ITK President Mary Simon Congratulates Australia for Apology to Indigenous Peoples of Australia
Wednesday February 13, 2008 – Ottawa, Ontario – Mary Simon, President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami the national leader for Inuit in Canada today congratulated the Australian Government led by Kevin Rudd for the apology they have offered the indigenous peoples of that country.
“As an indigenous leader who has worked with other Indigenous peoples for many years from all over the world, I am heartened by the actions of this Australian Government to the Indigenous Peoples of Australia. I am sure the tone and nature of this apology took foresight and courage,” said Mary Simon.”In the text of Prime Minister Rudd’s apology, I am struck by one passage that Inuit can relate to, and should be Canada’s goal as well:
“A future where we harness the determination of all Australians, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, to close the gap that lies between us in life expectancy, educational achievement and economic opportunity.”
Mrs. Simon also noted that that the current Australian Government swiftly reversed the previous Government’s refusal to sign the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and has now embraced the Declaration. “I would hope the government of Canada will take similar action and now support the Declaration,” said Mary Simon.
Senior Communications Officer
Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami