NEW YORK, NY, May 8, 2012 /CNW/ - Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo presented a joint statement yesterday on behalf of other organizations at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII). The statement focused on the rights and survival of indigenous peoples around the world through eradication of racist doctrines such as "discovery" and implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).
"The consequences of the past wrongs regarding the taking of Indigenous lands and resources are visible worldwide, through debilitating impoverishment and suffering endured by Indigenous peoples. In Canada, the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples concluded in its 1996 Report: "Without adequate lands and resources, Aboriginal nations ... will be pushed to the edge of economic, cultural and political extinction.""
The following measures were recommended yesterday to the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (PFII) as a means to redress past wrongs:
- Request States, in conjunction with Indigenous peoples, to examine State history, laws, practices and policies and report on their reliance of doctrines of superiority, including "discovery", as the foundation of State claims of sovereignty over Indigenous peoples and their lands and resources. States should complete and provide their reports by the 12th Session of the PFII.
- Urge States, in conjunction with Indigenous peoples, to establish national plans of evaluation and work, with clear timelines and priorities, to eradicate from existing laws and policies any remnants of doctrines of superiority, including "discovery", as a basis for the assumed sovereignty over Indigenous peoples and their lands and resources. States should report regularly on the progress of their work to their national legislatures and to the PFII.
National Chief Atleo also added: "On behalf of all First Nations in Canada, I would like to congratulate First Nation Summit Grand Chief Ed John who was appointed Chair for the eleventh session of the UNPFII. This is a great honor bestowed to one of our First Nations' leader in Canada. "
The Assembly of First Nations and Native Women's Association of Canada (NWAC) will also be presenting a statement on Thursday May 10th during the session on Combating Violence against Indigenous Women and Girls.
This is the eleventh session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. The Forum provides expert advice and recommendations on Indigenous issues to the UN system through the Economic and Social Council; raises awareness and promotes the integration and coordination of relevant activities within the UN system; and disseminates information on Indigenous issues. The theme of this year's forum is "The Doctrine of Discovery: its enduring impact on indigenous peoples and the right to redress for past conquests (articles 28 and 37 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples)".
A copy of the Joint Statement is available at www.afn.ca.
The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada.
For further information:
Alain Garon, Assembly of First Nations Bilingual Communications Officer 613-241-6789, ext 382 or cell: 613-2920857 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Jenna Young, Assembly of First Nations Communications Officer
613-241-6789, ext 401 or cell: 613-314-8157 or email email@example.com