Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde

Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde
Photo Credit: CBC News

Canadian Chief: Aboriginal rights first step in fighting climate change

“The rights of Indigenous peoples must be recognized in the final text of the treaty being negotiated here and all follow up actions,” said National Chief Bellegarde.

He is among the head of Canada’s major aboriginal advocacy group, the Assembly of First Nations. (AFN) and is among those attending the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP 21) on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Chief Bellegarde was invited as part of Canada’s official delegate to the conference and sat alongside Prime Minister  JustinTrudeau, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, and the Foreign Affairs Minister represented Canada at the opening plenary for the COP 21.

When Canada’s Prime Minister spoke he mentioned the importance of traditional knowledge of aboriginal peoples to be included  in the effort to deal with climate change.

In an AFN press release, National Chief Bellegarde stated: “It is notable that the Prime Minister recognizes us as Indigenous peoples with all the rights articulated in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and that he understands that Indigenous peoples and our traditional knowledge are essential in finding solutions to combat climate change.  We are the first to feel its effects and our voices and recommendations must inform the path forward.  We fully expect that the final treaty negotiated here will reflect that.”

Categories: Environment & Animal Life, Indigenous, International, Politics
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