Independent Indigenous human rights system is overdue

June 7, 2024 – Ottawa, Ontario – Canadian Human Rights Commission

Today, the Canadian Human Rights Commission’s Interim Chief Commissioner, Charlotte-Anne Malischewski, issues the following statement:

The Canadian Human Rights Commission welcomes the Final Report on Call for Justice 1.7 by the Crown-Indigenous Relations Ministerial Special Representative, Jennifer Moore Rattray, which was released last week. We applaud the work of the Ministerial Special Representative and are pleased to join the collective call for independent human rights mechanisms for Indigenous peoples in Canada.

Call for Justice 1.7 refers to one of the 231 Calls for Justice that was delivered in 2019 by the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. It calls on the federal, provincial, and territorial governments, in partnership with Indigenous Peoples, to establish four National Indigenous and Human Rights Ombudspersons with authority in all jurisdictions, and to establish a National Indigenous and Human Rights Tribunal.

The Commission fully supports the creation of human rights mechanisms for Indigenous peoples in Canada. As societies evolve, so too must human rights protections. Any changes that will improve access to justice, advance decolonization, and support the distinct rights of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples to self-determination are welcome, and long overdue.

It is vital that the development of any new human rights mechanisms be developed and led by diverse Indigenous peoples, for diverse Indigenous peoples. The Commission fully supports this work and encourages Parliament to implement the recommendations made by the Ministerial Special Representative without delay.

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