Indigenous human rights advocates horrified that handful of Senators blocked Bill C-262

PUBLIC STATEMENT

Filibuster a blow to democracy and human rights but cannot turn back the clock on implementation of UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

“There are and always have been obvious flaws in a governing system that is designed to maintain a status quo and deny rights to people who power rejects. The process of bringing C-262 along the legislative path has highlighted this for me... Let us rise with more energy. Let us stand with a greater determination.”

– MP Romeo Saganash, author of Bill C-262

When the United Nations General Assembly adopted the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in September 2007, it established an obligation for all states to fully implement this crucial instrument as the minimum global standard to the protect the human rights of Indigenous peoples. The solemn commitment of all states to uphold the UN Declaration has since been reaffirmed by 10 consensus resolutions of the General Assembly.

Our Nations and organizations are outraged by the failure of the Senate to pass Bill C-262, a bill that would have provided a principled and collaborative legislative framework to guide the implementation of the UN Declaration in Canada.

Many individuals from all walks of life have embraced C-262 as a crucial means of reconciliation and were shocked that a handful of Conservative Senators were able to block the passage of such urgent and long overdue human rights legislation in such an undemocratic, illegitimate and indeed discriminatory manner.

In April 2019, Conservative MPs joined with all other members in the House of Commons to adopt a unanimous motion supporting both Bill C-262 and a second private member’s bill, Bill C-337 that provides for sexual-assault training for judges. This motion underlined that “both critical pieces of legislation ... have been duly passed by the House of Commons” and “both bills should be passed into law at the earliest opportunity”.

Despite having supported this motion, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer failed to ensure his unelected Senate members would respect the express will of the House of Commons. As a result, both institutions of Parliament are being undermined.

Such prejudicial actions also undermine reconciliation in Canada. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission has emphasized that the UN Declaration “is the framework for reconciliation at all levels and across all sectors of Canadian society.” In addition, the final report from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls relies on the UN Declaration and other human rights instruments in ensuring the security and well-being of Indigenous peoples and individuals.

Despite this serious breach of democratic principles, it must be emphasized that the actions of these Senators do not in any way diminish Canada’s obligations to implement the UN Declaration. Nor does the failure to adopt C-262 diminish our intention to hold the Government of Canada accountable to such obligations.

The will of Parliament to implement the UN Declaration is now clearly established. Bill C-262 was adopted by a majority vote of the House of Commons in 2018. In addition to the subsequent unanimous motion supporting the Bill, the intent to uphold and implement the UN Declaration is set out in a number of other bills that were passed into law during the current session including C-69 (impact assessment), C-91 (Indigenous languages) and C-92 (Indigenous child and family services).

The work of implementation will continue despite the setback in the Senate. Indigenous governments are incorporating the UN Declaration into their own laws and procedures and using it to inform their expectations of partnerships with government and industry. Canadian courts and tribunals are already using the UN Declaration to interpret Indigenous rights in domestic law. The clock cannot be turned back.

It has recently been confirmed that the Liberals, if re-elected, will reintroduce UN Declaration implementation legislation as a government bill. Our Nations and organizations are urging all federal political parties to commit both to supporting a legislative framework for UN Declaration implementation that is at least as strong as C-262 and to ending the kind of partisan game-playing that prevented adoption of C-262 in this session of Parliament.

The Coalition for the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples (www.declarationcoalition.ca)

This statement was endorsed by the following organizations and individuals:

Amnesty International Canada / Amnistie Internationale Canada

Assemblée des Premières Nations du Québec et Internationale Canada Labrador/ Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador

Assembly of First Nations

BC Assembly of First Nations

Canadian Friends Service Committee (Quakers)

Métis Nation

First Nations Summit

Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs

Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee)

Ellen Gabriel

Indigenous-Settler Relations, Mennonite Church Canada

Sheryl Lightfoot, Canada Research Chair of Global Indigenous Rights and Politics, University of British Columbia

Indigenous World Association

KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives

Dr. Wilton Littlechild

For more information on implementation of the UN Declaration, please see our new factsheets at https://www.declarationcoalition.com/more-info/

Statement PDF

Stalling on Bills C-262 and C-337 undermines Canada’s democratic process, jeopardizes reconciliation and fails to protect human rights

OPEN LETTER TO PARLIAMENTARIANS

A unanimous motion of the 338-member House of Commons said that two bills currently before the Senate, Bills C-262 and C-337, are “critical pieces of legislation” and urged that they be “passed into law at the earliest opportunity.”

Indigenous peoples’ nations and organizations, and many non-Indigenous partner organizations concerned for the protection and promotion of human rights, are profoundly concerned, and indeed deeply offended, that despite the adoption of C-262 and C-337 in the House of Commons, these critical bills are now jeopardized by the actions of a few unelected Conservative Senators.

We are urging all Parliamentarians to ensure that these critical bills are now immediately adopted and given Royal Assent. We call on the Government of Canada to do everything in its power to ensure that these bills do not die on the Order Papers.

Bill C-262 provides a framework for implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Bill C-337 will ensure training for all judges concerning sexual violence. We consider both pieces of legislation to be vital and necessary to the crucial work of reconciliation and protection of human rights, consistent with the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and the Calls for Justice of the National Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

The efforts of a small group of Conservative Senators to block passage of these bills through procedural delays and stalling tactics far exceed, and indeed jeopardize, the legitimate role of the Senate. These strategies abuse Senate procedural rules and are in bad faith.

The government representative in the Senate, Peter Harder, has stated that the Senate should not use “procedural obstruction over legislation passed by the House of Commons”,[1] which he called the ‘pocket veto’.

As stated on the Senate of Canada’s website, the Senate is to have “evolved from defending regional interests to giving voice to underrepresented groups like Indigenous peoples, visible minorities and women.”[2] It is an established principle that the Senate must not “exercise its powers in such a way as to impede legislation adopted by the House of Commons”[3]. In this case the actions of a few Senators are causing the Senate to violate this Constitutional principle. As underlined by the Supreme Court of Canada in Reference re Senate Reform:

The appointed status of Senators, with its attendant assumption that appointment would prevent Senators from overstepping their role as a complementary legislative body, shapes the architecture of the Constitution Act, 1867.[4]

It is apparent that the real objective of these Conservative Senators is to block Bill C-262 at any cost and that Bill C-337 is being caught up in these unprincipled tactics.

Former Conservative MP and Leader Rona Ambrose recently tweeted:

I’ve been told my party @CPC_HQ will block all legislation including #C337 to make sure #C262 #UNDRIP never passes. Sad day….

Let us be clear: these unprincipled tactics are a direct continuation of a history of colonial attitudes and policies that have caused such profound harm to and marginalization of Indigenous peoples and continues to leave Indigenous women and girls in harm’s way.

Tragically, this is consistent with the Conservative party’s shameful history of opposing and obstructing protection of the human rights of Indigenous peoples. For example, the recent record shows that the Conservative government unilaterally opposed and voted against the UN Declaration at the UN Human Rights Council in 2006, at the UN General Assembly in 2007, and all Conservative MPs voted against Bill C-262 in the House of Commons in 2018.

Where are we now?

•   If these Bills don’t receive Royal Assent in this session of Parliament they will die on the order paper.

•   Now is the time for Parliament to demonstrate commitment to reconciliation and ensure Bill C-262 and C-337 receive Royal Assent.

The federal government has made numerous, high profile commitments to implement the UN Declaration and to address violence against women and girls. Last year the Prime Minister told the House of Commons:

“To truly renew the relationship between Canada and Indigenous Peoples – not just for today, but for the next 150 years – we need a comprehensive and far-reaching approach. We need a government-wide shift in how we do things. We need to both recognize and implement Indigenous rights because the truth is, Mr. Speaker, until we get this part right, we won’t have lasting success on the concrete outcomes that we know mean so much to people.”[5]

The coming days will be crucial for fulfilling this commitment. Every effort must be taken to remove obstacles to the adoption C-262 and C-337 before Parliament rises. All parliamentarians and political parties will be judged on their actions in the coming days.

