The introduction of Bill C-15, and this government’s commitment to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) is encouraging, but must be met with action on the ground and a National Action Plan achieved in consultation and cooperation with Treaty signatories.
“Although I am pleased about Bill C-15, nothing is stopping the federal government from immediately addressing ongoing human rights violations against Indigenous Peoples now. It is time that this government respects the minimum human rights standards for the survival, dignity and well-being of all Indigenous Peoples articulated in UNDRIP,” said Gazan.
According to Gazan:
“If the government is serious in uplifting UNDRIP then they must demonstrate that with actions. This includes taking all measures necessary to end water boil advisories and invest in adequate housing, immediately comply with the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal Ruling to stop racially discriminating against First Nations children on reserve, honour their commitment to release a National Action plan to address issues of violence with MMIWG2S and LGBTQQIA peoples, and cease and desist from fighting residential school survivors in court.”
Grand Chief Arlen Dumas of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs added:
"This year, the theme of the International Human Rights Day relates to the COVID-19 pandemic and focuses on the need to build better by ensuring human rights are central to recovery efforts. We know from these last eight months that First Nations in Manitoba and across Canada lack the basic human right to clean water, safe shelter and access to timely medical care. We are bearing witness in real time to what the impacts are of not addressing these basic human rights. The principles enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights remain unfilled for our First Nations people. If indeed there is no greater relationship than the one that Canada has with its First Nations people, then action is needed to build better. Equality can take the form of something so simple as being able to drink a glass of clean water from your tap in your own home."
MP Gazan and Grand Chief Dumas are looking forward to working together to ensure such human rights are honoured in the province and beyond.