"Backpedalling on native rights"

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"Backpedalling on native rights"

 

saga saga's picture

The UN Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples will come to the UN General Assembly in September for another attempt to vote it through, with Harper doing his best to stop it from passing.

Backpedalling on native rights

Aug 22, 2007 04:30 AM
Carol Goar

Canada is one of seven countries blocking the quest for a universal declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples. The other holdouts are Colombia, Guyana, Suriname, Russia, Australia and New Zealand.

Most members of the United Nations would like to see the charter, which has been under discussion for 20 years, adopted by the General Assembly at its fall session.

Sixty-seven states are co-sponsoring it. The UN Human Rights Council approved it last summer (over Canada's objections). Former foreign affairs minister Lloyd Axworthy calls it a test of "Canada's influence as a credible and influential voice for the protection of human rights."

As the vote approaches, native and human rights groups are appealing to Ottawa not to thwart the declaration. They've sent an open letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper urging him to uphold the rights of the world's most marginalized and vulnerable people.

...

The government's position is that the declaration is too vague to be effective.

It also maintains that some of its provisions could be interpreted in ways that are inconsistent with Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

[b]This is nonsense, Axworthy says. International human rights declarations have never been legally binding. Moreover, this one has an explicit clause – included at Canada's insistence – stating that it must be interpreted in accordance with existing domestic laws.[/b]

...

"We have grave concerns that Canada is encouraging states with appalling records on human rights to take positions against the recognition and protection of indigenous people's human rights," the petitioners say in their public letter to Harper.

.....

Initially I thought Harper had some legitimate concerns, at least from his own perspective. However, with the revision made (see above) that it must be consistent with domestic law, I simply cannot see what Harper's concern is at all.

It is likely true that Harper does not like Section 35 of the Constitution (aboriginal rights) but it is still law in Canada despite his opinion.

It appears to me now that by defying the UN, Harper is also signaling to Canadians that he does not intend to honour Canadian law either.

I just don't get why he is making such an issue of this. It is very damaging to our reputation, undermining our effectiveness internationally and just not good 'business' in my mind.

I understand that Harper prides himself on being a clever political strategist. Unfortunately, this does not seem to extend to his ability as a strategist for the benefit of Canada.

To actively undermine the Declaration risks exposing the truth about Canada's 'human rights' record with Indigenous Peoples of Canada that I am certain Harper would rather not see publicized.

Sean in Ottawa

Maybe it is a good thing that the government of Canada's statements on the world stage finally match its behaviour internally. It can be easier to change both together than to manage the inconsistencies. This could be a rallying point for opposition to the government's First Nations policy. I think this is an issue where Canada does deserve to be embarassed on the world stage.

Michelle

Once again, a reminder to please put threads about aboriginal issues in that forum, for easy searching, and also in order that participants know what is expected of them from the forum description when joining the discussion.

I'll move it now.

saga saga's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Sean in Ottawa:
[b]Maybe it is a good thing that the government of Canada's statements on the world stage finally match its behaviour internally. It can be easier to change both together than to manage the inconsistencies. This could be a rallying point for opposition to the government's First Nations policy. I think this is an issue where Canada does deserve to be embarassed on the world stage.[/b]

I think Harper's hard line assimilation policies are having that effect and it may be good in the long run possibly. Still sucks tho!
[img]wink.gif" border="0[/img]

saga saga's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Michelle:
[b]Once again, a reminder to please put threads about aboriginal issues in that forum, for easy searching, and also in order that participants know what is expected of them from the forum description when joining the discussion.

I'll move it now.[/b]


And I object, as you know, because it is critically important, especially at this time, to educate all Canadians about these issues. What good does it do to only post stuff like this for those of us already on board with Indigenous Rights? Inappropriate posts can be deleted. I don't believe hiding aboriginal issues among 'friendly' people is going to educate other people, and if we don't educate there will not be the changes we are hoping for. Change is not always pretty!

[img]wink.gif" border="0[/img]

saga saga's picture

A blot on Canada's image TheStar.com - comment - A blot on Canada's image
August 28, 2007
Back-pedalling on native rights

[url=http://www.thestar.com/comment/article/250379]http://www.thestar.com/com...
Column, Aug. 22
Thank you for printing this important piece on indigenous rights and Canada's role at the United Nations. It is reassuring to hear that there is nothing in the universal declaration that is at odds with Canadian law, despite the protests and objections of Stephen Harper's government. It appears that our "new" government has simply not informed itself well of the contents and meaning of the declaration.