 

The Coalition for the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples (www.declarationcoaliton.ca)

This statement was endorsed by the following organizations and individuals:

Amnesty International Canada / Amnistie Internationale Canada

Assembly of First Nations

BC Assembly of First Nations

BC Federation of Labour

BC Treaty Commission

Canadian Friends Service Committee (Quakers)

First Nations Summit

Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee)

Indigenous-Settler Relations, Mennonite Church Canada

Indigenous World Association

KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives

Union of BC Indian Chiefs

Mariam Wallet Med Aboubakrine, former Chair UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, President of Tinhinan Canada

Sheryl Lightfoot, Canada Research Chair of Global Indigenous Rights and Politics, University of British Columbia

Dr. Wilton Littlechild, International Chief

 

For more information on implementation of the UN Declaration, please see our factsheets at https://www.declarationcoalition.com/more-info/

·       Interpreting the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

·       Myths and Misrepresentations about the UN Declaration and Bill C-262

·       Free, Prior and Informed Consent FAQ

[1] Harder, V. Peter. “Complementarity: The Constitutional Role of the Senate of Canada.” National Journal of Constitutional Law 39.2 (2019): 223-276.

[2] Senate. “About the Senate.” Senate of Canada, sencanada.ca/en/about/.

[3] Senate of Canada. Senate of Canada - Compendium of Procedure - House of Commons, www.ourcommons.ca/About/Compendium/ParliamentaryFramework/c_d_senatecanada-e.htm.

[4] Reference re Senate Reform, 2014 SCC 32, para. 59.

[5] Prime Minister Trudeau’s February 14, 2018 Speech

Letter PDF

Hyperbole and misrepresentation must not prevent Senate passing Bill C-262

JOINT PUBLIC STATEMENT

We are hopeful that in a matter of days the Senate will vote to adopt a private member’s bill that would require the federal government to begin in earnest the work of implementing global human rights standards to protect the cultures, lives and well-being of Indigenous peoples.

Bill C-262, a Bill to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, is a vital and necessary step for reconciliation in Canada, consistent with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s recognition of the UN Declaration as “the framework” for reconciliation.

However, some Conservative Senators have already used stalling tactics to delay the Bill’s passage through the Senate and there is concern that they might use such tactics again to prevent a final vote.

These Senators have claimed to support the UN Declaration and the rights of Indigenous peoples while asserting that Bill C-262 is “rushed” and that Parliament has not had the opportunity to understand the “far-reaching” implications of implementing the UN Declaration.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Bill C-262 was adopted by the House of Commons more than a year ago following Committee hearings in which 71 witnesses were called.  The Bill has now been subject to further consideration in the Senate. More to the point, the UN Declaration itself is not new or unknown.  It rests on a foundation of long-established international human rights standards that have been subject to extensive debate in Canada and internationally.

The UN Declaration was the product of more than two decades of deliberation within the UN system before its adoption in 2007. No other international human rights instrument has been subject to such long and rigorous consideration. Critically, Indigenous peoples from Canada and federal officials both played an active role in this lengthy process.

Since its adoption in 2007, the Declaration has also been reaffirmed ten times by consensus resolutions of the UN General Assembly. No State in the world currently objects to this human rights instrument.

Furthermore, all the provisions of the Declaration reflect norms and standards that were already established in international law when the Declaration was adopted. This includes provisions on self-determination contained in international treaties ratified by Canada in the 1970s.

Because of the Harper government’s initial opposition, the UN Declaration has also been the subject of extensive public debate in Canada, including within Parliament.

In 2010, the Harper government issued a formal statement endorsing the Declaration, adding that the government was “confident” that the Declaration could be interpreted “in a manner consistent with our Constitution and legal framework.” According to the statement, the basis of that confidence was having reviewed the Declaration, listened to Indigenous leaders, and learned from the experience of other countries.

In its Calls to Action, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada has called on federal and other governments to fully implement the UN Declaration as “the framework” for reconciliation.

