Montréal for

Celebration of the 10th anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

9 août 2017

Montréal, August 9th, 2017 - Today, on the International Day of Indigenous Peoples, the Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador (AFNQL) is proud to announce the celebration for the 10th anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). This international event will be held in Montreal on September 12-13th 2017.

September 13th 2017 is a symbolic date. It marks the 10th anniversary of the adoption of this founding text by the UN General Assembly. Endorsed as of now by almost 150 countries including Canada, the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is the most complete international instrument on the fundamental rights and freedoms of Indigenous peoples (culture, identity, religion, language, territory, health, education, cooperation...).

To celebrate and demystify the declaration among the general public, AFNQL, with Ville de Montréal and the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, are co-organizing two days of festive and educational events in Montréal:

  • Conferences and exchanges at the Palais des congrès de Montréal on Indigenous rights and reconciliation (mandatory registration).
  • A festive evening titled “The Voice of Nations” with outdoor concerts at the heart of the Old Port (free admittance).

The event is intended to celebrate the 370 million Indigenous people throughout the world and honour the great diversity of Indigenous cultures. The artists and speakers will be announced soon and reflect several regions.

Through this rich and varied program, the 10th anniversary of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is addressed to all interested or concerned citizens, Indigenous or non-Indigenous. An opportunity to share knowledge for some, and to discover new horizons for others, in a festive atmosphere!

Further information at the official event site:


The work leading to the adoption of the Declaration was marked by major battles. We must recognize the people who, by their actions, their convictions and their determination, have made the difference for the advancement of our collective rights. We celebrate their legacy and on behalf of AFNQL, I am proud to invite you to celebrate this unifying 10th anniversary in brotherhood and friendship”, declared the Chief of the Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador (AFNQL), Mr Ghislain Picard.

In this pivotal year of the 375th anniversary of the City of Montréal, I am particularly proud today to underline the International Day of Indigenous Peoples. But with all these festivities, responsibilities come too. More than ever before, cities have a crucial role to play in Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples and the respect of their rights. Celebrating the 10th anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the rights of Indigenous Peoples underlines the City of Montréal's international status and affirms its pivotal role in enshrining human rights and those of Indigenous people on a daily basis”, declared the Mayor of Montréal, Mr Denis Coderre.

Recognizing the rights and aspirations of Indigenous peoples is an essential step in the reconciliation process”, declared Sébastien Goupil, Secretary-General of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO. “We must help create the conditions to strengthen ties between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. It is in this spirit that the Commission joins in with these important celebrations that will also contribute to the outreach of knowledge and cultures several thousand years old”.

The Declaration is an essential tool for reconciliation”, said Nicole McDonald, a Métis woman and Program Director of Indigenous initiatives at the McConnell Foundation in Montreal. “It provides Canada with a path to work collaboratively with Indigenous communities to achieve the Declaration's aims and secure a country in which the rights of First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples are promoted and protected.

The Society for the Celebration of Montréal's 375th Anniversary is proud to support this festive and inclusive event that celebrates a significant historic accomplishment for all Indigenous peoples throughout the world. The 375th anniversary of Montréal is for us an opportunity to highlight an Indigenous presence of over 6 000 years on this territory, to showcase the wealth of Indigenous cultures and to promote a greater participation of Indigenous people in the progress of our city”, declared France Chrétien Desmarais, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Society of Montréal's 375th Anniversary.

No relation is more important for our government and for Canada than the relationship with Indigenous peoples. Canada can be proud of the Indigenous and Canadian leaders who, on the path to reconciliation, have worked for years to achieve the vision of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous peoples. I am proud today to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Declaration affirming that Canada has pledged to adopt it and to fully implement the Declaration, in partnership with the First Nations, the Inuit and the Métis”, declared the honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs.


About the AFNQL

The Assembly of First Nations of Quebec-Labrador is a political organization that includes the 43 Chiefs of the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador.


The Canadian Commission for UNESCO serves as a bridge between Canadians and the vital work of UNESCO – the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. By promoting UNESCO values, priorities and programs in Canada and by bringing the voices of Canadian experts to the international stage, the Commission contributes to a peaceful, equitable and sustainable future that leaves no one behind.

About the Society for the Celebration of Montréal's 375th Anniversary

The Society for the Celebration of Montréal's 375th Anniversary is a non-profit organization whose mission is to organize the celebrations and socioeconomic contributions that will mark Montréal's 375th anniversary in 2017. With a focus on promoting Montréal expertise, it acts as a catalyst for local forces in carrying out its mandate: to mobilize the community, implement a funding strategy, rigorously manage public funds, develop quality programming and ensure the visibility of the celebrations.

The Society benefits from the support of the Ville de Montréal, the Québec government, the Canada government and private funding from 12 Great Montrealers. For more information, see

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To learn more about the contribution of the Québec government to Montréal's 375th Anniversary celebrations, click here.