Action Must Follow UNDRIP Endorsement: Chiefs

Monday, November 15, 2010 at 19:31



The national chief of the Assembly of First Nations says the real work begins now that the federal government has endorsed the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.


Canada was one of four countries to not endorse the declaration when it was voted on three years ago, but officially supported the declaration on Friday.


Shawn Atleo says a good place to start with tangible change would be education, as he says the government has said it will invest in youth.


However, Atleo says that process must not be unilateral.


Atleo says he recognizes there won’t be immediate changes overnight with the endorsement of the declaration, but he is optimistic it will bring a new working relationship between Aboriginal people and the government.


Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations Chief Guy Lonechild is also applauding the government’s move.


Lonechild also says he expects the endorsement not to have any strings attached to it.


Last year, former Indian Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl said the government would only offer qualified support to the declaration.