Bill C-262 is itself modest in scope. Canada has repeatedly committed to implement the UN Declaration. The Bill would create a legislative framework to guide the federal government’s role in that work of implementation. 

Critically, the Bill does NOT have the effect of codifying the Declaration into Canadian law.

Bill C-262 calls for a process by which federal laws can be reviewed in a systematic and collaborative way to ensure that Canada’s commitment to uphold the UN Declaration is being met. It would be up to Parliament to enact any required legislative changes identified in this process.

The fact is that Canadian courts regularly use international human rights standards to interpret Canadian law and work to avoid contradictions between the interpretation of Canadian law and Canada’s international commitments. The UN Declaration is already being applied by Canadian courts to interpret Canadian law in exactly this way. C-262 affirms this practice.

The Bill also calls for the government to collaborate with Indigenous peoples in developing a broader national implementation plan. Parliament would be provided an annual report on the progress being made.

Surely this is a better way forward than the piecemeal, uncoordinated and often contradictory approach taken to meeting Canada’s international human rights commitments?

The Liberal government has shifted position to fully support Bill C-262 just as the Conservative government before it changed its position to formally support the UN Declaration. By setting out a legislated requirement to move ahead with the work of implementation of the UN Declaration, Bill C-262 provides an important insulation against whatever political winds may blow under future governments. Anyone who supports implementation of the Declaration should support such a measure.

Because there is no basis for claims that C-262 has been rushed, our Nations and organizations call on all Senators to ensure the Bill is brought to a vote in a timely fashion and passed into law during this session of Parliament. If, instead, some Senators continue to employ procedural tactics to essentially kill the Bill, and oppose the human rights of Indigenous peoples, this will be a very regressive and shameful landmark in the history of the Parliament of Canada.

 

The Coalition for the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples (www.declarationcoaliton.ca)

This statement was endorsed by the following organizations and individuals:

Amnesty International Canada / Amnistie international

Assembly of First Nations

BC Assembly of First Nations

Canadian Friends Service Committee (Quakers)

First Nations Summit

Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee)

Indigenous Bar Association

Indigenous World Association

KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives

Métis Nation

Mariam Wallet Med Aboubakrine, Past Chair, UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

Brenda Gunn, Associate Professor, Robson Hall Faculty of Law, University of Manitoba

Sheryl Lightfoot, Canada Research Chair in Global Indigenous Rights and Politics, University of British Colombia

Dr. Wilton Littlechild

Wendy Mosshttps://www.declarationcoalition.com/more-info/

Statement PDF

Legislative framework essential for UN declaration

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and MP Saganash’s corresponding bill are not ‘aspirational.’

ARTICLE BY PAUL JOFFE AND SHERYL LIGHTFOOT, Hill Times Jan. 10, 2018, p. 13 Truth and reconciliation

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples provides a crucial framework to achieve reconciliation. In December, NDP MP Romeo Saganash opened the second reading debate on his private member’s bill C-262, with support from the Trudeau government. In The Hill Times (Dec. 14, online), Dwight Newman and Ken Coates assert that Bill C-262 on the UN declaration “could have wider-ranging effects than any private member’s bill ever introduced.”

The article is alarmist, misleading and confusing. It shows a lack of understanding of international law, including the UN declaration. It questions the utility of implementing with a legislative framework. The authors mischaracterize the declaration and Indigenous peoples’ rights as “aspirational.”

No mention is made of Indigenous peoples’ inherent human rights or the supportive jurisprudence of UN treaty bodies. The declaration affirms minimum standards for the survival, dignity, security and well-being of Indigenous peoples around the globe. However, it is reduced by the authors to “a ceiling for Indigenous engagement.”

In the House of Commons debate, Saganash emphasized “it is important that we remind ourselves that Indigenous peoples’ fundamental rights in this country are indeed human rights.”

Key elements of Bill C-262 include: repudiation of colonialism and doctrines of superiority; affirmation that the standards in the UN declaration have application in Canadian law; and review and reform of federal legislation to ensure consistency with the UN declaration.

