Archive for August, 2010

Bell urges action on Aboriginal issues

August 16, 2010

This letter to the editor was sent to North Island papers on August 15, 2010

Congratulations to Vancouver Island North MP John Duncan on his appointment as Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-status Indians. 

There is so much that needs addressing in this Ministry. First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples deserve respectful engagement to reach mutually acceptable resolution on issues. 

The U.N. established August 9 as the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples in December 1994 as part of the International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People. The U.N. Assembly proclaimed a Second International Decade in 2004. The U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was passed in 2007. 

I’m calling on Minister Duncan to act swiftly to have Canada endorse the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The refusal of the Conservatives to sign the UN Declaration was an international embarrassment to Canadians and an insult to Aboriginal peoples in Canada. 

The NDP believes in implementing the recommendations of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and Jordan’s Principle. 

I stand in support and solidarity with all Aboriginal people in finding resolutions to their long outstanding issues. 

Catherine Bell