MEDIA RELEASE: Human Rights Watch report confirms the Liberals are failing Indigenous communities

The NDP critic for Indigenous Services, Northern Affairs and Crown-Indigenous Relations, MP Lori Idlout (Nunavut), and NDP critic for Women and Gender Equality, Leah Gazan (Winnipeg Centre), made the following joint statement

“On Wednesday, Human Rights Watch released their world report, including Canada’s human rights violations against Indigenous peoples. They pointed to the ongoing genocide against Indigenous women, girls and two-spirit people, a lack of access to clean drinking water and a housing crisis impacting Indigenous communities.

Despite Prime Minister Trudeau's own acknowledgment that the situation constitutes a genocide, Indigenous women, girls and two-spirit people continue to go missing or be murdered at alarming rates. This is a national emergency that must be urgently addressed.

Other fundamental rights such as access to clean drinking water and basic housing continue to be in crisis. In Nunavut for example, living in overcrowded and dilapidated homes is the norm, with deeply inadequate government action to fix the housing crisis. Shockingly, families are often forced to use duct tape to repair their homes. All people have the right to live in dignity, including Indigenous peoples in Canada.

Equally concerning is the failure of the Liberal government to keep their promise of lifting all long-term water boil advisories by 2021. Shamefully, there are still 33 such advisories and 29 short-term drinking water advisories still in effect. This is an urgent crisis.

The federal government must act on the international concerns about their ongoing failure to uphold the rights of Indigenous peoples, rights affirmed in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), which is part of Canadian law as demonstrated by Bill C-15.

We call on the government to immediately implement the 231 Calls for Justice from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls to Action and uphold all rights affirmed within UNDRIP. New Democrats will keep fighting to ensure the government takes action so, Indigenous peoples have the justice they deserve.”

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