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    Attention News Editors:
    Bloc Québécois Critic Marc Lemay calls upon the Prime Minister to support
    the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
    OTTAWA, June 5 /CNW Telbec/ - "We are encouraged by the Bloc Québécois'

    support for the Declaration, and we strongly urge Canada to follow their

    example," states President Beverley Jacobs of the Native Women's Association

    of Canada (the NWAC).

    Today during question period, Bloc Québécois Critic, Marc Lemay, called

    upon the government to vote in favour of the United Nations (U.N.) Declaration

    on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples at the upcoming session of the U.N. Human

    Rights Council.

    NWAC sent a letter to the Prime Minister last week seeking confirmation

    of Canada's support for the draft United Nations Declaration on the Rights of

    Indigenous Peoples (the Declaration).

    NWAC strongly urges the government of Canada to continue taking a

    positive leadership role in promoting the Declaration. The current

    government's mandate has identified Aboriginal women and children as

    priorities. This Declaration will be a critical instrument for the advancement

    of the human rights of Indigenous women and their families.

    NWAC urges the government to follow through on its commitments to

    Aboriginal women and support the Declaration, which will be tabled at the U.N.

    Human Rights Council for consideration this month. It will then be considered

    by the U.N. General Assembly.

    NWAC has articulated the urgency of adopting the Declaration in our joint

    statement to the U.N. Permanent Forum, presented by Deputy Grand Chief Ashley

    Iserhoff, Grand Council of the Crees entitled, "The Draft U.N. Declaration on

    the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and Millennium Development Goals: Importance

    of a Human Rights-Based Approach".

    Without a strong commitment by Canada to ensuring that the Declaration is

    adopted by the United Nations General Assembly without delay or amendment,

    progress will be substantially hampered in advancing the human rights of

    Indigenous peoples, particularly Indigenous women in Canada. Canada has been

    an active supporter of the draft Declaration and played a critical role in

    building consensus among states and Indigenous peoples. Unfortunately, since

    the election of the minority government of Stephen Harper, Canada has fallen

    silent on the Declaration, even as momentum builds among other states to bring

    the Declaration before the U.N. General Assembly this year.

    For further information: Linda Kayseas - Media Coordinator, (613)

    722-3033 ext. 231, Mobile: (613) 552-4249
    Don't worry that it's not good enough for anyone else to hear... just sing, sing a song.sigpic

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