Statement - Ministers Bennett and Dion Mark International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples

OTTAWA, Aug. 9, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - Today, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, and the Honourable Stéphane Dion, Minister of Foreign Affairs made the following statement on the occasion of International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples:

"Today we recognize International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples, as declared by the United Nations General Assembly in 1994.

This day reminds countries worldwide of the importance of strengthening international cooperation to address issues faced by Indigenous peoples in areas such as human rights, education, health, the environment, and economic and social development.

Canada is committed to a renewed, Nation-to-Nation relationship with Indigenous peoples in Canada, based on recognition of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership.

Last week, Canada announced the mandate and five Commissioners for the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls – marking a historic moment and a vital step in bringing this national tragedy to an end.

Last May, Canada committed before the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, in accordance with the Canadian Constitution. Canada will engage with and work in full partnership with First Nations, Métis, and Inuit on the path forward. This also includes implementing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls to Action, which are aimed at redressing the legacy of residential schools and advancing the process of reconciliation in Canada.

In Budget 2016 Canada made historic investments to help close the gap in quality of life for Indigenous peoples. These investments will better support the wellbeing of children and families on-reserve; improve the quality of education for First Nations children; and address urgent housing needs on reserve.

Canada recognizes the value in learning from other nations and will continue to work collaboratively with international partners to support progress on Indigenous issues, both internationally and domestically. This includes, at the UN, the important process currently underway to enable greater participation by Indigenous peoples in multilateral discussions.

On this important day, we hope all Canadians will join us in celebrating the unique cultures, heritage and contributions of Indigenous peoples in Canada. We believe that together, as we head into Canada's 150th year as a nation, we will continue to improve the lives of Indigenous peoples in Canada, and make a better, stronger Canada."

This statement is also available on the Internet at

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SOURCE Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada

For further information: Sabrina Williams, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, 819-997-0002; Media Relations, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, 819-953-1160; Media Relations, Global Affairs Canada, 343-203-7700,

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