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Interviews

Mililani Trask frankly states that there is not much work which can be done in the 2 days of discussions which make up the WCIP. She is not surprised by the lack of funding and the limitations on which issues can be discussed, but describes the resulting meeting as a betrayal because the WCIP was meant to bring people together to discuss many issues facing Indigenous Peoples and address how to move forward.  

“Key doors are now open but it has to be Indigenous Peoples who walk through those doors.”

The declaration is not a legally binding document but rather a commitment in good faith from Member States of the UN. Les Malazer thinks this is the highest level of commitment Indigenous Peoples will be able to gain from States.  

In terms of the next steps for Indigenous Peoples, Les Malazer highlights that the outcome document contains many actions which are easy to look at and discuss how they might be implemented.

The adoption of the declaration by the General Assembly was done smoothly, and it was well attended by Member States and Indigenous groups. 

Les Malazer discusses the process for deciding items and actions to be included in the outcome document from the WCIP. 

Les Malazer discusses the situation in Canada and how they need to adjust by supporting the principle of free, prior and informed consent. 

Les Malazer describes how the outcome document from the WCIP sets out actions to be taken by the United Nations and Member States, always with the involvement and the free, prior and informed consent of Indigenous Peoples. He encourages Indigenous groups to see how they can engage with States using this document.

“Nothing about us without us.” Les Malazer talks about how this meeting clearly demonstrated that Indigenous groups can work well with States. Although, he was disappointed with the fact that the drafting of the document continued into the States-only process. 

Over 400 Indigenous Peoples came together in Alta, Norway to draft a document which was given to the United Nations. This document was heavily relied on in the negotiations and formed the basis of the outcome document from the WCIP.

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