NDP URGES PM TO RESPECT PRINCIPLES OF UN DECLARATION ON INDIGENOUS RIGHTS - Romeo Saganash tabled bill to harmonize federal legislation

Val-d’Or – It is time for the Conservative government to establish a nation-to-nation relationship with indigenous peoples in the wake of recent events and it’s with this in mind that New Democrat deputy critic for Intergovernmental Aboriginal Affairs, Romeo Saganash, urged Prime Minister Stephen Harper to take concrete action.

 MP Romeo Saganash urged the prime minister to take all necessary measures to ensure compatibility between federal laws and the 2007 UN Declaration on Indigenous Rights. With that objective in mind, Mr. Saganash tabled today a private member’s bill that would harmonize Canadian laws with this important international declaration.

 “The prime minister still hasn’t honoured his commitments from last year to restore a respectful dialogue with First Nations. By harmonizing federal laws with the UN Declaration on Indigenous Rights, he would be taking an important step towards reconciliation,” said Saganash.

 The Harper government officially supported the UN Declaration on Indigenous Rights in November 2010 but failed to respect its principles. The NDP however, was proactive in getting support for the Declaration in the House of Commons in 2008 by introducing a motion on the issue sponsored by MP Irene Mathyssen.

 “It’s time for this government to respect indigenous peoples’ individual and collective rights, recognize that they are equal to all other peoples and that they must not be discriminated against.”