Canada officially put its support behind the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples today.
Minister of Indigenous Affairs Carolyn Bennett made the announcement to a standing ovation at the UN in New York.
“We intend, nothing less than to adopt and implement the declaration in accordance to the Canadian constitution.”
Canada was the last of 4 holdout countries to sign on with the 9 year old document. The Harper government endorsed the document back in 2010, but called it “aspirational” and not legally binding.
BC Minister of Aboriginal Relations John Rustad applauded the move, calling it “more than symbolic”.
“It’s nice to see that Canada is willing to take steps as well towards that reconciliation. From us as a provincial government we are very pleased that the federal government is interested with being at the table.”
Meanwhile, the West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations near Fort St John called the declaration”a hypocrisy in the making”.
“I mean if they are serious about it, it starts here with Site C. They have to step up do what’s right.” West Moberly Chief Roland Wilson said
Roland called on Ottawa to live up to it’s word and kill the Site C project, referring to a lack in demand for the dams power.
“There is no need for the power at all. There is no need for the destruction of that valley, no need for the impacts on First Nations or anything.”
A release from the First Nations blasted the current federal government for issuing Site C permits “without meaningful consultation”, and without responding to a request for a moratorium on permits until the courts settle the challenge to the project.