OTTAWA, May 10, 2016 – IFSW member The Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW) commends the federal government’s decision to officially adopt the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Canada was one of only four countries that voted against the Declaration when it was passed in 2007.
In her announcement, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett noted that the federal government intends to not only adopt, but also implement the Declaration in accordance with Canada’s Constitution.
“We are pleased that this federal government has ended Canada’s former opposition,” began CASW President Morel Caissie, “and are even more encouraged by the tone of the Minister’s address to the UN: specifically the implication that it will lead to tangible improvements for indigenous Canadians.”
Beyond calling for the acknowledgement of Canada’s systemic racism and indifference toward indigenous peoples and communities, CASW has urged the federal government to act immediately on all 94 Calls to Action advanced in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s (TRC) final report.
“The endorsement of the Declaration has incredible symbolic value in its affirmation of the rights of indigenous people,” added Mr. Caissie, “but it is time that the federal government turn research, consultation, and symbolic gestures into concrete acts of reconciliation.”
CASW looks forward to holding this federal government accountable to its commitment to real change. “We are hopeful that this government will follow through on all of its promises of reconciliation by restoring equity and upholding the rights of indigenous Canadians,” concluded Mr. Caissie, “and we will support them in any way possible.”