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International Advocacy Project

Indigenous nations and activists in Canada have always vigorously demanded recognition of inherent indigenous rights on the international stage. International forums from the Arctic Council, to the Convention on Biological Diversity to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples have been heavily lobbied and heavily influenced by indigenous nations.

Despite this commendable and vigorous international advocacy, Canadian law and policy is compartmentalized from the increasing international law recognition for the right of indigenous peoples.

The International Advocacy Project will be focused on advancing the state of indigenous rights under international law and on harmonizing Canadian law and policy with international law. Activities taken pursuant to the international advocacy project include: development of submissions and reports for international environmental and human rights forums, providing legal assistance and training to First Nations seeking to access international redress mechanisms, development of submissions on international indigenous rights issues for domestic legislators and policy makers and developing legal, policy and communications strategies for applying international indigenous rights in Canada.

The Indigenous Rights Centre has already started compiling resources for Aboriginal rights lawyers, indigenous peoples, Chiefs, policy analysts and others to use in order to bring Canadian law and practice into harmony with Canada's international obligations.  These resources include training modules on sources of international law and application of international law in Canadian courts, an index of international sources of relevance to the major areas of focus of the IRC (land rights, procedures, treaties, identity and environment) and resources for policy analysts or litigators contemplating using international arguments in their work.