Bill C-15 should be further strengthened by amending it to include provisions that enable the creation of an independent Indigenous Human Rights Commission.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, President Natan Obed of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, Cabinet ministers, and the elected Inuit leadership of Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated, Makivik Corporation, and Nunatsiavut Government gathered virtually today for a meeting of the Inuit-Crown Partnership Committee.
The ITK Board of Directors met virtually last week week and passed a resolution to endorse Bill C-15 An Act respecting the United Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, as well as proposed amendments to strengthen the legislation.
More than 113,900 masks, 563,000 wipes and 438 gallons of sanitizer have been delivered to help protect Inuit during the pandemic in communities throughout Nunavut, Nunavik, the Inuvialuit Settlement Region and Nunatsiavut.
Inuit experience systemic discrimination within provincial and territorial healthcare systems. The negative effects of discrimination within healthcare systems are compounded by experiences of systemic discrimination within other public services administered by governments.
ITK commends the Government of Canada for recognizing and responding to Inuit needs during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has hit Inuit communities particularly hard.
In his opening address, ITK President Natan Obed said that systemic discrimination against Inuit in healthcare systems can only be curbed through systemic changes in the way governments administer healthcare services, as well as through major new investments in initiatives that reduce social and economic inequities linked to poor health outcomes.
Members of the Inuit-Crown Partnership Committee (ICPC) met to discuss ongoing work related to co-development and implementation of an Inuit Nunangat Policy, as well as how the pandemic has highlighted existing economic and social inequalities, including food security and the infrastructure gap.
Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada and Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami are encouraged that work is underway with the Government of Canada toward the co-development of a National Action Plan to implement the Calls for Justice of the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG).
ITK has supported the commitment by the Government of Canada to co-develop legislation with Inuit, First Nations and Metis to implement the UN Declaration, and worked with the federal government to positively influence its development.