Thursday, June 07, 2007

Harper vs. Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Whooee! Well friends an' foes, I seen somethin' in the news today that set my blood a-boilin'. The Harper gummint's doin' its dangedest to put the kibosh on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. (a tip o' the headress to Shmohawk )

Now, Canada's a member of the UN Human Rights Council. There's 47 member nations on that there council. Canada and Russia are the only ones tryin' to kill the deal. Worse yet, the HarpoonTossers is tryin' to drum up support fer their regressive stand among badass human rights abusers around the world.

Here's the AP story ---

OTTAWA -- Amnesty International is accusing Canada of stalling a United Nations negotiation on the rights of indigenous peoples. The human rights group says Canada has been obstructionist and exploitive in its efforts to block discussion on the issue.

It notes that Canada and Russia were the only two members of the 47-country Human Rights Council to vote against the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in June 2006.

Amnesty says that since the Conservative government came to power in January 2006, it has been lobbying the UN General Assembly to vote against the declaration, which the previous Liberal government helped draft.

The group contends Ottawa has been encouraging abusive states in Africa, Asia and Latin America to oppose the declaration.

The Tories fear the declaration could run counter to the Constitution, defence laws and existing land deals.

Phil Fontaine, the national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, sent a letter to Indian Affairs Minister Jim Prentice last month, complaining that Canada's position "seriously undermines indigenous peoples' human rights.''

The federal government claims it is seeking "the broadest possible agreement.'' But Amnesty says that statement flies in the face of 68 states that recently endorsed the declaration and a "growing list'' of experts, prominent leaders and human-rights bodies that support it.

Conservative aboriginal policies have been criticized since the government scrapped the $5-billion Kelowna Accord, reached under the previous Liberal government. The deal was intended to improve native education, housing and economic conditions.

Shmohawk called 'em weasels. I reckon that's generous.



Anonymous said...

I pointed this out over at Accidental Deliberations the other day, and think it is worth repeating (if for nothing more than a reminder of how far SH has strayed from Canadian values)

‘Contrast that with Canada’s role 59 years ago’

Canada can take great pride in the fact that John Humphrey, a Canadian, played a fundamental role in the creation and adoption of this landmark document. Humphrey, a Professor of law at McGill University, was called upon to set up the Division for Human Rights in the UN Secretariat, a division he remained in charge of for the next twenty years. It was during his first few years with the UN that Humphrey prepared the first draft of the Declaration and guided it to its adoption by the General Assembly in 1948. (the United Nations Association in Canada)

Canada’s reputation used to be …. a nation of decency, one that made constructive contributions globally, and certainly not a country that undermined the UN Human Rights Council.

Harper is working hard to earn Canada a new and very different reputation, one built on power and might, a real them/us mentality – in his own words “ ….. a stronger role in the world to protect our people at home and our interests abroad.” (Feb. 6/07, Ottawa). The day could come, when (for your own safely) is will be advisable NOT to display the Red Maple Leaf while traveling overseas.

Harper, human rights, no –

Canada’s Indigenous Peoples The National Day of Action is June 29. and if the rest of Canada doesn’t wake up and have a Canadian Day of Action (how about the next federal election), the slippery sloop of eroding human rights will just get steeper.

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