David Suzuki Foundation: Aboriginal Peoples Policy and Solidarity with First Nations and Idle No More

The David Suzuki Foundation, founded in 1990, is a national environmental NGO that has offices in Vancouver and Montreal, along with staff in Ottawa and Toronto. The Foundation has a comprehensive list of objectives, including protecting our climate, creating livable communities, transforming our economy, and establishing environmental rights and justice. One of the organization’s guiding policies is its Aboriginal Peoples Policy, which states: “The David Suzuki Foundation recognizes the rights and title of Aboriginal Peoples, guided by the 2010 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People. We commit to respectfully engage with Aboriginal peoples when our work concerns their interests.”

The Foundation has a history of working with First Nations; in the mid 1990s, they partnered with the local Musqueam First Nation to launch the Musqueam Watershed Restoration Project, working to bring the last salmon stream in Vancouver back to health. In June 2013, the David Suzuki Foundation and the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FISN) signed a Memorandum of Understanding at the FISN Spring Legislative Assembly, in recognition of their shared principles around respect for the environment and living in harmony with the natural world. In December 2012, the Foundation expressed its support for the Idle No More movement by writing an open letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, calling for the government to honour its commitments in signing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and to meet with Chief Theresa Spence.

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