• A positive review of two days of activities emphasizing the 10th anniversary of the Declaration
Oct 12, 2017

The Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador (AFNQL), the City of Montréal and the Canadian Commission for UNESCO have provided a positive review of the 10th anniversary celebrations for the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.


This celebration was an opportunity to share the vitality of Aboriginal cultures while engaging in meaningful exchanges focused on Aboriginal issues both here and abroad. These exchanges were enriched by the participation of renowned people who have these critical issues at heart. In addition, necessary observations and commitments were made on the need for greater respect for the rights of indigenous peoples. This state of affairs regarding the realities of these peoples demonstrated the importance of this historic declaration, but also the need to maintain a dialogue to ensure the success of nation-to-nation relations and reconciliation.


In addition to the various conferences and panels presented on the various issues of indigenous peoples, this international gathering has given way to a vibrant and diversified demonstration of the diverse cultures presented during the outdoor show which took place in front of an enchanted crowd in the evening of Wednesday the 13 at the Quai Jacques-Cartier of the Vieux-Port de Montréal.


The Voice of Nations show, featured in the official program for Montréal's 375th anniversary, eloquently emphasized the wealth in terms of artists from seven UN-defined indigenous regions (North America, Central America-South America and the Caribbean, Arctic, South-East Asia, Europe-Russia-Caucasus, Pacific and Africa).


“The implementation of the Declaration and recognition for the rights of indigenous peoples will also depend on alliances with those who support its principles. I want to pay tribute to the Mayor of Montréal, Mr. Denis Coderre, who agreed to take up the challenge of reconciliation by announcing concrete actions to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration by the United Nations. We look to the future with optimism and the success of the two-day meeting confirms the need to continue our reconciliation efforts,” said Ghislain Picard, Chief of the AFNQL and producer of the 10th anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.


“Yesterday, we experienced a historical moment in the City of Montréal. With the inclusion of white pine in the heart of the City's coat of arms and flag, as well as the unveiling of our strategy of reconciliation with indigenous peoples, this is the beginning of a new chapter in our relations with peoples who have lived in Montréal territory for millennia. In celebrating the 10th anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the City of Montréal affirms its pivotal role on the international scene in terms of the implementation of human rights and the rights of indigenous peoples on a daily basis. As a metropolis of reconciliation, we wish to send a strong message of peace, justice and respect for human rights, the principles to which the city is firmly committed,” declared the Mayor of Montréal, Denis Coderre.


“The Commission is pleased to have contributed to the success of the celebrations, even though they have allowed us to gauge how far we still have to go in terms of moving forward with reconciliation. We are committed to mobilizing our networks and partners to pursue these efforts, including in the context of the International Year of Indigenous Languages in 2019,” said Sébastien Goupil, Secretary General of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO.


“The Society for the Celebrations of Montréal’s 375th anniversary is proud to have supported the presentation of this 10th anniversary, which has resulted in several important historical moments for our city. This event, which demonstrated once again Montréal’s special brand of liveliness, will also have facilitated wonderful encounters between indigenous and non-indigenous cultures. Congratulations to the organizers and partners of the event for this remarkable success,” added France Chrétien Desmarais, President of the Board of Directors of the Society for the Celebrations of Montréal’s 375th anniversary.


“The Declaration is an indispensable tool for reconciliation. It sets a path so that Canada can work with indigenous communities to achieve the stated goals and ensure a country where the rights of First Nations, Métis and Inuit will be protected,” concluded Nicole McDonald, Program Director at the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation.

Fore more information, visit the event’s official website: www.undrip10.org.


A necessary recognition and celebration


September 13, 2017, is a symbolic date. It marks the 10th anniversary of the adoption of this founding text by the UN General Assembly. Endorsed to date by nearly 150 countries including Canada, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is the most comprehensive international instrument on the fundamental rights and freedoms of indigenous peoples (culture, identity, religion, language, territory, health, education and cooperation).


To celebrate and promote the Declaration, the AFNQL, along with the City of Montréal and the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, organized this event at the Palais des Congrès de Montréal on indigenous rights and reconciliation. This 10th anniversary has enabled all citizens to participate in the development of dialogue and reconciliation, while emphasizing in a festive manner the diversity and wealth of indigenous peoples.