(Coast Salish Territory/Vancouver, BC – June 17, 2011) “Roll With the Declaration” is a national campaign organized by KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives to raise awareness about the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The campaign calls on the Canadian government to use the Declaration to improve conditions faced by many Indigenous communities in Canada. The UBCIC fully endorses KAIROS’ Roll With the Declaration campaign and its Commitment to Action.
“The Union of BC Indian Chiefs strongly urges the Harper Government to genuinely work with Indigenous Peoples to immediately begin to work with Indigenous Peoples to undertake the legislative and policy reforms necessary to systematically implement the provisions of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,” said Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs. “As KAIROS notes, in an open letter from more than 100 experts on Constitutional and international law, there is no contradiction between the Canadian Constitution and the Declaration.”
Grand Chief Phillip concluded “The Declaration is a living international instrument meant to inspire and improve protection for human rights. It is not an aspirational document to be conveniently used to reassure the general public or on the international stage as proof of positive change when in reality, as observed by Canada's outgoing Auditor General, the conditions of poverty in Aboriginal communities continues to worsen and intensify. Poverty kills.”
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Roll With the Declaration participants boarded the train on June 14 in Vancouver and are currently enroute to Ottawa collecting banners from communities. Together with those on trains travelling from Halifax and Sarnia, they will carry the banners to Parliament Hill on June 20, 2011.
For more information go to:
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, Union of BC Indian Chiefs
Phone: (604) 684-0231
We, the undersigned Indigenous and Canadian organizations, applaud Canada’s November 2010 endorsement of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. We agree that it is time to “build on a positive and productive relationship with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples.”
We join with more than 100 legal scholars and constitutional experts who affirmed that the Declaration is “consistent with the Canadian Constitution and Charter and is profoundly important for fulfilling their promise.”
We call on the government of Canada to work collaboratively with Indigenous peoples for the full and effective implementation of the Declaration. We call on the federal government to reform laws and policies that fall below the Declaration’s standards.
We support Indigenous peoples and groups across Canada who are calling for implementation of the Declaration to protect Indigenous peoples' rights, including rights to lands, territories and resources, livelihoods, health and self-determination.
In the spirit of the treaties and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, we commit ourselves to seeking right relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in every part of Canada; to speaking the truth about historic injustices; and to ensuring that our respective organizations and communities will make right relations a priority.
We endorse the KAIROS national action “Roll with the Declaration,” and encourage our membership to:
- sign the KAIROS petition to the federal government;
- make banners expressing support for the Declaration;
- and participate in education and action events across the country, including in Ottawa on June 20.
· Amnesty International (Canada)
· Assembly of First Nations
· Canadian Auto Workers
· Canadian Centre for Ecumenism
· Canadian Union of Postal Workers
· Christian Peacemaker Teams
· Citizens for Public Justice
· Comité pour les droits humains en Amérique latine
· Council of Canadians
· Dignity for All: Campaign for a Poverty-Free Canada
· Families of Sisters in Spirit
· First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada
· First Nations Summit
· Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee)
· Indigenous Peoples' Solidarity Movement
· Inuit Circumpolar Conference
· Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami
· Justice-écologique-tendresse (JET) Québec
· The National Association of Friendship Centers
· Native Women's Association of Canada
· The Ontario Public Interest Research Group (OPIRG),
· McMaster University
· The Guatemalan Working Group of OPIRG McMaster
· Pax Christi Montreal
· The Polaris Institute
· Public Service Alliance of Canada
· Canadian Friends Service Committee (Quakers)
· The Social Justice Committee of Montreal
· Student Christian Movement
· United Food & Commercial Workers of Canada
· Union of BC Indian Chiefs
· Walk 4 Justice
· World Student Christian Federation
UBCIC is a NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.