However, it is equally likely that Harper's purpose is, in fact, to undermine Canadian law itself, including the Constitution and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The 25th anniversary of the Charter was celebrated this spring. Harper declined to attend, saying that he preferred the "old Bill of Rights." That would be the Bill of Rights that made no mention of aboriginal rights, back in the days when aboriginal rights were not recognized in law in Canada.

Regardless of purpose, there is no question of the effects of Harper's ill-advised strategy of trying to defeat the UN declaration when it comes to the vote in the General Assembly soon. Canada's opposition shines an international spotlight on our human-rights record with respect to indigenous peoples – and Canada's record is less than stellar.

In contrast to Canada's slow progress in recognizing and restoring the land and resource rights of indigenous peoples, indigenous communities that exercise what they believe to be their legitimate land and resource rights in opposition to views and policies of federal and provincial governments have often been subjected to swift and sometimes aggressive enforcement.
Canadians have repeatedly told polling firms that they want the government to honour the treaties and constitutional aboriginal rights, and resolve the land disputes fairly. Is Harper listening to the Canadian people, or is he just blindly following his own dogma regardless of what Canadians have clearly indicated they want?

Harper's public refusal to sign the declaration on indigenous rights is destroying Canada's international reputation as a defender of human rights. Canada wields considerable influence internationally because of our "squeaky clean" image, but continued undermining of this reputation will curtail our credibility. This will potentially affect all trade and military operations.
Canadians for Aboriginal Rights, Hamilton, Ont.

[ 28 August 2007: Message edited by: saga ]

1234567

quote:


And I object, as you know, because it is critically important, especially at this time, to educate all Canadians about these issues. What good does it do to only post stuff like this for those of us already on board with Indigenous Rights? Inappropriate posts can be deleted. I don't believe hiding aboriginal issues among 'friendly' people is going to educate other people, and if we don't educate there will not be the changes we are hoping for. Change is not always pretty!


I agree with saga on this. This topic should be in the international section. Indigenous rights are international.

I've noticed that Quebec is in the Canadian politics section and the Labour section etc? Would it make sense to have a provincial board and keep all provinces, no matter what the topic on that board?

I also agree that people just don't read the aboriginal boards because they don't know about the politics etc. If aboriginals issues such as this were in the section it should be, then as saga says, people would actually be learning. ANd isn't that one of this sites' goals?

I'd actually like to see the aboriginal board disappear, if find it marginalizes aboriginal politics.

Le T Le T's picture

quote:


And I object, as you know, because it is critically important, especially at this time, to educate all Canadians about these issues. What good does it do to only post stuff like this for those of us already on board with Indigenous Rights? Inappropriate posts can be deleted. I don't believe hiding aboriginal issues among 'friendly' people is going to educate other people, and if we don't educate there will not be the changes we are hoping for. Change is not always pretty!

The only problem is that if we let Indigenous issues "off the rez" the white/Euro-supremacy of babble would be overwhelming. The moderators would have to maybe even ban someone for hating on Indigenous people and that would lead to outrage because white people have the right to say whatever they want, whenever they want, no matter what the consequence.

1234567

You would need aboriginal moderators. At least at the start as most Canadians have little idea of what goes on within an aboriginal's every day life, politics, education, health...etc.

Michelle

I agree with you that it would be good to have a First Nations moderator for this forum.

As for the issue of where to put threads on these issues - that's kind of been an age-old debate on babble, and not just for aboriginal issues, but for others too. For instance, we had a big debate for a long time about whether to create a new forum for GLBT issues, and we didn't do it because some of our most vocal gay members didn't want to have their issues "ghettoized" so to speak. So we didn't.

But we were also lobbied for this forum by First Nations members of babble, so we created it, and it was my understanding that this was what people wanted.

I can start a topic in rabble reactions about this, if you like, and that way I can get a better idea of what is needed now. Needs change as the board evolves, and I'm open to that.

saga saga's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Michelle:
[b]I agree with you that it would be good to have a First Nations moderator for this forum.

As for the issue of where to put threads on these issues - that's kind of been an age-old debate on babble, and not just for aboriginal issues, but for others too. For instance, we had a big debate for a long time about whether to create a new forum for GLBT issues, and we didn't do it because some of our most vocal gay members didn't want to have their issues "ghettoized" so to speak. So we didn't.

But we were also lobbied for this forum by First Nations members of babble, so we created it, and it was my understanding that this was what people wanted.

