Historic UN Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples adopted today



    NEW YORK, NY, Sept. 13 /CNW Telbec/ - The United Nations has adopted the
Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples at a meeting of the General
Assembly at UN Headquarters in New York by an overwhelming majority of
143 votes in favor, four opposed and 11 abstentions. The Métis Nation,
represented by Métis Nation of Ontario President Tony Belcourt joined leaders
of Indigenous Peoples from around the world at this momentous occasion to
applaud the Nation States which voted to approve the Declaration and to
express its profound disappointment in Canada and the small number of other
countries (Australia, New Zealand, USA) which voted in opposition to its
adoption.
    Mr. Belcourt stated: "This is a truly remarkable milestone in the history
of the struggle by Indigenous Peoples for the recognition of their rights by
the global community of Nation States. It is the result of debate and
negotiation between Indigenous peoples and Nation States for more than two
decades since it was first drafted in 1985. The Declaration is an aspirational
affirmation of our rights consistent with international law and as such
provides a framework for the protection Indigenous peoples and the promotion
of harmonious relations within the States where they live. We call on Canada
to work with the Métis Nation and other Aboriginal peoples to develop policies
and actions which are consistent with the provisions of the Declaration
despite its opposition to its adoption. Now that we have achieved this great
moment in history, it is incumbent on all States, including Canada, to work in
a spirit of cooperation with Indigenous peoples within their borders towards
the implementation of the provisions of this historic Declaration."




For further information:

For further information: Chelsey Quirk, Communications Assistant, (613)
798-1488, Ext. 104, Cell: (613) 299-6085, chelseyq@metisnation.org; For the
text of the Declaration and other statements see the MNO website at:
www.metisnation.org


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