January 24, 2017 — Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami released a position paper today on implementing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Canada. The paper outlines Inuit expectations regarding the federal government’s commitment to implementing the UNDRIP. It describes ITK’s preferred approach to working in partnership with the federal government on implementing the critical human rights norms articulated by the document, including through national legislation.
“It has been more than a year since the Prime Minister promised to renew Canada’s relationship with Indigenous peoples, including specific direction to the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs to prioritize implementing the UN Declaration. However, Canada’s work to date on this file can best be characterized as inaction,” said ITK President Natan Obed.
“Instead, over the past year, the government has made statements about Canada’s responsibilities under the UNDRIP that suggest little departure from the previous government’s position, and it has provided an interpretation of the UNDRIP’s provisions regarding free, prior and informed consent that would suggest that it is not a human right of Inuit, Metis and First Nations that must be incorporated into the laws, policies, and procedures of the federal government.”
ITK looks forward to working with the Federal government on an urgent basis to meaningfully implement the UNDRIP without qualification or delay.