As more of Canada’s dark history of it’s treatment of Indigenous peoples makes the news, the Dene National Chief appealed to the United Nations on July 12.
Dene National Chief Norman Yakelaya addressed the United Nations on behalf of the Assembly of First Nations of Canada at the 14th United Nations virtual session of Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
“Through our collective grief and pain over the recent weeks, there comes hope and opportunity for change that will bring justice and accountability for our losses and our stolen little ones and their families,” he said.
“This work requires participation of all parties and will not happen overnight but it must start now.”
The address urged for accountability and support for justice and healing for the Indigenous peoples and Yakelaya appealed to the United Nations for their support.
“The support of the United Nations plays an important role in keeping Canada accountable.”
Beyond government action, the Dene National Chief reiterated a need for an apology from the Catholic Church.
“We require action of all governments,” he continued. “And the Catholic Church by way of a Papal apology.”
On top of this, the First Nations Chiefs-in-Assembly passed a resolution last week in which they demanded justice and accountability for the missing children of residential schools.
Both these announcements come as a result of discoveries of unmarked graves made at Kamloops, Cowessess First Nation and other sites.
Chief Yakelaya also brought attention to current knowledge about the discoveries that have been made, noting 93 per cent of Canadians are aware of the recoveries that have been made in Kamloops, yet only 10 per cent understand the history of the school system.