ORC Statement: International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples & 10th Anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
(Toronto, August 9, 2017) Today marks the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, the 2017 theme of the 10th Anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), marks one decade since the United Nations adopted the Declaration and one year since Canada committed to implementing the Declaration without qualification. It is on this day that we honour our unique cultures, relationships and our lands. We also celebrate the resilience of the indigenous peoples from around the world who all share in our common efforts to protect our ways of life and our future generations.
The current government should be acknowledged for it’s commitment to implement UNDRIP. That being said, the need to turn acknowledgement to action is now. It is crucial that the Government of Canada work with our leaders and communities to turn the political will of the day in to tangible outcomes and improvements for our citizens.
“Canada must honour the right to self-determination of First Nations by committing to working with the collective governance bodies or in what manner the rights holders choose to organize themselves. This includes working together in a framework of free, prior and informed consent,” said Regional Chief Day. “First Nations also need to see themselves reflected in all facets of decision making affecting us, as well as specific roles to ensure the implementation of the UNDRIP and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.”
In the ongoing effort toward Reconciliation, Canada must search out and understand the truth on treaties and the original nation-to-nation relationships. Implementation of the Declaration requires recognition that consent is the path to ensuring our rights and dignity are upheld.
It is human nature to have better relationships when you are included in all the decisions that impact your life. As peoples, we want to be self-determining and to make our own decisions, or at the very least participate in Government processes of decision making. Self-determination and participatory decision-making are reflected in Article 4 and Article 18 of UNDRIP, respectively.
The Chiefs of Ontario is a political forum and a secretariat for collective decision making, action, and advocacy for the 133 First Nation communities located within the boundaries of the province of Ontario, Canada. Follow Chiefs of Ontario on Facebook or Twitter @ChiefsOfOntario.
For more information, please contact: Scott Cavan, Communications
Phone: 416-597-1266 E-mail: Scott.Cavan@coo.org