1 June 2011 (rev.)

Canada to Implement UNDRIP

In 2007 the United Nations Declaration on
the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) was adopted by the UN General
Assembly. The development of the document had taken 25 years of consultation
and discussion with indigenous peoples, crafting a list of the collective and
individual rights recognised as foundational for indigenous societies to
prosper. They include the right to self-governance, the right to determine
membership and the right to participate in decision-making that affects their
interests. Four countries voted against the declaration’s endorsement:
Australia, Canada, the United States and New Zealand.

Last year, CPT’s Aboriginal Justice Team (AJT)
supported a campaign to press Canada to endorse the declaration. Through the use
of liturgical resources for advent services, the AJT invited congregations to
learn about UNDRIP, pray for its success, and sign a petition organised by
KAIROS Canada, the ecumenical justice organisation. In November 2010 Canada
signed on, followed in December by the last country left, the United States.

The next step is for the declaration to
influence law and decision-making. Many of the issues facing communities that
the Aboriginal Justice Team have relationship with are addressed by one or more
of the 46 articles, and which assert the state’s minimum duty towards
indigenous peoples. If the declaration is to have any effect it must be used to
inform the government’s position in ongoing and future debates about land,
culture and rights.

To visualise the need and desire for the
declaration’s implementation, KAIROS has launched a new campaign, “Roll with
the Declaration.” Churches and groups across Canada are producing small banners
and putting them on trains to Ottawa, where they will be joined into a single great
banner on Parliament Hill on June 20th, 2011.London, Ontario area banner

The CPT Ontario regional group recently met
and produced several banners, and other CPTers are running events in their
local church, with youth groups and schools. On the KAIROS website are detailed
instructions for creating banners and running 45 minute, half-day or full day

Even if you can’t come to Ottawa for June
20th, you can still produce a banner from your church or community. As
part of the event you can collect signatures for the petition, or perhaps you
are part of an organisation which can endorse the KAIROS action. Visit the
KAIROS website for more information on how you can join the call for Canada to
implement this important human rights tool, to take us closer to right

For more information see:

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