Heiltsuk leaders seeks recognition of cultural heritage in IMO’s work

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Representatives from the Heiltsuk Nation joined the 81st session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) to address the need for the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to include Indigenous cultural heritage in all aspects of its work and regulations and ensure redress for cultural impacts to Indigenous peoples from marine spills and shipping activities. The Heiltsuk Nation is urging the Canadian government to recognize the cultural losses from the Nathan E. Stewart incident and take seriously their commitment to the United Nations Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The Nation is part of the Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC) delegation, the only Indigenous non-governmental organization with provisional consultative status at the IMO, allowing it to send delegates to IMO proceedings. ICC is working to ensure its permanent status at the IMO in 2025, as well as to support a goal of multiple Indigenous peoples participating in IMO decisions, to empower all Indigenous peoples to contribute their invaluable perspectives towards holistic marine governance at an international level.

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