The 2007 International Day of the World's Indigenous People (August 9) focus is on the decision before the United Nations General Assembly - endorsing the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
The Declaration, 20 years in the making, would establish international human rights standards for protection of the rights of indigenous peoples.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour emphasized it is "time to call upon member states of the United Nations to join as one and adopt the Declaration and thereby establish a universal framework for indigenous peoples' rights, social justice and reconciliation."
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for urgent action to deal with the discrimination, marginalization, extreme poverty and conflict the world's 370 million indigenous people continue to endure.
In Canada, National Chief Phil Fontaine expressed dismay that Canada continues to oppose the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. "The Canadian government has not been able to provide an adequate explanation as to why it reversed its earlier support." National Chief Fontaine also noted that, "Canada's reputation as a fair and just country is suffering on the international stage."
August 9, 2007 United Nations article
the 2007 International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples website
August 9, 2007 statement by Message of Louise Arbour, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
August 9, 2007 Assembly of First Nation press release
December 18, 2006 Manitoba Wildlands' news item
August 14, 2007 INQUIRER.com
Source: United Nations, Assembly of First Nations