Tsilhqot’in chiefs attending United Nations forum on Indigenous issues in New York City

A delegation of Tsilhqot’in chiefs will participate in the 22nd session of the United Nations Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York City starting April 17, 2023.

Indigenous peoples, human health, planetary and territorial health, and climate change: a rights-based approach was the theme of this year’s forum.

“Only one person from our group can attend and that’s me,” said Joe Alphonse, tribal chairman of the Tsilhqot’in National Government and chief of Tl’etinqox.

He was traveling with Tl’esqox Chief Francis Laceese, Tsideldel Chief Otis Guichon and Xeni Gwet’in Chief Roger William, as well as Cultural Ambassador Peyal Laceese.

The Chiefs have attended before, and Alphonse said the questions are different each time.

This time, he plans to talk about the experiences of Indigenous communities during the 2017 wildfires, environmental changes and how this has impacted Indigenous communities, and adapting policies to address those changes.

There, TNG representatives will host an event for other countries.

“Our Aboriginal rights and title case is the only one in Canada, and the only Aboriginal group anywhere in the world, to win a title case of this type,” he said. “It inspired everyone, from Maori to the Sami in Sweden to African tribes.”

He said it was overwhelming and their case gave Aboriginal people hope.

“It’s the most powerful thing we can do. We want to help others and make sure they continue to uphold justice.”

read more: Tsilhqot’in leader gets standing ovation at UN forum in New York City

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