[Marxism] Métis National Council taks Canada to UN for human right s violations

Macdonald Stainsby mstainsby at resist.ca
Mon Oct 17 09:48:23 MDT 2005


Transmitted by CNW Group on : October 17, 2005 01:57
Canada's Aboriginal Policy Questioned at United Nations

	    OTTAWA, Oct. 17 /CNW Telbec/ - