The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was adopted on September 13, 2007 by United Nations General Assembly and Australia has finally become its 144th signatory.
Endorsing the non-binding Declaration on April 3, the only three G8 countries that have yet to sign on to the declaration are New Zealand, the United States and Canada.
In a press release the Assembly of the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador stated that they were absolutely “thrilled” by the decision, hoping that it would motivate Canada to sign on.
According to the AFNQL, with this additional support to the new international instrument of human rights, Canada finds itself in an even more isolated position, being one of the only three countries not to endorse it.
“This is an opportunity for the government of Canada to review its position in order to comply with the new international standards,” said AFNQL Chief Ghislain Picard.
The AFNQL participated in a protest march in Montreal last September as a means of pressuring the federal government into signing on, as have many Aboriginal groups across the country.
Though Picard has not had much success in convincing Canada’s Conservative leadership to adopt the Declaration, he has also been working a local angle with Quebec. While making public statements congratulating Australia, Picard also urged the province’s National Assembly to take a stand and adopt it on their own.