Standing ovation at UN greets Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett’s announcement
There were cheers in the United Nations as Canada officially removed its objector status to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Tuesday, almost a decade after it was adopted by the General Assembly.
“We are now a full supporter of the declaration, without qualification,” Bennett said, as she addressed the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues at the United Nations in New York City on Tuesday.
“We intend nothing less than to adopt and implement the declaration in accordance with the Canadian Constitution.”
The declaration recognizes Indigenous Peoples’ basic human rights, as well as rights to self-determination, language, equality and land, among others.
Bennett — who received a standing ovation for her statement — is at the United Nations with Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould.
“It was a very emotional moment for me,” said Chief Wilton Littlechild, a Cree lawyer and former commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada who was at the UN on Tuesday. Littlechild has been involved with the UN for nearly 40 years and said he’s rarely seen anyone receive a standing ovation.