I can start a topic in rabble reactions about this, if you like, and that way I can get a better idea of what is needed now. Needs change as the board evolves, and I'm open to that.[/b]


Thanks for taking it forward, Michelle.

This issue AFFECTS aboriginal people, for sure, but the people who can INFLUENCE it are a lot broader spectrum and need to understand the issues.
The UN vote is sometime in September, so there is some urgency to this issue.

sknguy

The example of Harper as Prime Minister is a good example of how the democratic system is vulnerable to influences of just one person. How one person can change international policy, and human rights issues at that, to suit a personal agenda is befuddling. Those in opposition are just as much to blame for this situation.

When I was a younger person, I used to be a proponent of western concepts and institutions. But here in my later years, not so much. Harper’s politics only justifies even more my lack of faith. Indigenous people in Canada will always have our governance determined for us. The definitions of who we are will continue to be determined by the standards set by others. I think someone has some serious control issues.

saga saga's picture

quote:


Originally posted by sknguy:
[b]The example of Harper as Prime Minister is a good example of how the democratic system is vulnerable to influences of just one person. How one person can change international policy, and human rights issues at that, to suit a personal agenda is befuddling. Those in opposition are just as much to blame for this situation.
[/b]

Well said. It is frightening. Even with a minority, his personal vendettas are being felt.
I really think he is screwing Canada with this refusal to sign, blowing our cover, opening us to all kinds of international investigations, etc. ... [img]wink.gif" border="0[/img]

And Chuck Strahl ... well ... I have a feeling it won't take long before the Chiefs are in open rebellion again, [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img] and both Band Councils and traditional councils have continued to be heard and seen (shutting down developments in Haldimand, uranium mine in Sharbot Lake, etc).

My only hope at this point is that Harper does not figure out the effect he is really having! sshhh [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img]

[b]

quote:

When I was a younger person, I used to be a proponent of western concepts and institutions. But here in my later years, not so much. Harper’s politics only justifies even more my lack of faith. Indigenous people in Canada will always have our governance determined for us. The definitions of who we are will continue to be determined by the standards set by others. I think someone has some serious control issues.[/b]

A wise Mohawk said to me ... "Capitalism is not the problem ... capitalism is a good thing ... corporatism is the problem."

Control by corporation is fascism, and that is where we are (or are heading, if you prefer a softer approach). We will be toast if he gets a majority while Bush is still in power.

I don't know how much chance there is to get safely out of this mess even now ... but then we would surely be doomed.

But ... we should not be throwing out the 'system' because of a distortion of its principles:

Just throwing out the corporations that destroy the environment and us: Then we get back the $3b increase in our personal income taxes this year that they got in tax decreases. The gov passed it on to us. Great. ... and do something useful with it, like employ people to clean up the desecration some corps have left behind.

Join a blockade near you.
The revolution is here folks! [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img]

imo, of course [img]cool.gif" border="0[/img]

[ 29 August 2007: Message edited by: saga ]

saga saga's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Sean in Ottawa:
[b]Maybe it is a good thing that the government of Canada's statements on the world stage finally match its behaviour internally. It can be easier to change both together than to manage the inconsistencies. This could be a rallying point for opposition to the government's First Nations policy. I think this is an issue where Canada does deserve to be embarassed on the world stage.[/b]

Absolutely! (See above post.)

but ... ssshhhhh ... don't tell Harper what he's really accomplishing! [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img]

sknguy

This doesn't really follow the thread topic, sorry.

quote:

Originally posted by saga:
[b]

A wise Mohawk said to me ... "Capitalism is not the problem ... capitalism is a good thing ... corporatism is the problem."

...

But ... we should not be throwing out the 'system' because of a distortion of its principles:

[ 29 August 2007: Message edited by: saga ][/b]


Firstly, I do respect your opinion, and I thank you for offering that Saga.

Unfortunately, I’m on the side that capitalism is harmful to society. Capitalism is just one model for an economic system. And, broken down further, capitalism is about an economy motivated by individualism. It’s based upon individual need. I think that societies today are too focussed on the individual. Individual rights, individual entitlements, individual profits. But what about the rest of the world? What about other humans and the environment.

We’re in a position now where we have to legislate conscience and responsibility. These things aren’t a part of the notion of entitlement. In fact the many things we might perceive as part of our moral fabric are the first casualties of a capitalist sales pitch. If an economy were based upon the things that were good for the community and the environment I think that we’d see a much more beneficial functioning of the economy.

It’s good to see that the system is becoming sensitive to things like carbon footprint and labour standards, etc. But it’s still a system driven by individual need. And things like carbon footprint simply become commodity rather than a fundamental part of being.

1234567

It's my understanding from learning about my culture that "individualism" was more about what an individual's abilities and talent were and that they were important to the survival and success as of the tribe. The only "capitalism" that was shown was when the tribe went to a bigger gathering of different tribes and the individual could then display their "talent" and use it for their benefit.

[ 31 August 2007: Message edited by: 1234567 ]

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

I actually think that if you divorce corporatism from the economic model then you are left with some kind of capitalism anyways. Every society needs to raise and use funds for infrastructure ie. pool capital. It is oly when you merge that with the corporate greed model that it becomes a virulent economic model.

Every economy needs a market mechanism to buy trade or sell goods and services and every society needs to pool resources to build infrastructure. Even co-ops or syndicates need to raise capital to keep current with efficient manufacture of goods or provision of services. The real question is how to pool capital and distribute it. Our current stock and mutual fund system is causing the collapse of the planet because it is divorced from any logic except the logic of greed.

saga saga's picture

quote:


Originally posted by sknguy:
[b]This doesn't really follow the thread topic, sorry.

Firstly, I do respect your opinion, and I thank you for offering that Saga.

Unfortunately, I’m on the side that capitalism is harmful to society. Capitalism is just one model for an economic system. And, broken down further, capitalism is about an economy motivated by individualism. It’s based upon individual need. I think that societies today are too focussed on the individual. Individual rights, individual entitlements, individual profits. But what about the rest of the world? What about other humans and the environment.

We’re in a position now where we have to legislate conscience and responsibility. These things aren’t a part of the notion of entitlement. In fact the many things we might perceive as part of our moral fabric are the first casualties of a capitalist sales pitch. If an economy were based upon the things that were good for the community and the environment I think that we’d see a much more beneficial functioning of the economy.

It’s good to see that the system is becoming sensitive to things like carbon footprint and labour standards, etc. But it’s still a system driven by individual need. And things like carbon footprint simply become commodity rather than a fundamental part of being.[/b]


Who decides what id "good for the community". That is always where the trick lies and the corruption begins.
I think we can successfully meld the public good with individual entreprenurial creative spirit, which I believe is stifled in some collective systems. However, we have to wrest control of our governments out of the hands of the megacorps, and make laws to prevent corporate control of our economy, our land and our elected representatives. We can limit size and power of 'private' wealth and influence and redistribute the top-heavy wealth.
I think ... [img]wink.gif" border="0[/img]

remind remind's picture

saga, now I have to question if you really want to hear FN voices, or just your own.

You just poo poo'd both sknguy and 1-7, and their FN's perceptions regarding how they feel about capitalism.

saga saga's picture

quote:


Originally posted by remind:
[b]saga, now I have to question if you really want to hear FN voices, or just your own.

You just poo poo'd both sknguy and 1-7, and their FN's perceptions regarding how they feel about capitalism.[/b]


I stated my opinion, but I did not derogate anybody's. We are entitled to have different opinions on a discussion board. (??) How would I know who is FN, and why does that matter in discussing capitalism? Perhaps you should pm me if there is something to this that I am missing, but at this moment I think you are out of line remind.

However, capitalism was a diversion anyway since the thread topic is Harper 'backpedalling furiously on native rights by refusing to sign the UN Declaration ... 13 days to the vote and counting!

[ 31 August 2007: Message edited by: saga ]

Erik Redburn

quote:


Originally posted by kropotkin1951:
[b]I actually think that if you divorce corporatism from the economic model then you are left with some kind of capitalism anyways. Every society needs to raise and use funds for infrastructure ie. pool capital. It is oly when you merge that with the corporate greed model that it becomes a virulent economic model.

Every economy needs a market mechanism to buy trade or sell goods and services and every society needs to pool resources to build infrastructure. Even co-ops or syndicates need to raise capital to keep current with efficient manufacture of goods or provision of services. The real question is how to pool capital and distribute it. Our current stock and mutual fund system is causing the collapse of the planet because it is divorced from any logic except the logic of greed.[/b]


Very good synposis, even cooperatives have to use certain capitalist-ic mechanisms and means and deal with certain competitive pressures, by virtue of their need to sell their products/services to a market that's still free to choose. Corporate oligopolies and their corrupt and controlling ways are the real threat now, though any large enterprise owned by less than the entirety of its fulltime staff (I do believe in probationary periods, seniority and reasonable pay scales, etc) poses problems that any socialist-ic society needs to deal with too. I'm a bit surprised to see a socialist(?) write this actually, but good to see it can be considered and discussed on the left.

