(OTTAWA) – The Green Party of Canada released the following statement for International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples:
“Today, we celebrate Canada’s Indigenous Peoples and the 370-million Indigenous people living across 90 countries, who represent more than 5,000 distinct cultures,” said Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada (MP, Saanich-Gulf Islands). “Here in Canada, we must do more to improve the lives of Indigenous youth, and particularly to stem the increase in children and youth suicides in some remote Indigenous communities. Equitable federal funding for child and family services on reserves is still shockingly absent. We must work closely with affected families to ensure the Inquiry into Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls remains a legitimate, accessible process for everyone.”
Lorraine Rekmans, GPC Indigenous Affairs Critic, said: “This year’s Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is happening at the same time the United Nations is meeting to assess state progress on ending racial discrimination. As the 93rd session of the UN Committee to End Racial Discrimination (CERD) undertakes its review of Canada in Geneva over the next few weeks, they will find evidence that the legal, economic and social conditions of Indigenous Peoples throughout Canada are desperate and impoverished.
“At this gathering of states, all the world will bear witness to the dismal failure of successive governments to improve the standard of living for Indigenous Peoples in Canada. In fact, the high number of youth suicides in Canada are an indicator that conditions are deteriorating.
"Five years ago, CERD noted concerns about Canada’s record, and made recommendations that called on Canada to strengthen efforts to eliminate violence against Indigenous women, provide safe drinking water to Indigenous communities, and adopt a national plan developed in consultation with Indigenous Peoples to implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People. Recommendations to deal with Indigenous land title and self-determination haven’t been addressed. If I was writing this report card, I would give Canada a fail.”
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