UBCIC Uplifting Youth at the 23rd UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

News Release

April 15, 2024


UBCIC Uplifting Youth at the 23rd UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues


(Lenape Territory/NYC, NY – April 15, 2024) The Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs is honoured to join Indigenous peoples from around the world this week at the United Nations headquarters in New York City for the 23rd Session of the U.N. Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII). This year’s theme is enhancing Indigenous Peoples’ right to self-determination in the context of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UN Declaration), emphasizing the voices of Indigenous youth.


UBCIC has engaged in U.N. work for over 20 years, including participating in many U.N. meetings and making submissions on a variety of topics. This year, the delegation will include UBCIC Vice-President Chief Don Tom and UBCIC Youth Representative Katisha Paul. UBCIC continues to show significant leadership in participating at the U.N., including creating and disseminating a guidebook and hosting community workshops on how to effectively participate at the U.N. This leadership also includes capacity building for Indigenous youth, including mentorship.


Chief Don Tom, UBCIC Vice-President, commented, “B.C. is in the unique position of having both provincial and federal governments adopting the UN Declaration as a minimum standard into legislation. The right to self-determination and free prior and informed consent are critical aspects of properly implementing the UN Declaration in B.C. and Canada. This week we have the opportunity to connect with Nations and Indigenous peoples from around the world to learn, share, and identify common actions. Without international advocacy led by Indigenous peoples globally, we would not have achieved the UN Declaration, a human rights instrument we reference and rely on every day. UBCIC is particularly pleased to be uplifting First Nations youth during this year’s session and look forward to hearing their words of wisdom.”


UBCIC Youth Representative Katisha Paul remarked, “As the UBCIC youth representative, I am excited for the opportunity to represent B.C. Nations before the world community. Participating in international advocacy and bringing awareness to issues affecting the Indigenous youth in this province while making connections on a global scale is just the beginning. As youth, informed by and building on the teachings of our ancestors, Elders, and communities, we bring new perspectives and energy to our ongoing work on implementation of our inherent title and rights, and I am incredibly humbled to represent UBCIC as part of these conversations.”




Media inquiries:

Chief Don Tom, Vice-President, 604-290-6083

Katisha Paul, UBCIC Youth Representative, 604-317-6350

Whitney Lafreniere Vicente, UBCIC Policy Analyst, 604-812-9016


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


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