Assembly of First Nations National Chief to Participate in United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

OTTAWA, April 24, 2017 /CNW/ - Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde will join the 16th Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) in New York, NY this week. He will be at UN headquarters Monday April 24 and Tuesday April 25 to mark the tenth anniversary of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and will speak about the steps needed to advance its implementation.

"The adoption of the UN Declaration is a milestone in the history of advancing the rights of Indigenous peoples in Canada and around the world," said National Chief Bellegarde. "It took almost 10 years for Canada to express its unqualified support for the Declaration. Now that we have this commitment, we must work together effectively as partners to realize those rights. The work we are doing as Indigenous peoples with the Government of Canada to co-develop an Indigenous Languages Act is an example of how we can work together on essential, important work. This must be our approach to advance all our rights using the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as our framework for reconciliation."

On Tuesday April 25, National Chief Bellegarde will deliver a statement at the UN General Assembly Hall on behalf of the Coalition on the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

On Tuesday afternoon from 1:15 – 2:45 PM, AFN is co-hosting a special side event on the Implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. For details on this special side event please visit the AFN website at

The UN Declaration sets out minimum standards for ensuring Indigenous peoples enjoy fundamental human rights, including the collective right to self-determination and rights to our lands, territories and resources. The Declaration is an essential framework for reconciliation and renewing the nation-to-nation relationship as called for by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). The Government of Canada gave its unqualified support to the UN Declaration on May 10th, 2016.

The 16th Session of the UNPFII's special theme is "Tenth Anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: measures taken to implement the Declaration". For live video streaming of all open meetings visit

The AFN is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada. Follow AFN on Twitter @AFN_Updates.


SOURCE Assembly of First Nations

For further information: Alain Garon, Bilingual Communications Officer, Cell: 613-292-0857,

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