10th Anniversary of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: Canada needs a legislative framework
The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples provides a crucial framework to achieve reconciliation. Such a human rights-based approach is essential to address the racism and discrimination that has caused such profound harm to Indigenous peoples in Canada and around the world. Violations include uprooting Indigenous peoples from their territories and resources, failure to honour Treaties, tearing Indigenous children from their families, and making Indigenous women, girls and two-spirited people the targets of unimaginable violence.
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The seemingly never-ending string of transgressions from a government that's supposed to be resetting its relationship with First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples just got another addition.
Earlier this month, the Prime Minister's Office announced in a news release that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will meet with premiers and Indigenous leaders on Oct. 3, boasting about Canada's "progress towards a true nation-to-nation, Inuit-Crown, and government-to-government relationship."
The problem was, at least one of those Indigenous leaders, Natan Obed, president of the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, said the announcement was the first he heard about the meeting.
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It's been 10 years since the world's Indigenous Peoples celebrated the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).
"Canada is fooling people when it says it unconditionally supports UNDRIP," said Palmater.
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In an era of conflict around pipelines, new hydropower dams, and developments of all sorts in Indigenous traditional territories across B.C., we welcome the premier’s Sept. 6 announcement that, going forward, B.C. will be governed according to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).
Pamela Palmater posted "The Liberals’ plans for Indigenous reconciliation are just beads and trinkets" on Macleans.ca.
"Many First Nations in Canada breathed a collective sigh of relief when former Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Conservative government were defeated in the last federal election. After a decade of troubling legislation and aggressive extraction and development activities on Indigenous lands, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s commitment to a renewed nation-to-nation relationship with First Nations was a welcome relief to many. Trudeau’s pre-election commitments to repeal Harper’s laws, lift the 2-per-cent funding cap on First Nation social programs and implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) ultimately became his post-election Indigenous platform."
"But almost two years have passed and very little, if any, substantive progress has been made on these commitments."
Russel Diabo posted "Justin Trudeau continuing proud Liberal tradition of betraying Indigenous peoples" on rabble.ca.
"In the late 1980s, because of my Indigenous policy background, I was convinced by a close friend to get involved in efforts to create an Aboriginal Peoples' Commission within the Liberal Party of Canada. The Liberal Party already had a Women's and Youth Commission so the model to change the Liberal Party's constitution was already there."
Russell Diabo posted "Was it an AFN assembly or a Liberal party meeting?" on The Eastern Door.
"The Assembly of First Nations just held its 38th Annual Assembly in Regina, Saskatchewan two weeks ago, with reportedly about 320 chiefs or proxies attending, including Mohawk Council grand chief Joseph Tokwiro Norton. During his opening speech AFN national chief Perry Bellegarde said the AFN “is not in bed with any one party.”
An Excerpt from the "Concluding observations on the twenty-first to twenty-third periodic reports of Canada" by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
"While welcoming the commitment made to implement all of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) 94 Calls to Action, the Committee is concerned at the lack of an action plan and full implementation. The Committee is further concerned that the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UN DRIP) Action Plan has not yet been adopted, while noting the Ministerial working group established in 2017 to bring laws into compliance with obligations towards Indigenous Peoples."
Indigenous nations have sought to assert jurisdiction in their territories since the first settler arrived. Whether through trade, treaty, negotiations, the courts, or via blockade, that demand has been crystal clear. Canadian governments have responded with a variety of half-measures, from the land claim system to consultation guidelines, or open violence and criminalization. Almost always, conflict endures.