The international community adopted the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples September 13 over the objections of countries, such as Canada, which have large Aboriginal populations.
The U.S., Australia and New Zealand also voted against the non-binding agreement at the UN General Assembly that sets out human rights standards for Indigenous populations.
Canada had “significant concerns” over the declaration’s wording on provisions addressing lands and resources, along with better measures of Indigenous consent before enacting new laws.
Indian Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl claimed that Aboriginal people are already protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and that the new declaration conflicts with the existing one.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has said in the past that he is uncomfortable with the wording of the document and that Canada would not sign it in its current form.