(SASKATOON, SK) – On May 9, 2016, Canada announced at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, held in New York City,  that the country officially removed its permanent objector status and intends to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

The Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN) Executive is pleased at the announcement, however, the FSIN is cautious and will proceed carefully, calling for full inclusion in developing this framework and establishing this acknowledged international Treaty Indigenous relationship.

“The announcement to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People is long overdue and important to our First Nation people,” said FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron. “We as Indigenous peoples have to be fully included in all aspects of this relationship that includes developing the language of the framework, the appointment of any government advisors and the full participation during the draft stages all the way to the final outcome document.”

The relationship the Federal Government is undertaking with our Indigenous peoples, Tribes and Nations must be one of respect, partnership and reflect the spirit and intent of the sacred agreements that are our Treaties. It must take the relationship further and ensure the minimal standard is used as base and not just meet that minimum standard that is the UNDRIP but build on that and honour Treaty obligations.

“The U.N. Declaration affirms and strengthens our laws and our Inherent and Treaty Rights. Our Treaties are of international stature and the Declaration is our tool to defend those rights,” said Chief Cameron. “This is an important point in the history of Indigenous peoples in Canada in moving forward on the path of reconciliation. We need to ensure what we do today will not harm our generations of tomorrow.”

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