The Grand Council of the Crees

Ottawa Adopts International Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Posted: 2008-04-08

On April 7, 2008 NDP Member of Parliament Irene Mathyssen (London-Fanshawe) introduced a motion supported by MP Jean Crowder (Nanaimo-Cowichan) that the Third Report of the Standing Committee on the Status of Women, presented on Wednesday, February 18, be concurred in.

The motion reads:
That the government endorse the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 13 September 2007 and that Parliament and Government of Canada fully implement the standards contained therein.

The motion was debated on April 7th, and voted on the following day, April 8th. The motion was passed with 148 yeas and 113 nos. All members of the governing Conservative Party, including Indian Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl, voted against the endorsement of the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People.

After over 20 years of negotiations, the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday September 13, by a vote of 144 in favour, 4 against and 11 abstentions. Along with the United States, Australia and New Zealand, Canada was one of the four states who voted against the Declaration.

On April 9, 2008 Bloc Quebecois Marc Lemay (Abitibi-Temiscamingue) requested the Government to respect the will of the House of Commons and ratify the Declaration. You may find the full text of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples at the following site: http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unpfii/en/drip.html