Regional Chief A-in-chut (Shawn Atleo) and National Chief Phil Fontaine express support for the Indigenous peoples of India on UN Day

    OTTAWA, Oct. 24 /CNW Telbec/ - BC Regional Chief A-in-chut (Shawn Atleo)
and National Chief Phil Fontaine today expressed their support for the
Indigenous peoples of India in their efforts to gain recognition and land
    "On October 24, United Nations Day, we stand in support of the march of
25,000 adivasi, or tribal peoples, to the capital city that is currently
underway in India," said Chief A-in-chut, who recently returned from New Delhi
after participating in the march.
    "Their movement for rights has more similarities than differences to that
of First Nations in Canada. After meeting with the organizers of this massive
non-violent protest, and walking with participants along the road to New
Delhi, I am amazed at how much we have in common," Chief A-in-chut stated,
after his return from India.
    "It illustrates just how important the UN Declaration on the Rights of
Indigenous Peoples is, not only for First Nations in Canada, but for all
countries where Indigenous peoples are seeking the respect of their fellow
citizens and the minimum standards for their survival, dignity and well
    National Chief Phil Fontaine called the 350-kilometre march a monumental
effort to bring attention to the plight of India's landless poor and said it
mirrored the efforts of many of the world's 370 million Indigenous peoples.
    "On this, United Nations Day, we are well aware that many countries
continue to deny their original peoples their rights and the basic necessities
of life. All of us, as First Nations people, share a responsibility to make
these rights known around the world," National Chief Fontaine said.
    "We applaud the Government of India for voting in favour of the UN
Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous peoples on September 13, 2007. It
confirms the minimum international standards for human rights for Indigenous
    The Janadesh 2007 marchers are scheduled to arrive in New Delhi on
October 29, 2007.

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

For further information:

For further information: For interviews with BC Regional Chief Atleo
contact: Ryneld Starr, Communications Officer, B.C. Assembly of First Nations,
(604) 922-7733, cell (604) 837-6908,; For other info
contact: Rene Pollett, Communications Specialist, Office of the National
Chief, (613) 241-6789 ext. 314, cell (613) 295-2149,; Josee
Bellemare, Bilingual Communications Officer, (613) 241-6789 ext. 336, cell
(613) 327-6331,

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