ETFO Urges Federal Government to Support U.N. Declaration

    Reject Discrimination Against Indigenous People, Says ETFO

    TORONTO, Aug. 7 /CNW/ - The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario
(ETFO) has become a signatory of the Amnesty International petition urging the
Canadian government to support the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of
Indigenous People.
    The Declaration, which was adopted by the U.N. General Assembly in 2007,
affirms minimum human rights standards necessary for the "survival, dignity,
and well-being of the indigenous peoples of the world." These include the
right of self-determination and protection from discrimination and genocide.
Canada was one of four countries voting against the Declaration.
    According to ETFO President David Clegg, the U.N. Declaration reflects
ETFO policy statements, in particular ETFO's definition of equity as "fairness
achieved through pro-active measures which result in equality and social
justice for all." Also reflected in the Declaration is ETFO's policy that
Native language instruction be an inherent right for all Aboriginal children.
    The Conservative government has argued that the U.N. Declaration should
not be legally binding for countries that voted against it.
    "To claim that countries should be exempt from principles and standards
they vote against is a shameful rejection of the six decades of Canadian human
rights advocacy at the United Nations, and sets a dangerous example for other
countries," said Clegg.
    "It is time for Ottawa to demonstrate its rejection of systemic
discrimination against Indigenous People, in Canada and elsewhere. We strongly
urge the Canadian government to commit to, uphold, and promote the United
Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People," Clegg said.

    The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario represents 73,000
elementary public school teachers and education workers across the province
and is the largest teacher federation in Canada.

For further information:

For further information: David Clegg, President, ETFO, (416) 962-3836
(Office), (416) 948-1592 (Cell); Larry Skory, ETFO Communications, (416)
962-3836 (Office), (416) 948-0195 (Cell)

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Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario

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