, grandchildren, and future generations."
On September 13, 2007, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as a standard of achievement to be pursued in a spirit of partnership and mutual respect.
The MNC represents the Métis Nation in Canada at the national and international levels. The Métis Nation's homeland includes the 3 Prairie Provinces and extends into the contiguous parts of British Columbia, Ontario, the Northwest Territories and the United States. There are approximately 400,000 Métis Nation citizens in Canada, roughly a quarter of all Aboriginal peoples in the country.
SOURCE Métis National Council
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