(New York, NY) – On behalf of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), Treaty 6 Grand Chief Wilton Littlechild is participating this week at the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development at the United Nations headquarters in New York, NY.
Grand Chief Littlechild spoke to the work Canada must undertake with First Nations to meet international sustainable development goals, including respecting Canada’s international human rights commitments and obligations to Indigenous peoples.
“First Nations must be full partners in achieving truly sustainable development, to meet the 2030 goals, and to close the gap in the quality of life between First Nations and Canada,” said Grand Chief Wilton Littlechild following the release of Canada’s voluntary national review on its progress on achieving goals set out in Agenda 2030.
“This requires a robust national strategy co-developed with First Nations. The strategy must include mutually agreed-to mechanisms to share Crown revenue.
“The violation of our Treaty rights and our right to self-determination respecting our lands and resources has entrenched and maintained a longstanding gap in socio-economic outcomes. First Nations must be fully involved and drive approaches to addressing and closing the socio-economic gap and rights must be respected and upheld.”
The High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development at the United Nations Economic and Social Council is taking place July 9-18. This is the main forum to ensure States are accountable for commitments in the 2030 Agenda, which includes 17 sustainable development goals adopted by the United Nations in September 2015. Canada presented a Voluntary National Review on its progress toward its goals yesterday. Grand Chief Littlechild’s comments are in response to this review.
“First Nations priorities and perspectives were not included in the development of either the Millennium Development Goals or the successor Sustainable Development Goals,” said Grand Chief Littlechild.
“We need a better approach. The Assembly of First Nations is offering to work with Canada to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, and this effort must include working together on better ways to collect and analyze data and to evaluate progress.
“The UN Declaration should be the framework for measurement, in collaboration with First Nations on a nation-to-nation basis to ensure sustainable development goals contribute to First Nations’ own priorities for sustainable development and do not negatively affect our rights and priorities respecting development.”