August 9th, 2018

NDP Statement on the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh made the following statement:

"In May, our parliament finally affirmed the rights of Indigenous Peoples in Canada by enshrining into law the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This declaration, adopted by the UN 11 years ago was a watershed moment in the history of 400 million Indigenous Peoples in over 70 countries, as they finally witnessed the placing of minimum standards for their survival, dignity and well-being.

We cannot underestimate the importance of instruments of justice like the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, to help foster proper relationships and partnerships between governments and Indigenous Peoples.

Affirming these rights in Canada was momentous for the House of Commons, and I am proud to stand with my colleague Romeo Saganash who spearheaded Bill C-262, working tirelessly to ensure its passage. Perhaps more importantly, Bill C-262 affirms the support of Canadians for justice and reconciliation and what is fundamentally right.

The possibility of a renewed and sincere nation-to-nation relationship in Canada is getting closer. However, the Liberal government continues to violate the Constitution and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms by denying the same human rights standards for First Nations, Inuit and Métis children that others enjoy. There cannot be reconciliation in the absence of justice.

On this International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, we also celebrate the richness and diversity of indigenous cultures around the world – let us recognize all their contributions that they’ve made to societies everywhere. Let us honour the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Canada and around the world, and let each of us take on the responsibility of fighting for the fundamental rights of Indigenous Peoples everywhere.

We will continue to hold the Canadian government accountable to Indigenous Peoples, and ensure that policies and actions are guided by the values of meaningful consultation, respect for inherent and treaty rights, the wisdom of Indigenous elders, as well as the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action."