Letter to Senator Dennis Glen Patterson Re: Delaying the Passage of Bill C-262 on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP)
June 7, 2019
Senator Dennis Glen Patterson
Senate of Canada
40 Wellington Street
Re: Delaying the Passage of Bill C-262 on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP)
Dear Senator Patterson,
It is with considerable dismay that I am reading news reports of Conservative Senators delaying the passage of Bill C-262 as members of the Standing Committee on Aboriginal Peoples.
Senator Patterson, simply put, Canada must be in harmony with its international commitments at the United Nations to implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and with the political realities in this country. Never before in the history of Canada has Indigenous peoples and their rightful place in the country been so real and evident in the hearts of Canadians. In order to elevate this forward, we need clarity for all people involved. I don’t need to tell you what milestones we have made for indigenous and non- indigenous Canadians. You have been a real part of making the political landscape of this country reflect its first Canadians, the Inuit, Metis and First Nations.
Today in Nunavik we are pushing forward and are going after a political regime that has never been sought after before. We are moving forward with the creation of a government to manage our own affairs based on Inuit traditional law, culture, heritage, values and language. With the recognition of Aboriginal Rights in the Canadian Constitution in 1982, Canada now needs a mechanism to pool legislation together to truly make this country a land that supports its diversity and Indigenous Canadians. We need clarity on all sides, regular Canadians and its first peoples with the Canadian Government in the center. That mechanism is Bill C-262, at least it’s a start and its timing is good.
Now I am asking you, Mr Senator, to speak up on behalf of the Indigenous peoples of Canada to ensure that Bill C-262, known as the UNDRIP Bill, receives proper consideration in Committee, and subsequently Royal Assent in the Senate of Canada.
If ever there was a time to act and convince your fellow Conservative Senators to support this legislation, this is the time. I encourage you to discuss this with your fellow Senators and reverse the trend and push the bill to a speedy passage.