[ 31 August 2007: Message edited by: EriKtheHalfaRed ]

Erik Redburn

quote:


Originally posted by sknguy:
[b]The example of Harper as Prime Minister is a good example of how the democratic system is vulnerable to influences of just one person. How one person can change international policy, and human rights issues at that, to suit a personal agenda is befuddling. Those in opposition are just as much to blame for this situation.
[/b]

It's the Lack of democracy that's the problem Sknguy, with no democracy at all I can guarantee you that one individual and hand chosen suppoprters would be making all the decisions, and self interest would reign supreme. I don't get your resistence to it actually, its one of maybe three good ideas that came out of the West, or from where we sit, the East. [img]smile.gif" border="0[/img] At onetime it may not have been a necessary mechanism for most FN people (though some did use certain democratic methods for pretty much the same reasons) who were more or less free to provide for themselves, beyond traditional obligations to family, but now that most are confined to reserves or dealing with bureacracies off reserve it's probably necessary. Maybe certain reforms could be made to make it more inclusive and consensus driven, like allowing for a council of traditional elders, as Makwa has suggested, organised whichever way is seen most appropriate by each nation. Success of any reforms, I'd think, would still rest largely on gaining greater sovereignty over larger land bases.

[ 31 August 2007: Message edited by: EriKtheHalfaRed ]

Makwa Makwa's picture

quote:


Originally posted by EriKtheHalfaRed:
[b]It's the Lack of democracy that's the problem Sknguy, with no democracy at all I can guarantee you that one individual and hand chosen suppoprters would be making all the decisions, and self interest would reign supreme.[/b]

Actually, in many traditional societies such as Cree, a group of Clan elder women would be making the decisions, with the interest focussed on seven generations.

Erik Redburn

Did most Algonquin peoples follow matrilineal traditions Makwa, do you know?

Erik Redburn

Never mind, reason I asked but only tangential to the thread. Thanks for the information, I didn't know that. I have been told that any divisions of labour between genders didn't necessarily confer extra privilege or status in other areas, and I've read that anyone could become "chief" of whatever they happened to be good at in most nations --for about as long as that particular role was needed, for anyone willing to entrust them the position. If that's an accurate way of putting it, it's about as democratic a way to organize as I can think of.

[ 31 August 2007: Message edited by: EriKtheHalfaRed ]

sknguy

I like reading Saga's and other's opinions. And I am sorry for the sidetrack.

saga saga's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Sean in Ottawa:
[b]Maybe it is a good thing that the government of Canada's statements on the world stage finally match its behaviour internally. It can be easier to change both together than to manage the inconsistencies. This could be a rallying point for opposition to the government's First Nations policy. I think this is an issue where Canada does deserve to be embarassed on the world stage.[/b]

Canada is still voting against the Declaration but ... last heard ... a change was negotiated with the African Nations that will allow the document to pass in the vote in the General Assembly IF the change is approved by the Indigenous Forum.

[ 05 September 2007: Message edited by: saga ]

Unionist

[url=http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20070909.waboriginals... signals Canada unlikely to back UN declaration[/url]

quote:

Canada's Prime Minister sent a strong signal Sunday that his government would not agree to sign to United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People when the matter comes to a vote later this month.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper told a late afternoon news conference in this Australian city that he has not yet decided what Canada's position will be with regard to the document that aims to limit the abuse and murder of indigenous people around the world.

But “the government of Canada has profound reservations about elements of the draft. And our government's position is we shouldn't vote for things on the basis of political correctness, we should actually vote on the basis of what's in the document and whether or not the government of Canada can and will implement the content,” Mr. Harper told reporters.


saga saga's picture

quote:


Originally posted by unionist:
[b][url=http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20070909.waboriginals... signals Canada unlikely to back UN declaration[/url]

[/b]


It doesn't matter what Harper says or does. The Declaration will pass without Canada's vote and despite Harper trying to undermine the vote. The 51 African nations are back on board so the Declaration will pass.

This has been a wakeup call for Canadians though, that Harper is unwilling to settle land claims honourably.

The headlines tell the story

[url=http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&ned=&ie=UTF-8&scoring=d&q=%22indigenou...

Canada bruised in rights fight
Canoe.ca, Canada - Sep 7, 2007
By CP OTTAWA -- Canada was cast yesterday as a bad actor that aggressively campaigned alongside countries with tarnished human-rights records in its failed ...

