May 12, 2017 (Ottawa, ON) – The Congress of Aboriginal Peoples is calling on the federal government to be open and transparent about its intentions to engage and consult with Indigenous Peoples on the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), including Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC).
“The government must share exactly what it has planned for UNDRIP,” says Congress of Aboriginal Peoples National Chief Robert Bertrand. “Implementing the UN Declaration is a key step towards safeguarding the rights of First Nations (status and non-status), Inuit and Métis Peoples and promoting reconciliation in Canada.”
Yesterday it was revealed through an access to information request, made by NDP MP Roméo Saganash, that government officials may not specifically consult with Indigenous Peoples on UNDRIP. Instead officials plan to consult on section 35 of the Constitution that deals with Aboriginal title and rights.
“This kind of conflicting messaging is very troubling,” says National Chief Bertrand. “Our input is crucial to implementing UNDRIP.”
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The Congress of Aboriginal Peoples is the national voice representing the interests of Métis, status and non-status Indians, and Southern Inuit Indigenous People living off-reserve. Today, over 70% of Indigenous people live off-reserve.