International Inuit org applauds Canadian government’s tabling of legislation to implement UNDRIP

“We recognize that tremendous ongoing effort is required to ensure Bill C-15 goes through the legislative process in Parliament and achieves Royal Assent,” said Monica Ell-Kanayuk, president of the Canadian branch of the Inuit Circumpolar Council. “We add our voice to encourage parliamentarians to support this historic legislation in the ongoing struggle to protect the human rights of Indigenous Peoples.” (Courtesy ICC-Canada)
The Inuit Circumpolar Council, which represents the approximately 180,000 Inuit in Alaska, Canada, Greenland, and Chukotka, Russia, said on Tuesday that it applauds Canada’s move to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). 

The Canadian government tabled the legislation on Thursday.

“Following decades of direct involvement in the drafting of the human rights affirmed in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, this is welcome news for Inuit and ICC overall,” said ICC Chair Dalee Sambo Dorough in a news release on Tuesday. 

“The ICC has raised the interrelated rights of Inuit in a host of intergovernmental dialogues across the globe. This is an extraordinary, concrete step towards achieving the objectives of ICC, a precedent that we hope is followed worldwide.

“As far back as 1977, Eben Hopson, Sr. underscored the need for agreement by governments to uniformly respect our rights and we are now on the cusp of serious, substantive consideration of a bill to fully implement or operationalize such rights in the Canada.”  (Eben Hopson is the ICC founder.)

Bill C-15 was introduced by the Liberal Government in Canada on December 3. If eventually passed by Parliament, the bill would require the law in Canada to be consistent with the rights set out in UNDRIP.

UNDRIP was adopted by the United Nations in 2007. It includes 46 articles that affirm the rights of Indigenous peoples. 

Implementation of  UNDRIP was called for by both the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, set up to examine the legacy of the residential school system in Canada, and the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG), set up to examine the high rates of violence against indigenous women in the country.

ICC Canada encourages support of “historic legislation”

Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK), the national Inuit organization in Canada, helped co-developed the legislation with the government and First Nations and Métis in Canada. 

On Tuesday, ICC’s Canadian chapter also applauded ITK’s role

“We also commend Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK) in working with Canadian government officials in the co-development of the legislation,” said ICC Canada President Monica Ell-Kanayuk.

“We recognize that tremendous ongoing effort is required to ensure Bill C-15 goes through the legislative process in Parliament and achieves Royal Assent. We add our voice to encourage parliamentarians to support this historic legislation in the ongoing struggle to protect the human rights of Indigenous Peoples.

“The progressive actions of the Government of Canada in this regard, we believe, will help influence other positive legislative actions for Inuit and others across the globe.”

Write to Eilís Quinn at eilis.quinn(at)cbc.ca

Related stories around the North:

Canada: Indigenous, distinction-based health legislation & moving forward on UNDRIP among Canadian government priorities in throne speech, Eye on the Arctic

Finland: Sámi reconciliation process gains final approval in Finland, Yle News

Norway: The Arctic Railway – Building a future or destroying a culture?, Eye on the Arctic

Russia: Russia removes critical voices ahead of Arctic Council chairmanship, claims Indigenous peoples expert, The Independent Barents Observer

Eilís Quinn, Eye on the Arctic

Eilís Quinn, Eye on the Arctic

Eilís Quinn is an award-winning journalist and manages Radio Canada International’s Eye on the Arctic news cooperation project. Eilís has reported from the Arctic regions of all eight circumpolar countries and has produced numerous documentary and multimedia series about climate change and the issues facing Indigenous peoples in the North.

Her investigative report "Death in the Arctic: A community grieves, a father fights for change," about the murder of Robert Adams, a 19-year-old Inuk man from Arctic Quebec, received the silver medal for “Best Investigative Article or Series” at the 2019 Canadian Online Publishing Awards. The project also received an honourable mention for excellence in reporting on trauma at the 2019 Dart Awards in New York City.

Her report “The Arctic Railway: Building a future or destroying an culture?” on the impact a multi-billion euro infrastructure project would have on Indigenous communities in Arctic Europe was a finalist at the 2019 Canadian Association of Journalists award in the online investigative category.

Her multimedia project on the health challenges in the Canadian Arctic, "Bridging the Divide," was a finalist at the 2012 Webby Awards.

Her work on climate change in the Arctic has also been featured on the TV science program Découverte, as well as Le Téléjournal, the French-Language CBC’s flagship news cast.

Eilís has worked for media organizations in Canada and the United States and as a TV host for the Discovery/BBC Worldwide series "Best in China."

One thought on “International Inuit org applauds Canadian government’s tabling of legislation to implement UNDRIP

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    Tuesday, January 5, 2021 at 03:23
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    This is a great milestone towards the implimentation of UNDRIP. Thanks Eilís for this great article.

    Reply
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