CBC News — Indigenous activist joins MP Saganash on national tour to promote UNDRIP bill
Academic Leah Gazan has been taking a break from the classroom to travel across the country with MP Romeo Saganash.
The university instructor and activist has been meeting with Indigenous and non-Indigenous groups, students, unions, legal experts and religious groups — in Winnipeg, Ottawa and Montreal — trying to drum up support for Bill C-262.
That's the private member's bill tabled by Saganash, calling on Canada to to adopt and implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), into Canadian law.
"It's not OK that our fundamental human rights as Indigenous people are always up for debate. The Liberal government promised to implement all calls to action coming out of the TRC report and this bill provides a way forward to do that," Gazan said.
Gazan, Lakota from Wood Mountain Lakota Nation, Sask., is an Indigenous studies instructor at the University of Winnipeg.
Saganash had already been travelling quite extensively, meeting with leadership, religious, and grassroots groups. And according to Gazan, the bill has been "receiving overwhelming support" on the tour.
In a speech last week at the Assembly of First Nations' Annual General Assembly, Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould said that UNDRIP was "unworkable."
And then later said the government supports all articles of the declaration "without reservation."
Gazan is hoping that the government takes a stronger stance.
"They don't seem to have a clear position. They need to clarify their position," she said.
"I think they certainly made the Indian Act, which violates human rights and Indigenous rights, workable. For over 100 years, they've made communities living in destitute poverty workable. I think what's unworkable is continuing to allow Indigenous people to live at rates of poverty that has been noted by the international community. I think that's unworkable."
Monkman, L. (2016, July 22). Indigenous activist joins MP Saganash on national tour to promote UNDRIP bill | CBC News. Retrieved January 13, 2019, from https://www.cbc.ca/news/indigenous/indigenous-activist-gazan-saganash-tour-undrip-1.3690924