International human rights instruments are generally drafted in broad terms to take into account a wide range of situations both foreseen and unforeseen. This does not limit their applicability; rather, it has the opposite effect. For example, in hundreds of cases Canadian courts have cited the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In regard to the UN declaration, the same has begun to occur in Canada and abroad.

The UN declaration is a consensus international human rights instrument. No state in the world formally objects. To date, the UN General Assembly has reaffirmed it eight times by consensus. The declaration is the longest discussed and negotiated human rights instrument in UN history. For more than 20 years, Canada actively participated and offered a wide range of concerns and proposals.

When the previous government endorsed the UN declaration in November 2010, it declared: “We are now confident that Canada can interpret the principles expressed in the Declaration in a manner that is consistent with our Constitution and legal framework.” Yet the authors express concern that the UN declaration “did not take into account the complexities of constitutional, legal, and political relations between Indigenous peoples and the Government of Canada.”

The authors emphasize that “[p]olicy reform is urgently required.” Yet they claim that “adopting UNDRIP could cause uncertainty and impede the slowly developing legal and political partnerships unfolding in Canada.” Indigenous peoples, human rights defenders, scholars and legal experts have expressed precisely the opposite position. A legislative framework will cement the UN declaration as the blueprint for positive change in this country.

In 16 of its calls to action, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission explicitly included the UN declaration. Call to Action 43 calls on “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.” Consistent with Call to Action 44, Bill C-262 requires the government of Canada, in consultation and cooperation with Indigenous peoples, to “develop and carry out a national action plan to implement the Declaration.”

By attacking the UN declaration, the authors are also undermining the TRC’s framework for reconciliation. We appreciate that full implementation of the declaration requires long-term commitment and collaboration. As the TRC reminded us, “reconciliation is going to take hard work.”

Legislative implementation of the UN declaration will help ensure that progress made will not be easily reversed by any future government. The declaration is both a beacon and catalyst for achievement, well-being and renewed hope. Following an affirmative vote at second reading, Bill C-262 can be further scrutinized and reinforced in committee. At such time, all political parties, as well as a diverse range of Indigenous and non-Indigenous witnesses, can contribute to achieving reconciliation, justice, healing and peace in a contemporary human rights framework.

Sheryl Lightfoot holds the Canada Research Chair of global Indigenous rights and politics at the University of British Columbia. Paul Joffe is legal counsel for international human rights for the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee). The Hill Times

Joint Open Letter to the Senate of Canada

OPEN LETTER TO THE SENATE OF CANADA

Indigenous peoples’ organizations participating in the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues urge Canadian Senators to support Bill C-262, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples sets out minimum standards necessary to combat some of the world’s worst and most pervasive human rights abuses.

Indigenous peoples from all regions of the world worked diligently for more than two decades to reach agreement with states on these minimum standards. With the adoption of the Declaration by the UN General Assembly on September 13, 2007, we entered into an era where the proper question is no longer whether states should uphold these standards – the UN Declaration and at least 10 consensus resolutions from the UN General Assembly confirm that all states are expected to do so. The question now is how to best move forward with full and effective implementation.

In this light, our peoples and organizations are watching with great interest as Bill C-262 progresses through the Canadian Parliament with the prospect of becoming law this year. It is our understanding that the Bill does three things:

1. It calls on the Government of Canada to engage in a cooperative process with Indigenous peoples to ensure that Canada’s laws live up to and support the minimum standards set in the UN Declaration.

2. It calls on the Government of Canada to work collaboratively with Indigenous peoples in Canada to create a National Action Plan for implementation, as urged by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in 2017.

3. It promotes transparency and accountability by requiring regular reporting to Parliament on progress toward implementation.

We believe that Bill C-262 represents a positive model for implementation of the human rights of Indigenous Peoples. We urge Canadian Senators to support its passage into law so that the federal government can set a positive example in Canada and also for other states.

