Two of Canada’s authoritative voices on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous peoples will be in the Northwest early next month.
Paul Joffe, a lawyer for the Grand Council of the Crees and Jennifer Preston who is the Indigenous Rights Coordinator for the Canadian Friends Service Committee (Quakers) will be make stops in Smithers, Hazelton, Terrace and Prince Rupert February 5th and the 8th.
The pair came to Prince Rupert last year to meet with Indigenous leaders who wanted to know more about the declaration and the legal framework concerning free, prior and informed consent.
A news release from the organization bringing the speakers says with dramatic increase of resource extraction proposals throughout the Northwest in recent years, many are deeply concerned that their Indigenous Rights are being undermined by decisions made far from their traditional lands by non-Indigenous governments.
UNDRIP Northwest says although both provincial and federal governments have promised to rebuild a nation to nation relationship with Indigenous communties, many feel that they have yet to follow through.