To the Algonquins of Barriere Lake, the violations by the governments of Quebec and Canada of resource sustainability agreements with their First Nation are all they need to show Canada and Quebec can’t be trusted. More fundamentally, however, the Algonquins call into question the legitimacy of imposed governance under international law.
While the government of Canada refuses to repeal Canada’s version of apartheid — the Indian Act — the suppression of Algonquin self-determination under this colonial tool remains in violation of the 2007 UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Yet, even prior to this addition to the international human rights regime, Algonquins were entitled under other aspects of humanitarian law, enacted since the formation of the UN, to select their leaders and govern themselves under their own customs and systems.
The insistence of the government of Canada that Canada will control how and who they choose to lead their people is an abridgement of not just their legal rights, but is, more importantly, an affront to their humanity and dignity. Canada’s bad faith is there for all to see.
The library is dedicated to the memory of Secwepemc Chief George Manuel (1921-1989), to the nations of the Fourth World and to the elders and generations to come.access here