TORONTO, June 20, 2013 /CNW/ - National Aboriginal Day is an opportunity
for all Canadians to celebrate the unique culture and contributions of
First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples in Canada.
This year there has been a lot of attention on issues regarding
Aboriginal Peoples - and that is a good thing since our nation has a
long history of ignoring their legitimate rights.
Canada signed the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous
Peoples just two years ago. The Declaration makes clear that Aboriginal
Peoples "have suffered from historic injustices as a result of…their
colonization and dispossession of their lands, territories and
resources, thus preventing them from exercising…their right to
development in accordance with their own needs and interests."
The OHRC is committed to working with First Nations, Inuit and Métis
Peoples to use our mandate under the Human Rights Code to address the systemic discrimination that affects them.
On March 8, 2013, the Canadian Association of Statutory Human Rights
Agencies unanimously passed a motion calling on the Government of
Canada to work with Aboriginal Peoples' organizations to develop and
implement a national action plan. The plan would focus urgent attention
on addressing and preventing the root causes of violence against
Aboriginal women and girls, including poverty and systemic
discrimination. It further calls on the Government to establish an
independent and inclusive inquiry into missing and murdered Aboriginal
women and girls in Canada.
We salute the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in raising
awareness and helping to educate all Canadians about the Residential
Schools system and its tragic impacts.
We also commend movements like "Idle No More" whose supporters draw
attention to pressing issues and advocate for change.
We call on all levels of government to meet the existing commitments and
obligations to Aboriginal Peoples in Canada recognized by treaties and
other agreements, the Constitution, the Supreme Court, and the United
Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
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SOURCE: Ontario Human Rights Commission
For further information:
Sr. Communications Officer
Ontario Human Rights Commission