The Canadian government presents itself to the world as the leading advocate of human rights, promoter of democracy–the country with a heart. Hidden behind this facade is a mean spirited, greedy, criminal organization dedicated to personal wealth, and the destruction of indigenous peoples. Harsh! I hear you say. Well, after more than forty years working with indigenous leaders in Canada–the most important of which was Chief George Manuel–I say with out fear of contradiction that every government in Canada since it became independent in 1982 (that is when Pierre Trudeau “returned Canada’s Constitution from Britain”) has used threats of financial impoverishment, thirty-five years of opposition to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, encouragement of First Nations graft through bribery of Chiefs and councils, to use of violent intimidation force First Nations to relinquish their lands and aboriginal rights in favor of converting indigenous nations into municipalities under provincial political control. Russell Diabo, Publisher and Editor of First Nations Strategic Bulletin has given a full exposé of this sordid tale in an early issue of Intercontinental Cry.
The Canadian Government under Conservative Party Prime Minister Stephen Harper continues the Pierre Trudeau‘s White Paper of 1969 grab for indigenous territories (62% of Canada’s claimed territory is actually indigenous territory never transferred to the British crown) to enrich corporations and the wealthy elite of Canada. Within days after the United Nations High Level Plenary Session (World Conference on Indigenous Peoples) on 22 September Canadian Foreign Ministry issued its “Statement on the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples Outcome Document.”
As one of the four states original voting against the September 13, 2010 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States of America were the four), Canada claimed that it’s “unique constitutional framework recognizes and affirms Aboriginal and Treaty rights.” This, was and is, of course a lie. Canada has been vigorously undercutting and eliminating aboriginal and treaty rights through bribery, fraud, graft and intimidation ever since it got its constitution in 1982. In its “reservation” objecting to parts of the WCIP Outcome Statement and denying that these section apply to Canada, the Foreign Ministry statement said:
“… Canada cannot associate itself with the elements contained in this outcome document related to free, prior and informed consent.”
In other words, Canada asserts its right to dictate to indigenous nations and communities how they may use or dispose of their territories, natural resources, and provide for their health and economic welfare. Canada has taken the dictatorial approach to relations between indigenous nations and a state government denying the right of free, prior and informed consent to indigenous peoples. Canada is asserting an authoritarian position to make and institute administrative, legislative and judicial policy and practice without the consent of the indigenous peoples affected. Canada essentially rejects the free right of indigenous peoples inside their claimed domain to determine their social, economic, political and cultural future without Canadian governmental control.
Canada’s actions and statements are the epitome of deception–yes sophistry. The world must condemn the political violence that characterizes Canada’s practices toward indigenous nations–the First Nations.
Political violence is every bit as destructive as military violence and must be condemned and Canada must be held accountable for its clear practice of cultural genocide! And, for those Chiefs and Council accepting bribes from the Canadian government, they should be condemned equally and removed from their positions for undermining aboriginal rights, treaty rights and their peoples’ right to freely determine their own future. These Chiefs and Councils have committed serious crimes against their own people.
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