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Jean Crowder's Statement on National Aboriginal Day »
Tue 21 Nov 2006
OTTAWA – On the 10th anniversary of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, NDP Critic for Aboriginal Affairs Jean Crowder (Nanaimo-Cowichan) and federal NDP leader Jack Layton are calling on Stephen Harper’s Conservatives to reverse their stance against the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and to move forward on the solutions identified by the Royal Commission.
"Canada was a driving force behind the drafting of this declaration, " said Crowder. "Dozens of aboriginal organizations in Canada contributed to the wording. It was one of the recommendations of RCAP that Canada support and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2.3.1(e)),” said Crowder.
“The Liberals ignored the Royal Commission report for ten long years while it gathered dust and successive Liberal administrations refused to act on the recommendations. Now the Conservatives are one-upping them by further disgracing Canada by its treatment of aboriginal peoples on the international stage,” said Layton. “The time is long overdue for the government of Canada to treat First Nations, Métis and Inuit with the respect they deserve. A good first step would be to vote in favour of the UN’s Declaration on Indigenous Peoples Rights and then the Conservatives must move forcefully on the Commission’s recommendations.”
“We’ve heard the Prime Minister insist that other countries, like China, must respect human rights. When will he show how his own government respects human rights by supporting the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. And when will he start implementing the RCAP recommendations?” said Crowder.
Layton and Crowder will be attending an Assembly of First Nations ceremony commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Royal Commission at the Museum of Civilization in Hull Tuesday evening.