OTTAWA, May 30, 2018 /CNW/ – Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde welcomed the passing on third reading of Private Member’s Bill C-262, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act, in the House of Commons today. The bill will now go to the Senate, taking another significant step closer to becoming Canadian law.
“The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is the framework for reconciliation and closing the gap in the quality of life between First Nations and Canada,” said AFN National Chief Bellegarde. “It affirms the Treaty and inherent rights and title of First Nations. It is now ten years since the Declaration was adopted by the UN General Assembly and time for Canada to make this important commitment to move on its implementation in full partnership with First Nations. I commend all those who voted today in support of this bill. In particular, I lift up NDP MP Romeo Saganash for working so hard with his colleagues, with First Nations and Canadians across the country to advance this Bill.
“I urge Members of the Senate to deal expeditiously with this Bill and look forward to the historic day, now closer than ever, when it is given Royal Assent. That will move all of us forward and create a more fair and just country.”
Meanwhile, the Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador (AFNQL) also welcomed the adoption of Bill C-262 in third reading, an Act to ensure that the laws of Canada are in harmony with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (the Declaration).
“After 34 years of hard work and with a patience that was put to the test, we must today congratulate Mr. Roméo Saganash, NDP MP for Abitibi-Baie James-Nunavik-Eeyou, for this fundamental Bill which now determines the parameters of the implementation of the Declaration. On behalf of the First Nations in Quebec, we want to acknowledge his perseverance and determination. The implementation of the Declaration is now only a matter of time and the federal government has an obligation to comply with it, including when it comes to the integrity of our territories,” says Ghislain Picard, Chief of the AFNQL.
The AFN is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada. Follow AFN on Twitter @AFN_Updates.