August 9 is International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples

On this the 21st annual UN International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, the Green Party of Canada joins with Greens from around the world in celebrating the diversity of Indigenous cultures and in calling for greater respect for Indigenous rights.

The theme for this year’s Indigenous Peoples Day is “Bridging the Gap: Implementing the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”

“While we clearly have a long way to go on the road to reconciliation, this has definitely been a landmark year for the affirmation of the legal rights of Indigenous peoples in Canada,” said Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada and MP for Saanich–Gulf Islands.

Following more than 30 years of legal challenges, a groundbreaking Supreme Court of Canada decision on June 26th finally recognized the Tsilhqot’in First Nation’s legal title to more than 1,700 square kilometers of land in interior British Columbia.

The Court’s unanimous decision confirmed earlier case law and once again makes it clear that on land where First Nations have title, resource development cannot proceed without their consent. The decision has far-reaching implications for future resource development across Canada, and clarifies the nature of First Nations title. That title is “Collective” and “Intergenerational.”

Added May: “The Supreme Court of Canada’s recent ruling in favour of the Tsilhqot’in First Nation was a critical step in the right direction, and a victory for First Nations communities across this country. Now, all Canadians must move forward to even greater recognition and implementation of the legal rights of Indigenous peoples.”