October 25th, 2010
Canada’s Indian Affairs Minister John Duncan claims there is no link between Indigenous rights and the control of genetic resources, as he tried to dismiss criticism from Aboriginal leaders over Canadian moves a UN meeting on biodiversity.
Canadian officials are trying to strike two references to Indigenous rights at UN negotiations in Japan that are aimed at developing international standards for accessing and sharing the genetic material of plants, animals, and microbes.
Innu, Cree and Mohawk delegates from Canada at the talks reacted with outrage and issued statements condemning Canada’s move as another attack on Indigenous rights.
They also said it was an indication that the Conservative government was not serious about its promise to endorse the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.