This statement was endorsed by the following individuals and organizations:

Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP)

Center for Support of Indigenous Peoples and Civic Diplomacy "Young Karelia", Russian Federation

Chittagong Hill Tracts Citizens Committee, Bangladesh

Grand Conseil Coutumier des Peuples Amérindiens et Bushinenge, Guyana

Hawai'i Institute for Human Rights

Highlanders Association, Cambodia

Indigenous Peoples Network, Malaysia

International Indian Treaty Council (IITC)

Jeunesse autochtone de Guyane

National Congress of American Indians (NCAI)

Organisation des Nations Autochrones de Guyane francaise

Sami Council Sami Parliament Norway

Carlos Chex, Experto Indígena, Consultor Independiente, Guatemala

Terri Henry, Independent Expert for North America

Mariam Wallet Aboubakrine, past chair, United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, and Tin hinane Sahel, Mali

Dr. Wilton Littlechild, IPC

For more information on Bill C-262 and implementation of the UN Declaration, please see the website of the Coalition for the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples:

https://www.declarationcoalition.com/

Download Letter

Passage of UN Declaration implementation bill should be non-partisan no-brainer

Article in First Nations Drum by Grand Chief Dr. Abel Bosum and Alex Neve, May 10, 2019

In 2010, former prime minister Stephen Harper publicly reversed his government’s opposition to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. In a formal “statement of support,” the Harper government said that it had listened to Indigenous leaders in Canada and “learned from the experience of other countries” and was now “confident” that Canada could move ahead with implementation of the Declaration “in a manner that is consistent with our Constitution and legal framework.”

So why wouldn’t Conservative Members of Parliament and Senators support legislation intended to finally move ahead with the work of implementing the Declaration in Canada?

Bill C-262 is the private member’s bill introduced by NDP MP Romeo Saganash. Passage of C-262 would create a legal framework requiring the federal government to work collaboratively with Indigenous peoples on the measures needed to bring Canadian law and policy into line with the minimum global standards set out in the Declaration. 

Critically, passage of the Bill C-262 would not suddenly change the legal status of the Declaration in Canada. Courts would continue to use the Declaration in the interpretation of Canada, just as they are already doing. However, passage of C-262 would establish an ongoing process of federal implementation that could not be easily abandoned by future governments.

The Bill enjoys widespread support. Out of 71 witnesses who appeared before a Parliamentary Committee examining the Bill last year, only one opposed adoption of C-262. 

Yet, when it came to a vote in the House of Commons, Conservative MPs refused to join the other parties in supporting the Bill. Video widely circulated online even showed Conservative MPs giving each other a high five after they voted against the Bill.

Now the Bill is before the Senate where its fate will be decided. The Bill is being sponsored in the Senate by independent Senator Murray Sinclair. The support of the former Chief Commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission is a powerful symbol that the Bill is an opportunity to advance reconciliation in Canada. Unfortunately, however, the limited time remaining to adopt C-262 before the current session ends means that even a small minority opposing the Bill could threaten its passage into law.  

A number of Conservative Senators have already gone on the record opposing the Bill. Their main concern seems to be that the UN Declaration could have far-reaching and unpredictable impacts in Canada. Some have already used procedural tactics to attempt to stall debate over the Bill.

These Senators seem to forget that the Declaration is not new – that it was developed over a period of more than twenty years and adopted by the United Nations more than a decade ago. They also seem to forget that a Conservative government studied the Declaration and came to the conclusion that it could and should support its implementation. And they are clearly ignoring the fact that the very purpose of the Bill is to ensure ongoing dialogue between government and Indigenous peoples over how the Declaration will be interpreted and applied in the future.

With an election looming, we are at a point where every issue on Parliament is seen as an opportunity to score points over political opponents. The cause of reconciliation, however, must not be dragged down by partisan politics. 

Bill C-262 is something that every federal party could and should support. In doing so, they have an opportunity to send a clear message to the public about the importance they place on reconciliation.

Dr. Abel Bosum is Grand Chief of the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) and Alex Neve is Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada.

http://www.firstnationsdrum.com/2019/05/passage-of-un-declaration-implementation-bill-should-be-non-partisan-no-brainer/