Pandemic focus of U.N. International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples
- EFN Staff | August 11, 2020
On International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, Canadian federal ministers acknowledged the good leadership of Indigenous communities during the pandemic.
“We continue to learn from the innovative ways Indigenous peoples demonstrate resiliency and strength during this pandemic… Communities have taken a lead role in designing and delivering a highly effective pandemic response that responds to the distinct needs and circumstances in their communities that is grounded in their culture, language and traditions,” said a statement issued by Ministers Carolyn Bennett, Crown-Indigenous Relations; Marc Miller, Indigenous Services; Daniel Vandal, Northern Affairs; and Steven Guilbeault, Canadian Heritage.
Every August 9, International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is recognized by the United Nations and around the world, as people are encouraged to reflect on and support the protection and promotion of Indigenous rights.
“In partnership with First Nations, Inuit and Métis, Canada has been working to affirm their rights and support their visions of self-determination…This year we are also working to co-develop the legislation that will implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the ministers said in the statement.
Indigenous peoples in Canada and around the world face challenges caused by colonization and COVID-19 has highlighted inequality and the systemic issues that must be addressed, they said.
“We recognize that Indigenous peoples in Canada face systemic racism and discrimination. The Government of Canada is committed to addressing these issues to ensure everyone in Canada can live with dignity and feel safe in their communities.
“August 9th marks an opportunity to reiterate our commitment to advance reconciliation and renew the relationship with First Nations, Inuit and Métis, based on affirmation of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership.
The United Nations website hosted a virtual commemoration on August 10th with an interactive panel discussion on the innovative ways Indigenous peoples continue demonstrating resilience and strength in the face of the pandemic.