Canada Is The Only UN Member To Reject Landmark Indigenous Rights Document

 Canada singled itself out as the only country to raise objections over a landmark United Nations document re-establishing the protection of the rights of indigenous people last week. It was a gesture one prominent First Nation leader called “saddening, surprising.”

“Canada was viewed always as a country that upheld human rights,” said Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations Chief Perry Bellegarde. “For Canada to be the only nation state to get up to make a caveat on the vote – that’s very telling.”

Bellegarde travelled to New York City to attend a special UN General Assembly meeting of more than 1,000 delegates and heads of state for the first-ever World Conference on Indigenous Peoples on Sept. 22 and 23.

The United States, who was among four nations (including Canada) who opposed the adoption of the original declaration seven years ago, notably reversed its position. President Barack Obama threw his administration’s support behind the declaration, regarding it as one that will "help reaffirm the principles that should guide our future."

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