Last night, Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow, executive director Garry Neil, water campaigner Meera Karunananthan, media officer Dylan Penner, and I were at a reception celebrating the fifth anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
The event was organized by Amnesty International Canada, Canadian Friends Service Committee, Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee), Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives, and the Métis National Council.
The featured speaker at the event was Luis Evelis Andrade Casama, Chief Counsellor of the National Indigenous Organization of Colombia. He is in Canada to launch a photo exhibit entitled “This is what we want to tell you: messages from Indigenous Peoples at risk of annihilation in Colombia.”
Amnesty International says, “The situation of Indigenous Peoples in Colombia provides a particularly compelling example of the urgent need for implementation of the UN Declaration: at least a third of the 102 Indigenous nations have been identified as being at risk of total destruction as a result of ongoing armed conflict and forced displacement from their resource-rich territories.”
Last night I signed the paper petition, we now have the postcards in our office (addressed to the president of Colombia), but I would also encourage to read more at http://www.amnesty.ca/files/September%20Indigenous%20in%20Colombia.pdf and to sign a related on-line petition at http://www.amnesty.ca/iwriteforjustice/take_action.php?actionid=872.