OTTAWA, Dec. 10, 2012 /CNW/ - On International Human Rights Day Assembly
of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo further
expresses the importance of implementing Treaties and the principles of
the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as a
basic standard for achieving the fundamental change required for First
Nations in Canada.
"It is completely unacceptable in a country like Canada that we have
people without adequate housing or safe drinking water, women being
murdered or missing, and kids with no schools in their communities.
Together, First Nations are standing up to harness the strength and
energy of our peoples to seize this moment as the time for change - the
change we need, and the change we deserve," said AFN National Chief
Shawn Atleo. "Today, and every day First Nations people across this
country are asserting their rights and responsibilities to the lands,
territories, communities and nations, and only with the full
implementation of Treaties and other living agreements, documents and
expressions of recognition will we see the fundamental transformation
required for our peoples."
Just last week First Nation leaders in a unanimous statement of unity,
agreed to stand together to defend our lands, territories, peoples and
jurisdiction, to protect the integrity of Treaty and inherent rights,
and to ensure economic stability and protection of the environment.
The declaration, supported by Chiefs in Assembly at the AFN Special
Chiefs Assembly December 7, outlines the full support and participation
of all First Nation peoples in decision-making process that impact
inherent and treaty rights and stand united to reject assimilation and
termination policies, processes or legislation imposed by other
governments to harness the energy of our peoples, to seize this moment
as the time for change, and to act now for our peoples based on our
clear rights and responsibilities.
Today AFN joined the Canadian Teachers' Federation, Inuit Tapiriit
Kanatami, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and the Robert F.
Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights to launch a national
initiative on human rights education.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted on 10 December
1948. The date has since served to mark Human Rights Day worldwide,
with the intent to celebrate human rights and advocate for the full
enjoyment of all human rights by everyone everywhere. This year's
theme "My Voice Counts" is aimed at encouraging women, youth,
minorities, persons with disabilities, Indigenous people, the poor and
marginalized to make their voices heard in public life and be included
in political decision-making.
"Today we've seen action across the country for change by our peoples,
for our peoples, showing that First Nations are here to stay, and will
not stay idle in the face of unilateral approaches by other
governments," said National Chief Atleo. "Together we must harness
this energy, support action-based change and achieve a better day for
our peoples based on clear rights and responsibilities."
On what's being called a National Day of Action and Solidarity or "Idle
No More", First Nation peoples and supporters organized rallies and
demonstrations across the country to express opposition to federal
government legislation impacting First Nations, and to raise awareness
of the need to address basic needs of First Nations.
The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was
endorsed by Canada November 2010.
The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing
First Nations citizens in Canada. Follow AFN on Twitter at
SOURCE: ASSEMBLY OF FIRST NATIONS
For further information:
Jenna Young, Assembly of First Nations Communications Officer 613-241-6789, ext 401 or cell: 613-314-8157 or e-mail email@example.com