A Communiqué from National Chief Phil Fontaine To: All First Nations Chiefs of Canada
Assembly of First Nations
September 7, 2007
To: All First Nations Chiefs of Canada
Re: United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
On September 13, 2007, the United Nations General Assembly will consider the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples for final adoption.
This Declaration has been in development for many years. The principles that it expresses are of the greatest concern to indigenous peoples worldwide, including First Nations in Canada. These principles acknowledge the fundamental rights of indigenous peoples, rights which have been overlooked, ignored or abridged far too often in many countries around the world, including Canada. This history is a global dishonour which nations must begin to address. The Declaration will be an important step in doing so.Recently, a compromise on amendments to the Declaration was reached between several nations which make its adoption more likely. The Assembly of First Nations is not opposed to these changes and strongly supports the final adoption of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples at the vote next week.
It is with great disappointment that we note the opposition of the Government of Canada to the Declaration. As part of a small group of like-minded colonial nations, Canada is seeking to prevent the global community from giving recognition to the rights of indigenous citizens.
The Assembly of First Nations has taken steps to urge nations around the world to reject this position and to convey to others in the community of nations their support for the basic human rights of all peoples. We continue to advocate for a change in approach by the Government of Canada on behalf of all First Nations.
I urge all First Nations, in whatever manner they are able, to take steps to convince Canada to join with the global community in supporting the basic human rights of indigenous peoples.
For more information, contact:
Josee Bellemare, Bilingual Communications Officer
Telephone: (613) 241-6789 ext. 336
Cell: (613) 327-6331
E-mail: [email protected]