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UNDRIP: Why It Matters

Date & Time
Friday, November 5, 2021, 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was adopted by the General Assembly in 2007 by a majority of 144 states in favour. Both Canada and the United States voted against. Jennifer Preston and Paul Joffe will discuss UNDRIP, sharing its history and its current state as a global human rights instrument. It establishes a universal framework of minimum standards for the survival, dignity and well-being of the Indigenous peoples of the world and—as Preston and Joffe highlight—it can be used to advance sustainable development, address climate change and enhance food security. Both presenters were involved in the development of the Declaration and now work to implement it. Find out more about this essential agreement and its power for good.

Session Type
Session Tags
Social Justice, Truth & Storytelling, Allyship/Activism, Cultural Transformation, Education
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Jennifer Preston is the Indigenous Rights coordinator for Canadian Friends Service Committee (CFSC), the justice arm of Quakers. She has served as an advisor to the Assembly of First Nations on international matters.
Jennifer received her Master’s degree from the University of Guelph and was a lecturer in Canadian Studies at the University of Waterloo. Jennifer participated in the UN Working Groups that developed the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and was involved in the intensive lobbying efforts to ensure the adoption of the Declaration in both Geneva and New York. Her work now focuses on implementation. She works closely with Indigenous Peoples' representatives and state representatives as well as human rights organizations in various regions of the world including at the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and the UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. She is a co-editor of and contributor to Realizing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: Triumph, Hope and Action. For ten years she wrote the annual review of Canada for The Indigenous World, published by the International Work Group on Indigenous Affairs. Jennifer represented CFSC at the Supreme Court of Canada in the landmark Tsilhqot’in Nation case. Jennifer is the co-director of the newly established Global Indigenous Rights Research Network.
Jennifer Preston
Paul Joffe is a member of the Québec and Ontario bars. He specializes in human rights concerning Indigenous peoples at the international and domestic level. In the early 1980s, he participated in the negotiations that led to entrenching Indigenous peoples’ rights in the Constitution Act, 1982. Internationally, he has been actively involved in standard-setting processes including the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; the American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples at the Organization of American States; and the Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, 1989 in Geneva. He also participated in negotiations on the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization to the Convention on Biological Diversity, adopted in 2010.
For the past three decades, Paul has represented the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) and, more recently, the Cree Nation Government. He is a co-editor and contributor to Realizing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: Triumph, Hope, and Action, and a contributor to Indivisible: Indigenous Human Rights.
Paul Joffe