Vancouver, BC – On October 13 BC Métis Federation Executive Committee board member Joe Desjarlais attended a roundtable discussion with Indigenous leadership and representatives from the United Nations. The round table included keynotes from First Nations Summit Grand Chief Edward John as well as Lakshmi Puri, the Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations and Deputy Executive Director of UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women.
Grand Chief Edward John detailed the evolution of the United Nations and the importance of the UN Declaration on the rights of Indigenous people standards in the interpretation of Section 35 laws in Canada, as well as the importance of Indigenous voices in these international forums. In the session BC Métis Federation Executive Committee member Joe Desjarlais acknowledged the participants and the United Nations officials for their stated priority in developing partnerships.
BC Métis Federation Executive Committee member Desjarlais stated, “I made it clear that for Métis it’s about freedom and well being on the ground in communities. I recounted the recent story in media about actions by Provincial Government in British Columbia hat took one of our community members, our little girl known as “SS”, from one of our Métis families and in effect removed her from our culture and community.
BC Métis Federation member Desjarlais added, “I made it clear to the UN round table that government assumes the right to determine the well-being of the Métis child still today and this is wrong.”
Desjarlais established a connection with UN official Lakshmi Puri and will follow up with correspondence as Métis voices need to be equally heard in international forums and sessions as our governments.
Keith Henry, President
BC Métis Federation
Vancouver, BC V5R 5W2
[ilink url=”http://bcmetis.com/wp-content/uploads/BCMF-Press-Release-October-17th-2016-UN-Meeting1.pdf” style=”download”]Click here to download this press release in PDF format.[/ilink]