March 18, 2019
Senators of Canada
The Senate of Canada
OPEN LETTER RE: Support for the Immediate Passing of Bill C-262
The First Nations Leadership Council (FNLC) is calling on each Senator of Canada to support the passage of Bill C-262, An Act to ensure that the laws of Canada are in harmony with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, without delay.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, in Call to Action #43, called upon the “federal, provincial, territorial, and municipal governments to fully adopt and implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as the framework for reconciliation.”
Bill C-262 was passed in the House of Commons on May 30, 2018, with the overwhelming majority of votes cast in support of the bill.
Bill C-262 must not be stalled in the Senate. With a looming federal election, there is a substantial and unacceptable risk that the bill may miss the legislative window.
The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was adopted by the General Assembly in September 2007 after more than 20 years of discussions. Canada has delayed the implementation and recognition of the international human rights standards of Indigenous peoples for far too long.
UN Treaty bodies, the independent expert groups responsible for promoting state compliance with binding international conventions like the Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, have repeatedly called on Canada to fulfil its human rights obligations by implementing the Declaration.
The FNLC is calling on the Senate of Canada to immediately pass Bill C-262 and to begin the initial work of implementing the UN Declaration, the most comprehensive, universal international human rights instrument explicitly addressing the economic, social, cultural, political, spiritual and environmental rights of Indigenous Peoples.
FIRST NATIONS LEADERSHIP COUNCIL
On behalf of the FIRST NATIONS SUMMIT
Grand Chief Edward John
On behalf of the UNION OF BC INDIAN CHIEFS
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip
Kukpi7 Judy Wilson
On behalf of the BC ASSEMBLY OF FIRST NATIONS:
Regional Chief Terry Teegee