Canada removing objector status to UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples - Aboriginal - CBC
Canada will remove its permanent objector status to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Northern Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett said Monday.
The declaration — first adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2007 — recognizes Indigenous people's basic human rights, as well as rights to self-determination, language, equality and land, among others. "We are fully adopting this and working to implement it within the laws of Canada, which is our charter," Bennett said.
The announcement came at the UN in New York City, where Bennett and Justice Minister Jody Wilson Raybould are attending the opening session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.
While Bennett offered few details on exactly how Canada would implement the declaration, she said that an official announcement would be coming on Tuesday.
The lack of specific details in Monday's announcement frustrated some. "I was so disappointed that there was nothing new or substantiveadded to the conversation," said Hayden King, director of the Centre for Indigenous Governance at Ryerson University.
"[The Liberal government] just repeats these platitudes and these commitments, but it has not demonstrated or indicated any concrete action."
King also had concerns about Bennett and Wilson-Raybould's comments that Indigenous peoples in Canada are already protected and that the UN declaration "breathes life" into Section 35 of the Constitution Act, which recognizes and affirms their rights.
He said previous governments have relied on Canadian courts' interpretation of Section 35, which he calls narrow and limited.
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