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Canada supports UN Indigenous rights declaration: Now what?

Drummers from Doig River First Nation. image via G&MCBC News, May 11, 2016

When Canada removed its permanent objector status to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, it earned Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett a standing ovation.

But that announcement at the United Nations in New York on Tuesday is raising questions about what the declaration actually means for Canada, and exactly how it will be implemented...

"The declaration sets a strong foundation for the way in which we should work together — respectfully, nation-to-nation and in the spirit of reconciliation," said a statement from Ghislain Picard, regional chief for Quebec and Labrador of the Assembly of First Nations.

According to Bennett, Canada's new support of the declaration was "without qualification."

"By adopting and implementing the declaration, we are excited that we are breathing life into Section 35 [of Canada's Constitution Act] and recognizing it as a full box of rights for Indigenous peoples in Canada," she added.

But not everyone is so sure... To read the full article click here


 Lead up to the UN meeting, MAY 8th article:

"Trudeau government prepares to embrace UN declaration on indigenous peoples but hasn't revoked Site C permits"
The Georgia Straight, Charlie Smith, May 8th, 2016:

Opposition MPs zero in on Site C:
This is where things could get tricky for the Liberal government, particularly with regard to B.C. Hydro's $8.8-billion Site C hydroelectric project in northeastern B.C.

[In February] NDP environment critic Nathan Cullen has criticized Fisheries Minister Hunter Tootoo for signing permits in connection with dam project on the Peace River.

A week later, Green Party of Canada Leader Elizabeth May issued a news release questioning why the former Conservative government issued 14 permits for the Site C project during the fall federal election campaign. 

“Its sole purpose is to provide electricity for LNG development, and the federal Joint Review Panel found the project directly affects Treaty 8 treaty rights of area First Nations," May said. "The minister of indigenous and northern affairs should commit to not allowing further permits to be issued while treaty rights for indigenous people remain outstanding.”...

... where the rubber will really hit the road is with the Site C dam project in northeastern B.C. and over oil pipelines to Canada's west coast. On these fronts, the jury is still out.

To read the full article and watch the video, click here

And check out more from GPC and Elizabeth re: Site C Dam


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