December 11, 2017 (Ottawa, ON) – National Chief Robert Bertrand of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples (CAP) expresses his disappointment that the Federal Government has again elected to exclude CAP from its place at the table at today’s Federal-Provincial-Territorial Ministers Meeting on Human Rights. Three of the National Indigenous Organizations, the AFN, MNC, and ITK, will be meeting earlier with FPT Ministers for a full hour while CAP is being relegated to a separate session and only given a short duration of time with government representatives. National Chief Bertrand will be speaking at this meeting which taking place at the Hilton Lac-Leamy in Gatineau, QC.
“It is welcome news that the federal, provincial and territorial governments have made a collective decision to meet and address human rights priorities for the first time in almost thirty years”, says National Chief Bertrand. “However there is a sad irony in that it is a historic meeting on human rights and CAP is not even recognized or given its proper standing within the federal government’s commitment to working with all Indigenous Peoples towards true reconciliation. This includes the restoration and protection of our own peoples’ human rights.”
“This federal government has continued to cite achievements on the international stage towards reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples yet a year and a half has gone by since the Supreme Court of Canada’s final decision on Daniels v. Canada and CAP is still waiting on any concrete action. While I am displeased with the government’s repeated approach of excluding CAP, I will be there at today’s meeting so that our people and their rights are given a national voice” concludes National Chief Bertrand.
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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.