Parliament resumed today and there were some interesting comments made during the throne speech.  Some of the comments were:

-Our Government will also work hand-in-hand with Aboriginal communities and provinces and territories to reform and strengthen education, and to support student success and provide greater hope and opportunity.

-Our Government will take additional action to address the disturbing number of unsolved cases of murdered and missing Aboriginal women. The Sisters in Spirit initiative has drawn particular attention to this pressing criminal justice priority.

-Our Government also recognizes the contributions of Canada’s Aboriginal people. Too often, their stories have been ones of sorrow. Our Government will continue to build on its historic apology for the treatment of children in residential schools.

-After settling 17 specific claims since this Parliament began, it will continue to work to resolve additional claims.

-Having made safe drinking water and effective waste-water treatment on-reserve a national priority, our Government will introduce new legislative measures to further this goal.

-It is only 50 years ago that Aboriginal people in Canada were granted the right to vote. To further protect the rights of Aboriginal people, particularly women living on-reserve, our Government will take steps to ensure the equitable distribution of real property assets in the event of death, divorce or separation. It will also introduce legislation to comply with a recent court decision in order to address gender inequality under the Indian Act.

-We are a country with an Aboriginal heritage. A growing number of states have given qualified recognition to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Our Government will take steps to endorse this aspirational document in a manner fully consistent with Canada’s Constitution and laws.

It is good to see the government recognizing the cases of murdered and missing Aboriginal women in Canada, yet this speech commits no concrete action.  Furthermore, the Federal government recognizes that they are a minority in refusing to sign the UNDRIP yet still make no actions to join the 145 nations in signing the Declaration and acknowledging Aboriginal human rights in Canada.

Let us take this as a sign that we are being heard!  Continue sending your letters and emails of support to the Prime Minister so we can finally sign the UNDRIP.

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