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June 23, 2021
On Monday, National Indigenous Peoples Day, Bill C-15 became the law of the land. It requires the Government of Canada to ensure that federal legislation, policies and practices live up to the principles and tenets of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
The Declaration was adopted by the U.N. General Assembly in 2007 as a direct result of the commitment and tenacity of Indigenous rights advocates from Canada and across the globe. It calls on UN member states to recognize, respect and protect Indigenous rights and address the wrongs of the past. Simply put, the declaration affirms the political, social economic, and sovereign rights of Indigenous peoples everywhere.
As a politician, lawyer and teacher in Canada over many years, I have been directly involved in discussions and negotiations to advance the interests of all Indigenous peoples and governments in Canada. My work has given me the chance to see first-hand the challenges, failures and successes of the last 50 years.
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