Canada slammed over UN declaration
Globe and Mail, Canada - Sep 7, 2007
OTTAWA -- Canada was cast yesterday as a bad actor that aggressively campaigned alongside countries with tarnished human-rights records in its failed bid to ...

Canada blasted over policy on natives
Toronto Star, Canada - Sep 7, 2007
OTTAWA–Canada was cast yesterday as a bad actor that aggressively campaigned alongside countries with tarnished human-rights records in its failed bid to ...

Elisa Burchett: Major Shift in Outlook for UN Declaration on ...
UN Observer - Sep 6, 2007
2007-09-06 | “We analyzed the document and we believe that this does not fall below existing international human rights standards. ...

Canada ripped for opposing UN declaration
Toronto Star, Canada - Sep 6, 2007
OTTAWA – Canada was cast today as a bad actor that aggressively campaigned alongside countries with tarnished human-rights records in its failed bid to ...

UN set to adopt native-rights declaration
Globe and Mail, Canada - Sep 6, 2007
OTTAWA — The United Nations is set to adopt a new Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People despite what critics say was aggressive opposition from Canada.

Stargazer

How I hate Harper and how I loathe the Conservatives.

saga saga's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Stargazer:
[b]How I hate Harper and how I loathe the Conservatives.[/b]

I don't disagree, but I would add that ALL governments, ALL parties have evaded the law and addressed Indigenous land repatriation dishonourably.

Let's look at what Harper has accomplished by being an a$$:

The world now knows that Canada does not respect the rights of its Indigenous Peoples.

The UN will be scrutinizing EVERY move Canada makes.

The Liberals were successful in pulling the wool over people's eyes, by putting pretty words on paper and repeating them ad nauseam, while they continued to cheat, lie, break the laws including the Constitution, and continued stealing land and resources.

I don't like what Harper stands for, but at least he tells the truth about it so the whole world knows the ugly truth.

And in the end, he has perhaps done a better thing for all of us by doing so. Because now the world knows how Canada's governments behave toward Indigenous people, and so do Canadians.

YOU CAN WATCH UN LIVE ON THURSDAY FOR THE VOTE:

[url=http://www.un.org/webcast/unhrc/index.asp]http://www.un.org/webcast/unhr...

[ 10 September 2007: Message edited by: saga ]

Le T Le T's picture

It should be mentioned that most of the states that support the document have added that they in no way support collective rights as international law. This is a good indication that the problem with UN, the world, and everything else might not be who is in charge (Harper or Layton). The problem is that states exist. They are completely premised on the liberal notion of individual rights. Until such time as states are eliminated the continued oppression of Indigenous people all over the world will continue.

Edited for spelling

[ 11 September 2007: Message edited by: Le Tйlйspectateur ]

Fidel

Finland is another country of northern latitude with an indigenous population. As an example, their child poverty rates among native people are not what they are in Canada. Canada is world renowned for its abuse of native people, and it's not a label they will get rid of easily.

As long as they hold power and share power between the two old line autocratic parties, the hyprocrisy of successive Liberal and Conservative governments in Canada and their failure to deal with basic human rights issues will be criticized and condemned by the UN and even countries like China.

saga saga's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Le Tйlйspectateur:
[b]It should be mentioned that most of the states that support the document have added that they in no way support collective rights as international law. This is a good indication that the problem with UN, the world, and everything else might not be who is in charge (Harper or Layton). The problem is that states exist. They are completely premised on the liberal notion of individual rights. Until such time as states are eliminated the continued oppression of Indigenous people all over the world will continue.

Edited for spelling

[ 11 September 2007: Message edited by: Le Tйlйspectateur ][/b]


Interesting. That is the same concern repeated ad nauseam in some other places.

Do we not, as individuals, have the right to form collectives? Hold property and inherit property as collectives, if we choose?

I have been asserting that collective rights are simply individual rights that we all have. Am I 'legally' wrong?

Fidel

He's trying to say that Layton and Harper are the same on indigenous issues, and that's a steaming pile of bullshit.

saga saga's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Fidel:
[b]He's trying to say that Layton and Harper are the same on indigenous issues, and that's a steaming pile of bullshit.[/b]

I wouldn't know. Anyone who aspires to government in Canada has to deal with the practicalities of the impact of being honourable on Canada's finances.

Sovereignty is the issue, control of lands, right to defend territory and not be invaded at will by Canada, or by US police/troops on invitation of Canada.

Canada is, as someone said, basically a colonial, resource-based economy. Canada is still raping and plundering Indigenous land, chewing off its own extremities and poisoning itself in the process.

