(UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Victoria Tauli-Corpuz)
APTN National News
The UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples says it’s time for the Justin Trudeau government to regulate Canadian companies overseas that continue to violate the rights of Indigenous peoples.
UN Special Rapporteur Victoria Tauli-Corpuz said the Canadian government has an “obligation” to regulate the activities of mining companies that operate in other parts of the world.
“This government has an obligation to regulate these companies,” said Tauli-Corpuz, in an interview following a speech at the Assembly of First Nations’ annual general assembly in Regina. “Mainly Indigenous people are effected directly by these mining companies.”
However, domestically, Tauli-Corpuz said the Canadian government under the Trudeau administration is “trailblazing” in its efforts to reshape its relationship with Indigenous peoples.
She singled out Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould’s role in the government’s efforts to implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and ensure federal laws and policies respect Indigenous rights.
“I think the way that Wilson-Raybould is doing this is very important and it’s going to really make a difference if this will be pushed into action,” said Tauli-Corpuz.
Tauli-Corpuz said Wilson-Raybould delivered a significant speech Tuesday morning to the assembled chiefs describing a vision where First Nations are able to shape their own governance structure. She said the Trudeau government’s approach is a significant improvement over the actions of the previous administration of Stephen Harper.
“From what I read it seems like (Trudeau) is really totally shifting away from the previous ways the Harper government dealt with Indigenous issues,” she said. “Hopefully they will be a government that does the right thing as far as respecting indigenous rights.”