Indigenous Leaders to Provide Plan of Action to 5th Summit of the Americas

    PANAMA CITY, Panama, April 17 /CNW Telbec/ - Indigenous leaders from
across the Americas met April 14-15, 2009 in Panama City, Panama to take part
in the 3rd Indigenous Leaders Summit of the Americas (3rd ILSA). The meeting
provided an opportunity for Indigenous leaders to conduct discussions on
issues related to the work of the Organization of American States (OAS) and,
particularly, the work to be conducted during the 5th Summit of the Americas
to take place in Trinidad and Tobago, April 17-19, 2009. The Native Women's
Association of Canada (NWAC) and the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) co-hosted
the event with the assistance of the Organization of American States (OAS) and
various Indigenous organizations throughout the Americas.
    During the meeting a Declaration and a Plan of Action were developed to
promote the aspirations of Indigenous Peoples and to outline actions necessary
to accomplish these goals. As noted by NWAC President Beverley Jacobs, "The
(3rd ILSA) Plan of Action provides achievable actions for states to undertake
in order to ensure that Indigenous Peoples' rights are implemented in their
respective countries. The goal of ensuring that our human rights are respected
and protected can only be achieved if nation states commit to take action."
    The Plan of Action outlines key activities for states to ensure the
implementation of Indigenous rights related to six areas to be deliberated
during the 5th Summit of the Americas. A delegation of 10 Indigenous leaders
will attend the 5th Summit of the Americas, including NWAC President Jacobs
and, on behalf of the AFN, Grand Chief Edward John. The delegation will meet
with OAS State Ministers and will bring forward the 3rd ILSA Declaration and
Plan of Action at a meeting on April 17th, 2009 leading into the 5th Summit of
the Americas.
    "The Plan of Action is the key component of our message to the State
Ministers of the OAS and it is my hope that these leaders will take our
recommendations back to their respective states and promote their
implementation," said Grand Chief Edward John, "Implementation of our human
rights is one crucial step toward alleviating the human rights violations that
we face."
    The ILSA take place every four years. Other items discussed during the
two days included: the full implementation of the United Nations Declaration
on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, environment and resource management,
intellectual property, culture and heritage, and sustainable human
development, economic empowerment and trade.

    The Native Women's Association of Canada is an aggregate of 13 native
women's organizations and is the national voice of Aboriginal women in Canada.

    The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing
First Nations in Canada.

For further information:

For further information: Joshua Kirkey, Communications Advisor, Native
Women's Association of Canada, (613) 722-3033 ext. 231, mobile (613) 290-5680,; Gina Cosentino, Government Relations, National Chief's
Office, Assembly of First Nations, (613) 241-6789 ext. 356,

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