Regardless of who is addressing it, it is a huge challenge to finally 'wean' Canada from destroying itself, and it will take a huge commitment as there will be powerful opposition. Outta my league! [img]wink.gif" border="0[/img]

... but I am still interested in the issue of individual vs collective rights ... and opinions on the above question too.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

In our system we give the largest rights to the collectives that are incorporated as businesses. They can plunder and have been since the Hudson's Bay Company was formed and have no legal liability for the damage they do beyond the initial money they invested. If I build a leaky condo in Vasncouver using my own name and reputation I can be sued and all damages can be recouped out of my private holdings. If instead I spend a few hundred dollars I can incorporate a company that doesn't even need a name only a number and then if my building project leaks I don't lose anything because their are no assets in the numbered company and no one can go after my personal assets because it was the company not me. Legal fiction designed to help capitalists are the strongest collective rights in Canada.

mgregus

More media coverage of the UN vote today.

quote:

Assembly of First Nations National Chief Phil Fontaine said the government is betraying Canada's worldwide legacy as a protector of human rights by going against a declaration Canadians helped draft.

"In our view, it's a stain on Canada's reputation internationally," Fontaine told CBC News on Thursday in an interview from New York.

"In this case, Canada is blowing against the very consistent position it has taken in the last few decades … When they decided to go against the thing that they had supported for so long, it was inexplicable."


[url=http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2007/09/13/canada-indigenous.html?ref=rss... story here[/url]

Fidel

quote:


Originally posted by saga:
[b]

I wouldn't know. Anyone who aspires to government in Canada has to deal with the practicalities of the impact of being honourable on Canada's finances.[/b]


I think if we want to perpetuate the abuse of native people and their rights, then we should make damn sure and vote for either of Canada's two old line parties, in power and sharing power since native lands were stolen by rich and powerful elite represented by the two old line parties. Or don't vote at all, same effect.

HeywoodFloyd

quote:


Originally posted by kropotkin1951:
[b] If instead I spend a few hundred dollars I can incorporate a company that doesn't even need a name only a number and then if my building project leaks I don't lose anything because their are no assets in the numbered company and no one can go after my personal assets because it was the company not me. [/b]

That isn't true. Every corporation has to have directors. They are personally liable along with the corporation. This is true of directors in any organization, including EDA board members.

Fidel

quote:


Originally posted by HeywoodFloyd:
[b]

That isn't true. Every corporation has to have directors. They are personally liable along with the corporation. This is true of directors in any organization, including EDA board members.[/b]


Unless they are a limited liability corporation. In which case they can run up debts, crook and cheat and abscond with pension funds etc ad nauseum and only lose their initial investments.

Red Cedar

I received this in an email today:


quote:

[b]Passage of UN Declaration an historic day: Canada’s opposition a national disgrace

News Release FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 13, 2007[/b]

Coast Salish Territory/Vancouver – Today the United Nations General Assembly, after more than 20 years in development, adopted the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples by an overwhelming majority of 143 in favour, 4 opposed and 11 abstentions. Unfortunately Canada was one of four countries to vote against the adoption of the Declaration.

“The First Nations Leadership Council stands together with the indigenous peoples of the world in celebrating this historic achievement”, said Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs and a member and First Nations Leadership Council.

“However we remain shocked and angered at Canada’s refusal to support this important international human rights instrument. It is truly ironic that four first world countries that have become prosperous through the exploitation of the lands and resources of the indigenous peoples, including Canada, chose to oppose the adoption of the declaration” added Grand Chief Phillip. “We challenge Canada to take a step forward on the international stage and reverse its opposition and work with us to implement and uphold the principles contained in the Declaration”.

“The Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples will set the stage for an opportunity for a new beginning, for an improved relationship between indigenous peoples and States in North America and throughout the world”, said Grand Chief Edward John, a member of the First Nations Summit executive and First Nations Leadership Council who is in New York for today’s historic vote.

“We stand together and celebrate that the fundamental human rights which we have all worked so hard to uphold in this Declaration are still intact in the final text now adopted by the UN General Assembly. These include the inherent rights related to our traditional lands, territories and natural resources, our self-determination, our unqualified recognition as Peoples, our own cultures, languages and identities, our subsistence, our own concepts of developments, Treaties, and free, prior and informed consent”, added Grand Chief John. “We hope the Declaration will now force Canada to work with Aboriginal people of this country to bring about change to their flawed colonial policies”.

