New book highlights global framwork of Indigenous human rights

By Craig Benjamin, Campaigner for the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples

I’m honoured to have contributed a chapter to a new book examining crucial issues for the human rights of Indigenous peoples in Canada and around the world. Indivisible: Indigenous Human Rights is edited by Joyce Green and published by Fernwood Books.

In her introduction to this new book, Joyce Green writes, “Somewhere between the universality of our humanity and the particularity of our social, political, cultural, gendered and historical experiences, the lives of human beings are lived in specific, often inequitable and unjust contexts that benefit from human rights protection.”

Each of the 10 chapters — written by prominent academics, lawyers and activists — looks at specific contexts in which the situation of Indigenous peoples requires an urgent human rights response. Many of the chapters, including essays by Andrea Smith and Mary Eberts, address aspects of discrimination and violence against Indigenous women. Others, including essays by Paul Joffe and Brenda Gunn, deal with the long struggle to advance the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and why this human rights instrument is so important in the Canadian context.

I was pleased to have the opportunity to write about Free, Prior and Informed Consent – a crucial human rights standard at the heart of so many of our campaigns in Canada and around the world in defense of the human rights of Indigenous peoples. For more information on the book, please visit

There will be a launch event in Ottawa on with Mary Eberts and Paul Joffe on Wednesday November 26 at Octopus Books.