New arrangement to advance indigenous peoples of Aotearoa NZ and Canada

  • Hon Nanaia Mahuta
  • Hon Willie Jackson

A new Indigenous Collaboration Arrangement signed today between Aotearoa New Zealand and Canada will formalise the two governments working together to improve outcomes for indigenous peoples, and enhance indigenous to indigenous relationships.

“This underpins a shared objective of creating and sustaining better outcomes for Indigenous peoples,” Minister for Māori Development, Willie Jackson says.

The purpose of the arrangement is to promote and facilitate the economic, social, cultural, and environmental advancements of indigenous peoples through relationship development, improved knowledge sharing, and stronger collaboration.

The arrangement is signed by Willie Jackson and Canadian Minister of Indigenous Services, Patty Hajdu at Parliament. The Associate Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta, who met with Minister Hajdu in Ottawa at the end of last year, has worked to formalise the connection at a government-to-government level.

“Both governments acknowledge the pivotal role indigenous people play in the prosperity and wellbeing of their communities, as well as the contribution they make to the national economy” said Nanaia Mahuta.

The signing is part of a week-long visit from Patty Hajdu and her delegation, which includes Deputy Minister for Indigenous Services Canada, Gina Wilson, and representatives from First Nations, Inuit and Métis. The delegation will go on to meet with iwi, Māori groups and service providers, culminating in a visit to Waitangi.

Discussions with Patty Hajdu will cover significant recent achievements, such as establishing the Māori Health Authority and the introduction of Matariki as the first public holiday informed by mātaraunga Māori, as well as ongoing work to improve whānau wellbeing and Māori economic prosperity, including Whānau Ora and the Māori Economic Development Advisory Board.

“We have much to learn from each other, and we are honoured to host a delegation as committed to advancing the wellbeing of their indigenous peoples as we are,” Nanaia Mahuta said.

Canada is doing substantial work on its National Action Plan to support UNDRIP, and working on eliminating violence against Indigenous women and girls. A shared focus for both countries is around the International Decade of Indigenous Languages.

“We are looking forward to engaging with Minister Hajdu and her delegation on many issues. It’s a chance to share openly the lessons learned and facilitate dialogue on what our governments can do for our indigenous peoples now and in the future” Willie Jackson said.

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