CAP Chief Criticizes Government for Ignoring Urban and Rural Indigenous Needs
OTTAWA –The Congress of Aboriginal Peoples (CAP) expresses its deep discontent with Crown Indigenous Relations Minister Marc Miller, citing years of neglect and exclusion of hundreds of thousands of off-Reserve, non-status, Metis, and Southern Labrador Inuit Indigenous people. The organization believes that these issues can only be resolved through the replacement of Minister Miller with an individual who understands the realities of Indigenous life in Canada.
CAP National Chief Elmer St. Pierre accuses the Trudeau government of turning a blind eye to the needs of urban and rural Indigenous people, calling it a policy of partisanship and division.
He highlights the glaring discrepancy by noting, “The government’s own statistics clearly show the majority of Indigenous people now live off-Reserve and in urban and rural areas. Despite their growing needs, Indigenous people living in cities and rural areas struggle to find the same supports as those living on-Reserve or in northern settlements.”
CAP Excluded from Key Indigenous Discussions
The CAP criticizes Minister Miller for his recent decisions to exclude the organization and urban Indigenous voices from the proposed National Reconciliation Council and Canada’s UNDRIP (United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples) Action Plan.
Moreover, on National Indigenous Peoples Day, while unveiling the action plan, Minister Miller excluded CAP and incorrectly credited another National Indigenous Organization for the historic CAP/Daniels Case, a landmark case that affirmed the rights of off-Reserve Indigenous Peoples and the federal government’s responsibility.
Calls for Inclusive Leadership
CAP National Vice-Chief Kim Beaudin expresses her disappointment, stating, “Those comments were not just an insult to former CAP leader Harry Daniels who spearheaded the 17-year long legal battle, but an insult to the hundreds of thousands of Indigenous Peoples who still lack the support of the federal government.”
She calls for Minister Miller to step down, allowing new leadership to tackle Indigenous issues inclusively. “Life is not getting better for our people and serious change is needed,” she adds.
A Plea for Recognition and Inclusion
CAP strongly asserts its disappointment with Canada’s current Crown Indigenous Relations Minister and hopes the government will acknowledge its missteps in recognizing Indigenous Peoples. The organization firmly believes that reconciliation must start with inclusion – not exclusion.