The Canadian government adopts a spirit of collaboration with Canada’s Indigenous peoples


A Joint Statement by Rights & Democracy, the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee), the Innu Council of Nitassinan, the Assembly of First Nations and the Canadian Friends Service Committee (The Quakers)

A Joint Statement by Rights & Democracy, the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee), the Innu Council of Nitassinan, the Assembly of First Nations and the Canadian Friends Service Committee (The Quakers)

GENEVA – Sept. 20, 2004 – For the better part of a week, representatives of the Canadian government have met on a daily basis with representatives of Canada’s Indigenous peoples attending the latest round of talks on the draft United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

These talks have established what is seen as a possible way around the current impasse on the Right to Self-Determination. It is felt this new agreement has the potential to satisfy both Indigenous peoples and a majority of government representatives. This morning, Canada provided its clear support to an amendment on the Right to Self-Determination proposed in agreement by almost all Indigenous representatives at the talks. Nevertheless, the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Russia and Australia remain opposed to the amendment.

If a consensus is reached on the articles referring specifically to the Right to Self-Determination between now and the end of this round of talks on Friday, the United Nations will have taken a giant step toward international recognition of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.