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CBC News — Manitoba Winnipeg rally urges MPs to adopt UN declaration on Indigenous rights


Canada and three other nations voted against the declaration a decade ago — 144 other states voted in favour — citing concerns over the notion of "free, prior and informed consent" in the declaration. The point of contention was that it could give Indigenous communities the power to veto decisions on developments on ancestral lands.

After the federal election of 2015, the newly minted Liberal government committed to adopting all 94 calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report. At the time, Supreme Court Justice Beverley McLachlin described Canada's residential school system and historic treatment of Indigenous people as "cultural genocide."

Recommendation No. 43 in the report is that all levels of governments fully adopt the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as a framework toward reconciliation. No. 44 urges the federal government in particular to develop a nationwide action plan with "concrete measures to achieve the goals" set out in the declaration.

Leah Gazan is an instructor at the University of Winnipeg.

Ultimately, the bill is designed to provide that framework for government "so that moving forward, Indigenous people in this country will have their fundamental rights protected," said University of Winnipeg instructor Leah Gazan.

"Since the Liberal government has been in, they've been kind of back-pedalling," she said.

"The Liberal government under Trudeau is under their third non-compliance order to honour the ruling of the Canadian Human Rights tribunal ruling. For whatever reason in this country, violating fundamental Indigenous human rights, the rights of little children, have become completely normalized. This would end those kinds of practices."



Hoye, B. (2017, September 24). Winnipeg rally urges MPs to adopt UN declaration on Indigenous rights | CBC News. Retrieved January 13, 2019, from

ArticleKarl Patton