Today (Wednesday October 26, 2011), a joint statement was released regarding the first ever hearings into the violation of Indigenous land rights in Canada. Ecotrust Canada is part of the group endorsing that statement.

Supporting the Hul’qumi’num Treaty Group (HTG) in their efforts to create economic opportunity for their people includes considering how historical policies and practices have impacted their future and might be modernized to the benefit of all. Ecotrust Canada believes that continuing to adapt our approaches and refresh our institutions is critical to building reliable prosperity.

Times change. Knowledge grows. People mature. What was put into place on Vancouver Island in the 1800’s with respect to land grants from the crown to corporations – with the right intention of building a Nation – may no longer be relevant to the future we collectively need. It is with the common objective of finding scenarios and solutions that work for the 21st century that Ecotrust Canada supports HTG’s historic challenge now before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).

The attention of this seasoned body of professionals, who will bring a global perspective to the question of Indigenous rights in relationship to lands, is an important step in our shared need as Canadians to shape a next generation of economic growth, ecological health, and social equity.

Read the full statement here: Human rights & Indigenous Peoples’ organizations closely monitor landmark international hearing.

The hearing will be held at the IACHR headquarters in Washington D.C. on October 28, 2011, at 9 am EST, and will be webcast here.