MST Nations support City of Vancouver’s motion for implementation of United Nations Indigenous Rights Declaration
MARCH 4, 2021, VANCOUVER, BC — Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh (the MST Nations) proudly support Vancouver City Council in calling for the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The motion calling for the implementation of the UN Declaration advances the work of reconciliation in the City of Vancouver and will meaningfully advance the successful relationship between the City of Vancouver and Indigenous peoples.
As the three First Nations with rights and title to Vancouver, the MST Nations have been supportive of the City of Vancouver’s approach to reconciliation and Indigenous relations, and have supported provincial and federal decisions to create frameworks for the UN Declaration implementation.
“It’s easy for colonizers or settlers to only engage in something when wealth is involved, as that’s the very thing that brought them here. It’s another thing for our people. Musqueam wasn’t brought here by wealth. We were created here, we belong here, and we were here before much of this land and resources were. Our connection is different and our need to engage comes from a different place. Our culture and language are not transportable. You can’t just “move” when things get bad. This is our home. The “Canadian” method of consumption has left us wanting and on the brink of environmental collapse. We have lived lives of balance that have guided us for millennia. It’s enshrined in your sχʷəy̓em̓. It’s these principles that Canada (and the world) needs to be able to last another century and beyond.”
– qiyəplenəxʷ – Councillor Howard E. Grant, Musqueam Indian Band
“The Squamish Nation proudly endorses the City of Vancouver joining the Province and potentially soon the Federal government in working with First Nations to implement the UN Declaration. This is a historic opportunity to build on our past successes and move into a new phase of recognizing, affirming, and implementing the human rights of Indigenous Peoples.”
– Spokesperson Khelsilem, Squamish Nation
“The City of Vancouver’s decision to implement the UN Declaration is a move that is strongly supported by Tsleil-Waututh Nation. As a Nation, we look forward to working with the City’s task force on the UN Declaration to work towards systemic change based on mutual understanding and respect for the human rights of Indigenous Peoples, for the benefit of present and future generations.”
– Chief Leah George-Wilson, Tsleil-Waututh Nation
The motion being submitted for Vancouver City Council consideration includes creating a task force with representation from the MST Nations and Vancouver City Council to work collaboratively on a high-level report with recommendations on the next steps to implement the UN Declaration in the City of Vancouver.
The MST Nations look forward to continuing to work with Vancouver City Council to advance this work for the benefit of Indigenous peoples living throughout the city of Vancouver.
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The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was adopted by the UN General Assembly on September 13, 2007, as a triumph for justice and human dignity following more than two decades of negotiations between governments and Indigenous Peoples’ representatives. Among many significant components, the UN Declaration:
- establishes a universal framework of minimum standards for the survival, dignity, well-being and rights of the world’s Indigenous peoples;
- addresses individual and collective rights; cultural rights and identity; rights to education, health, employment, language, and others; and
- outlaws discrimination against Indigenous peoples and promotes their full and effective participation in all matters that concern them.
Musqueam Indian Band
Communications and Engagement Manager