Nishnawbe Aski Nation

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April 22, 2016


THUNDER BAY, ON (April 22, 2016): Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler and Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day welcome a Private Member’s Bill by NDP MP Roméo Saganash calling for the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) introduced in the House of Commons yesterday.

“We are pleased to support the efforts of the Hon. Romeo Saganash to have the Government of Canada adopt and implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and bring Canadian laws into compliance,” said Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler. “The Prime Minister has clearly stated that no relationship is more important than the one between Canada and Indigenous Peoples and the full implementation of the UNDRIP would be a meaningful step towards reconciliation and re-setting our strained relationship.”

NAN and COO support the adoption and implementation of the UNDRIP, which recognizes the collective rights of Aboriginal Peoples living in Canada including inherent rights to traditional lands and territories, self-determination, and recognition of culture and language.

“The UNDRIP is the international Indigenous equivalent of the Chiefs of Ontario We Are The Land Declaration,” said Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day. “We have the right to decide our own forms of government, to use our own laws to raise and educate our children, and to have our own cultural identity without interference. We also maintain our inalienable rights to our lands, territories, and resources. We have never surrendered our rights to either Canada or Ontario, and we look forward to the full implementation of UNDRIP.”

The UNDRIP was adopted by the UN General Assembly in September 2007. A previous Conservative government initially voted against it but the UNDRIP was officially supported by Canada in 2010. Implementation is a priority outlined in the Prime Minister’s mandate letter to the Hon. Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs.

“We look forward to working with the governments of Canada and Ontario to ensure that the standards set out in the UNDRIP are effectively implemented within the federal and provincial laws and policies regarding Treaties, self-government and all issues affecting NAN First Nations,” said Fiddler. “We thank the Hon. Romeo Saganash for his efforts and we encourage this government to match its commitments to reconciliation with action.”

Adoption and implementation of the UNDRIP is recommended as the framework for reconciliation the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, including development of a national action plan, strategies and concrete measures to achieve its goals.

More information on Bill C-262: An Act to ensure that the laws of Canada are in harmony with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, is available at

For more information please contact: Michael Heintzman, Director of Communications – Nishnawbe Aski Nation (807) 625-4965 or cell (807) 621-2790 or by email

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