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Friday, September 14, 2007

UN vote `stain' on Canada's image

OTTAWA–Canada tarnished its international reputation as a champion of human rights by voting against an epoch-making United Nations declaration on aboriginal rights, native leaders say.

The declaration, which has been decades in the making, sets out global human rights standards for indigenous populations, who face discrimination, land theft, violence and deprivation in many parts of the world.

Only four countries – Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United States – voted against the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. It was approved by a vote of 143 to 4, with 11 countries abstaining.

"In our view, it is a stain on Canada's international reputation," Assembly of First Nations National Chief Phil Fontaine said in an interview. "It's a slap in the face for all indigenous peoples."

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