Indigenous | Canada

Canadian indigenous leaders to meet Māori MPs

A delegation of indigenous leaders from Canada will discuss everything from climate change to commercial ties, and language revitalisation when they meet with Māori MPs this week.

Canada’s Minister of Indigenous Services, Patty Hajdu, will travel the motu until Sunday alongside academics, and community and tribal leaders.

Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta will be amongst the first to welcome the delegation, having travelled to Canada in November 2021 when both Canada and New Zealand endorsed the Indigenous Peoples Economic and Trade Cooperation Arrangement.

Māori Development Minister Willie Jackson will also meet the delegation.

“With a new Indigenous trade agreement, shared work on language restoration and cultural preservation, Canada and New Zealand are on similar journeys as we address the effects of colonisation and work toward righting past wrongs,” Hajdu said.

Brenda Gunn, the director of Canada’s National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, Dawn Madahbee Leach, chair of the country’s Indigenous Economic Development Board, Gerri Sharpe, president of Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada, and Sharon Nate, Executive Director (Education) of the Matawa Tribal Council are all part of the delegation.

Indigenous-to indigenous relationships

Indigenous economic development, self-determination, climate change, health and education will also be on the agenda, Hajdu said on Tuesday.

“The visit will strengthen partnerships between Indigenous Peoples, Canada, and Aotearoa-New Zealand, provide an opportunity to share experiences and promote the unique cultures of First Nations, Inuit, Métis and Māori.”

It will foster "Indigenous-to-Indigenous and Indigenous-to-government relationships for the benefit of all," Hajdu said.

The delegation also intends to visit the Treaty grounds at Waitangi, with Hadju saying she looks forward to meeting and exchanging ideas with Iwi.

“Indigenous leaders are leading the way and Canada and New Zealand have so much to learn from each other.”


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