Tagged Indigenous Peoples’ Human Rights

Scroll down for a list of all articles about Canadian Friends Service Committee’s work in support of Indigenous peoples’ human rights.

Our work uses the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as a framework and is always done in partnership with Indigenous peoples and human rights organizations. Our newsletter Quaker Concern comes out three times a year sharing stories from our Indigenous rights work and how we’re making a difference.

We cannot have peace without justice. Indigenous peoples do not have justice, and so we are led to walk alongside and support our Indigenous partners in their struggles for it.

Indigenous peoples globally continue to face discrimination, dispossession of their lands and resources, forced assimilation, and other grave human rights abuses. The UN Declaration is the most comprehensive international human rights instrument to specifically address their economic, social, cultural, political, civil, spiritual and environmental rights.

In its own words, the UN Declaration sets out minimum standards necessary for the “dignity, survival and well-being” of Indigenous peoples.

The UN General Assembly overwhelmingly adopted the Declaration on September 13, 2007. This historic adoption followed more than 20 years of deliberation and debate!

The Declaration affirms inherent or pre-existing collective human rights, as well as the human rights of Indigenous individuals. It provides a framework for justice and reconciliation, applying existing human rights standards to the specific historical, cultural, and social circumstances of Indigenous peoples.

IWe work with many organizations to hold Canada accountable to meet its responsibilities under domestic law and international law including the UN Declaration. Together with our partners we regularly produce joint statements, open letters, and educational materials.

Quakers need to develop and nurture relationships of trust and mutual respect between ourselves, others in Canada, and the Indigenous peoples of this territory.

Expert Symposium on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and Sustainable Development, April, 2022. Photo: Katsi’tsakwas Ellen Gabriel.

Expanded Visions of Sustainability at the Expert Symposium

In the first few weeks at my new job at CFSC I got a text from Indigenous Rights Program Coordinator Jennifer Preston: “So! What do you think about coming to Vancouver?” With excitement I told her, “Of course, I’d love to.” A few weeks later I set off from my home office in Ontario to…

Breathing Life Into Treaty Relationships

We arrived at 7 am. The autumn sun warmed the Kapabamayak Achaak Healing Forest in North End, Winnipeg, Treaty 1 territory. We came to set up. Something was planned that had not happened for 150 years. We gathered to commemorate the 1871 making and signing of Treaties 1 and 2. As the sacred fire burned,…

Strong Spirits film by Katsi'tsakwas Ellen Gabriel

Strong Spirits Soar in New York

In 2021 CFSC’s Reconciliation Fund provided grant funds to long-time CFSC partner Katsi’tsakwas Ellen Gabriel for her studies in documentary filmmaking at the New York Film Academy (NYFA). Ellen is an artist and land defender from the Kanien’kehá:ka community of Kanehsatà:ke.  We are thrilled to support this critical decolonizing work. In her application to CFSC,…

Senator Christmas votes in favour of the UN Declaration Implementation Act, June 16, 2021.

A Milestone for Indigenous Rights and Reconciliation

F or many years CFSC has called on Canada to fully implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. We are absolutely thrilled that an important piece of legislation toward this end, Bill C-15, received Royal Assent on June 21, National Indigenous Peoples Day. This is such a tremendous victory! We joined with…

In advancing the TRC's Calls to Action CFSC has provided individual grants like one to Cowichan Elder Hul'q'umin'num, teacher, and knowledge keeper Philomena Williams, to bring in a fish leather expert for teaching this ancient skill

Giving Life and Spirit to TRC Calls to Action

In June, it will be six years since the formal closing events commemorating the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the release of the 94 Calls to Action. Many thousands of people at the closing event heard the words of TRC Chief Commissioner Murray Sinclair: “If you thought the truth was hard, reconciliation…

Romeo Saganash and Jennifer Preston pose in the House of Commons after Bill C-262 passes in the House.

The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act

On December 3, 2020, Minister of Justice David Lametti tabled Bill C-15, a federal government bill to implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This is intended to provide the overdue framework for the federal government to work cooperatively with Indigenous peoples to implement the rights affirmed in the UN Declaration in…

Advancing Indigenous rights work together

Advocating for Indigenous Rights During a Pandemic

Usually at this time of year, CFSC’s Indigenous Rights Committee writes about our ongoing work with partners advocating for Indigenous peoples’ human rights at the United Nations. We had planned to be in New York in April for the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (PFII) and Geneva in June for the UN Expert Mechanism…

Indigenous voices on reconciliation - Collin Orchyk

Indigenous Voices on Reconciliation

What does reconciliation mean to you? What suggestions do you have for non-Indigenous people to respectfully engage in reconciliation? Have you seen a change in how people are engaging in reconciliation in recent years? If you had to choose one thing that you wish every person knew about reconciliation, what would that be? What are…

CFSC Celebrates BC Indigenous Human Rights Legislation. A totem pole in front of the BC Legislature building in Victoria. Photo: Flickr/"The Brit 2" CC- BY 2.0

CFSC Celebrates BC Indigenous Human Rights Legislation

November 26, 2019 was the historic day when British Columbia (BC) adopted provincial legislation to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (previously known as Bill 41) was co-developed with Indigenous peoples in BC through the First Nations Leadership Council. Like Bill…

Haida youth Haana Edenshaw on her experience at the UN

Haida Youth Haana Edenshaw on Her Experience at the UN

Haana Edenshaw is a youth from Haida Gwaii who accompanied Canadian Friends Service Committee’s delegation to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York. Keira Mann, who was also part of the delegation, interviewed her about the experience. Keira: How did you become involved in Canadian Friends Service Committee’s delegation to the…