C-262: A Step Towards True Reconciliation

 

Three decades of work by Indigenous Peoples around the world was recognized today when the House of Commons adopted Bill-C-262 at second reading. This bill will finally align Canadian law with fundamental human rights and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

“This is an important day for Indigenous Peoples across the country,” declared Romeo Saganash, New Democrat MP for Abitibi–Baie-James–Nunavik–Eeyou. “It’s also a great day for human rights and justice. This is a significant first step bringing the Canadian government towards true reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, as well as recognition and respect for our rights.”

The United Nations Declaration is a progressive human rights tool. It is informed by the injustices, dispossession and discrimination faced by Indigenous Peoples and also by their knowledge and values. It has been on the forefront of human rights developments and the subject of more than 30 years of serious discussions and negotiations.

“This is the first piece of legislation to explicitly reject colonialism,” added Saganash. “If we are to move forward with reconciliation, we have no choice – we must turn our backs on colonialism. Thank you to all the MPs who spoke on behalf of the bill. They played a significant role in advancing the political, socio-economic, cultural and spiritual rights of Indigenous Peoples in Canada.”