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Open Letter to Prime Minister Harper: Support UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People

Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A2

Sent Via FAX: (613) 941-6900

August 30, 2007

Re: Support United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People

Dear Prime Minister Harper:

On behalf the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, we are writing to strongly encourage, advise and direct the Government of Canada to support the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples at the upcoming UN General Assembly.

An affirmative vote by Canada would be consistent with the solemn commitment of the UN and member States of promoting Human Rights, as one of the three pillars of the international order. Furthermore, as a nation state of the UN Human Rights Council, Canada’s recognition of the rights of Indigenous Peoples advances the Human Rights Council’s work to promote and encourage respect for Human Rights and fundamental freedoms for all, including Indigenous Peoples.

As you may know, Indigenous Peoples and states have worked on the Declaration for more than 20 years. The highly commendable progress toward realizing the Declaration was based on the democratic participation of States and Indigenous peoples. Presently, we advise the Government of Canada to help maintain this harmonious collaboration. No State, including Canada, should seek to institutionalize lower Human Rights standards for over 370 million Indigenous people worldwide.

We look forward to the moment that we can celebrate together our collective achievement – not only for our benefit, but also for the benefit of all of humankind.


Chief Stewart Phillip

Chief Robert Shintah

Chief Mike Retasket

CC: Members of Parliament
       BC First Nations



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