(Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Territory/Kamloops – August 11th, 2017) The theme for this year’s Day of Indigenous People marks the 10th anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, which occurs on Wednesday September 13th, 2017. This important tool is an instrument of recognition and reconciliation for Indigenous People here in British Columbia, across the country and beyond. It articulates our collective and individual rights as Indigenous Peoples which sets minimum standards for governments in meeting those principles. The Declaration is a strong international instrument which provides acknowledgement of Indigenous Peoples fundamental human rights, as well as the right to self-determination.

Acting BC Regional Chief Maureen Chapman, believes it is time for Provincial and Federal governments to come together to, “make a meaningful commitment and substantive action for the full implementation of the articles in the Declaration.” Chief Chapman applauds the efforts of former BCAFN Regional Chief Jody Wilson-Raybould, in her role as Minister of Justice and the Attorney General of Canada, in advancing the agenda surrounding the support and implementation of UNDRIP standards.

The disappointment in 2007, when the federal government was one of four nations in the world that did not sign the declaration, increased as the years went by. In the decade since the progress towards acknowledging, adopting and implementing the Declarations articles has been slow. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau acknowledged during the ceremony on Parliament Hill on August 9th that, “much work remains to be done to advance meaningful reconciliation and to make sure that Indigenous Peoples’ rights and voices are fully respected.”

The BC Assembly of First Nations supports the efforts being made to motivate and move towards fully implementing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People and we look forward to working with governments in partnership to breathe life into this important international instrument.

For further information contact:
Acting Regional Chief Maureen Chapman
BC Assembly of First Nations