Canada's Trudeau vows better aboriginal relations in UN speech

Angelo Anderson
September 22, 2017

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau used his speech at the United Nations today to show that, contrary to the overwhelmingly positive press the country has received in the last two years, Canada is not without its problems.

Trudeau used his speech to the U.N. General Assembly to frankly acknowledge the dark history of Canada's colonization as one of "humiliation, neglect and abuse" and promised to do more to help the nation's 1.4 million indigenous people. "Regrettably, Canada is a country that came into being without meaningful consultations with those who were here first".

Trudeau, who focused heavily on the situation of Canada's native peoples, wove themes of sustainability and people-centered policies through remarks that touched on trade, economic development, the success of women and girls, and the environment.

But Trudeau's acknowledgement of past atrocities, such as residential schools, did little to confront modern failings that underpin existing issues, such as boil water advisories, ongoing land claims and treaty rights cases being fought in court.

Many aboriginal communities do not have access to safe drinking water, and suicides have plagued several isolated communities.

The Trudeau Liberals have faced criticism from some indigenous groups for green-lighting pipeline projects.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday admitted Canada had failed its indigenous people and told the United Nations his government would do better to improve the lives of aboriginals and achieve reconciliation. He said there was a plan in place for the Indigenous population to eventually deliver services once the domain of Canadian governments, allowing them to move towards self-government.

Palmater accused Trudeau of avoiding some of the more complex problems facing Indigenous Canadians in his speech. He highlighted the struggles northern Canadian communities have faced, and how the changing climate has dissuaded Indigenous elders from making predictions about the weather.

"We can't build strong relationships if we refuse to have conversations. The UK is the second largest purchaser of Boeing products - we urge the UK prime minister to use the huge leverage she has here".

He'll be arriving just after the world body hears its first speech from U.S. President Donald Trump.

"We have been working correct past injustices and bring about a better quality of life for indigenous peoples in Canada", he said.

Canada's national inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women has been hit by resignations and complaints it is progressing too slowly. "Any challenge can be met if we meet it together".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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