“This document is truly a unifying instrument, a declaration of the struggle that unifies the 370 million indigenous people globally. The Declaration represents a shared struggle and as such will serve to bring us closer together to impact change, push back the destructive forces of globalization and provide us with an opportunity to shape the world instead of only being subject to, or victims of it” said Regional Chief Shawn Atleo of the BC Assembly of First Nations.

[url=http://www.ubcic.bc.ca/News_Releases/]http://www.ubcic.bc.ca/News_Releas...

***

Canada's vote against the Declaration says exactly where the extreme right wing Conservative Government believes that First Nations people fit into the view of this country.


[ 13 September 2007: Message edited by: Red Cedar ]

[ 13 September 2007: Message edited by: Red Cedar ]

[ 13 September 2007: Message edited by: Red Cedar ]

arborman

quote:


Originally posted by Fidel:
[b]

Unless they are a limited liability corporation. In which case they can run up debts, crook and cheat and abscond with pension funds etc ad nauseum and only lose their initial investments.[/b]


All corporations are limited liability. That said, the directors are in theory, if never ever in practice, liable for the financial well-being of the corporation.

Other illegal activities of the corporation are not their problem. In fact, they are obligated legally to maximize profit at the expense of all other considerations - include legal considerations. They can be sued for failing to do so.

/drift, and my apologies.

1234567

Thanks Red Cedar

[url=http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5ixWgtCGxM1ZSp0cA7qDku9h87pRA]AFP press release: UN General Assembly backs indigenous peoples' rights[/url]

1234567 doing the happy dance because her linking attempt worked!

[ 13 September 2007: Message edited by: 1234567 ]

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

What a sad day for Canada and a great day for aboriginal people. Those FNGA couldn't even abstain they actually voted against it.

1234567

So all the talk the Feds have been making about a new relationship with Aboriginal people is all bs because they did not like this and it is one of the reasons they voted no:

"to consult and cooperate in good faith with the indigenous peoples ...to obtain their free and informed consent prior to the approval of any project affecting their lands or territories and other resources, particularly in connection with the development, utilization or exploitation of mineral, water or other resources."

[url=http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5ixWgtCGxM1ZSp0cA7qDku9h87pRA]here[/url]

Liars.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

And Chuck Stahl is proving the Cons appointed a racist to head Indian Affairs. His new relationship sure looks alot like the old exploitation.

saga saga's picture

[url=http://www.un.org/webcast/2007.html]http://www.un.org/webcast/2007.html[...

You can watch the speeches here, including Canada (starting at about 1:15 on the tape)

I found it interesting that the Canadian Ambassador in his comments said that Canada will continue to uphold its own laws and its human rights obligations via other UN documents, because:

1) Canadian governments do NOT uphold Canadian constitutional law since they fail to consult with First Nations before approving uses of their traditional and treaty lands, causing confrontation and conflict, and

2) If Canada upholds all of its human rights obligations via UN documents, applying them all to Indigenous Peoples as well, then Canada is already committed to upholding the elements of the Declaration on Indigenous Rights because it is constructed of clauses from existing human rights documents.

There are no new human rights in the Declaration: It is simply a restatement of human rights we all have, but that have traditionally been ignored in the case of Indigenous Peoples.

Fidel

quote:


Originally posted by arborman:
[b]

All corporations are limited liability. That said, the directors are in theory, if never ever in practice, liable for the financial well-being of the corporation.

Other illegal activities of the corporation are not their problem. In fact, they are obligated legally to maximize profit at the expense of all other considerations - include legal considerations. They can be sued for failing to do so.

/drift, and my apologies.[/b]


[url=http://www.reddeeraltalaw.com/articles/UnlimitedLiabilityCorp.htm]Unlimited Liability Corporations in Alberta and Nova Scotia[/url]

sknguy

All of the Government’s statements smack of this fear of creating “special rights”. They’re unable to conceive that property rights, just like rights of equality, are special rights too. Really though, there is no such thing as “special rights” because ALL rights are special rights. Holly cow, what a bunch of..... never mind. This all harkens back to this idea of “one law for all”. But hey, that’s what happens when someone appropriates an idea away from its context.

The government somehow perceives that universality is linked to the notion of equality when it’s not. The two are very different concepts with very different consequences. These conservatives are either too lazy or afraid to think. But alas, the Canadian Government has always assumed itself to administered the affairs of Indigenous peoples. And a damn fine job it’s done at that. Who says colonialism is a tool of the past?

[ 16 September 2007: Message edited by: sknguy ]

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