Nishnawbe Aski Nation

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September 13, 2017


THUNDER BAY, ON (September 13, 2017): Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler, on behalf of the Executive Council, has issued the following statement on the 10th anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP):

“The UNDRIP reaffirms what our Nations have always claimed – that we did not cede sovereignty and have the right of self-determination. Its framework for the survival, dignity and well-being of Indigenous Peoples in Canada is significant, but it lacks teeth without a legislated mandate by the federal government. These standards need to be implemented in all federal and provincial laws and policies, and must not be left to the whims of the governments of the day. This includes Treaties, self-government and other issues affecting NAN First Nations including health, education, climate change, and must take into account the remoteness of our First Nations. The Government of Canada must do more than respect its provisions and give this document the legitimacy and force it deserves to improve the lives of our people. We cannot wait another 10 years for change.”

The UNDRIP was adopted by the UN General Assembly in September 2007. Canada’s former Conservative government initially voted against it, but reversed its position and endorsed it in 2010. NAN supported a Private Member’s Bill by NDP MP Roméo Saganash last year calling for the full implementation of the UNDRIP.

The UNDRIP recognizes the collective rights of Aboriginal Peoples living in Canada including inherent rights to traditional lands and territories, self-determination, and recognition of culture and language. Its adoption and implementation was recommended as the framework for reconciliation in the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

For more information please contact: Michael Heintzman, Director of Communications – Nishnawbe Aski Nation (807) 625-4965 or cell (807) 621-2790 or by email

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