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National Indigenous Peoples Day

In solidarity with Indigenous Peoples across Canada, ARCH Disability Law Centre celebrates National Indigenous Peoples Day. ARCH’s office will be closed on June 21st to provide staff the opportunity to participate in various activities to mark this day and celebrate the heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding achievements of Indigenous Peoples.

ARCH is fully committed to listening to, building relationships and working with Indigenous communities on the journey to Reconciliation.

Prevalence of disability within Indigenous communities is approximately twice the national average. Additionally, many Indigenous communities are affected by barriers to accessing necessary disability, health and social services, employment, education, and transportation, all of which impact their ability to reach full social and economic inclusion.

The United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, in its Concluding Observations to Canada’s Report, acknowledged the extreme marginalization of Indigenous communities in Canada and the lack of access to social supports, employment, health services and education. The UN Committee’s Concluding Observations identified numerous strategies to address this extreme marginalization, and ARCH is working with its partners to address those within our monitoring work and submissions to the UN on Canada’s second review of its implementation of the Convention.

ARCH participated in British Columbia Aboriginal Network On Disability Society (BCANDS)’s 2019 Indigenous and Disability Gathering, speaking about the Accessible Canada Act and its silence as it relates to Indigenous persons, and about the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and how the Optional Protocol may be an effective vehicle to address the many barriers that Indigenous persons with disabilities face across Canada.

ARCH acknowledges that the land on which we work has been home to Indigenous Peoples and we are grateful to our hosts today and every day.

June 11, 2019