APTN National News
GATINEAU, Que.–Chiefs at the Assembly of First Nations winter gathering want to change the name of June 21 from Aboriginal Day to Indigenous Peoples Day.
A resolution, moved by two Saskatchewan chiefs, will be tabled this week calling on the AFN to take up the issue with the Harper government.
The resolution cites a UN study that says terms used to identify Indigenous peoples as “Native, Indian and others of similar cast (including Aboriginal)” was used by “discoverers/colonizers and their descendants to differentiate themselves in a relationship of superiority-inferiority from the original inhabitants of the new territories.”
The resolution is linked to AFN calls for Canada to implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
“Canadian legislation, policies and development processes have been identified as extensions of the doctrine of discovery and terra nullius and are therefore considered by international legal opinion as the basis for all assimilation, colonization, marginalization and genocide that has been committed against Indigenous peoples in Canada since first contact with Europeans,” the resolution says.
The resolution was moved by Piapot First Nation Chief Jeremy Fourhorns and seconded by Starblanket First Nation Chief Michael Starr. Resolutions will be debated later this week.
AFN Chiefs from across Canada are meeting in a Gatineau, Que., casino for their annual winter assembly.
AFN National Chief Shawn Atleo is in South Africa attending Nelson Mandela’s memorial.