Statement on International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples


August 9, 2022 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada, and the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development, today issued the following statement on the International Day of the World’s Indigenous peoples:

“Today, we celebrate the unique social, cultural, economic and political lives of the world’s Indigenous peoples. We take this opportunity to renew our dedication to listening to, learning from and working in partnership with First Nations, Inuit and Métis, and Indigenous peoples worldwide. Global Affairs Canada payed a role in this country’s colonial past. We acknowledge mistakes that were made, and we are committed to doing better.

“Canada is committed to renewed relationships with Indigenous peoples based on the recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership.

“On June 21, 2021, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act became law. This Act provides a roadmap for the Government of Canada and Indigenous peoples to work together to implement the UN Declaration based on lasting reconciliation, healing, and cooperative relations. It is a key step to advance reconciliation. While some progress had been made, much-needed and urgent work remains to address past and present wrongs.

“A priority in Canada’s international engagements is to collaborate and engage with Indigenous peoples on issues that affect them. Meaningful engagement is critical to our work in diplomacy, trade and investment, security, international assistance and consular affairs. We took a concrete step in the past year with the endorsement of the Indigenous Peoples Economic and Trade Cooperation Arrangement (IPETCA). This innovative framework supports Indigenous businesses and entrepreneurs on a global scale by identifying and removing barriers to their participation in trade. IPETCA was developed in close cooperation with Indigenous peoples through the department’s Indigenous Working Group on Trade Policy.

“In June 2022, Global Affairs Canada published the first annual progress report on its Action Plan on Reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. The report demonstrates the department’s work towards culture change and is an important step in tracking our progress. Officials also took part in numerous international meetings and initiatives to advance the rights of Indigenous peoples during the past year, including the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous peoples and Trilateral Working Group on Violence Against Indigenous Women and Girls. Canada has also provided opportunities to hundreds of Indigenous youth to work in international development in the past 5 years through the International Aboriginal Youth Internships Initiative.

“Globally, we want to foster a climate of inclusion and respect for the human rights of those who are too often marginalized, including Indigenous peoples. Canada is working toward a fundamental transformation of its relationship with First Nations, Inuit and Métis, and Indigenous peoples worldwide.” 


Adrien Blanchard
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Haley Hodgson
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Development

Alice Hansen
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
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