UBCIC Calls for Action at the 23rd UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

News Release
April 22, 2024

UBCIC Calls for Action at the 23rd UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

(xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil Waututh)/ Vancouver, B.C. – April 22, 2024) Last week, the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs attended the 23rd United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) in the Lenape Territory/New York City. This year’s theme was enhancing Indigenous peoples’ right to self-determination in the context of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (U.N. Declaration), emphasizing the voices of Indigenous Youth.

UBCIC worked hard during the UNPFII to create connections and learn through international advocacy. Katisha Paul, UBCIC’s youth representative, was voted one of the North America Region’s Indigenous Youth Caucus Focal Points for the year, a position that is tasked with maintaining connection between the Indigenous youth in North America as the UN continues it’s work through the year.

At the forum, UBCIC called on the U.N. and Member States to include more opportunities for Indigenous Youth to learn about and advance their collective and individual rights. We further stated that Indigenous peoples’ collective rights must be recognized as unique and cannot be conflated with those of local, and minority communities.

Chief Don Tom, UBCIC Vice-President, commented, “The UNPFII demonstrated the force that Indigenous peoples have. As we came together on an international stage, I was incredibly impressed by the voice of the youth in the room. We are in the midst of implementing the U.N. Declaration in Canada and B.C. and this forum has spotlighted where this is going well, and how much more needs to be done. Being at the UNPFII this week has allowed us to listen to other Indigenous peoples who are fighting the same fight as we are, and as Indigenous people this was an important opportunity.”

Katisha Paul, UBCIC Youth Representative, stated, “It was incredible to have the support of the UBCIC in this international space. As Indigenous youth we were able to meet with Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Anandasangaree in a very personal dialogue, meet regularly to work through collective interventions for the floor of the U.N. and support each other as Indigenous Youth. As I grow in leadership, I look forward to more engagement and international advocacy for First Nations people in B.C.”


Media inquiries:

Chief Don Tom, Vice-President, 604-290-6083
Katisha Paul, UBCIC Youth Representative, 604-317-6350

UBCIC is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.

For more information, please visit www.ubcic.bc.ca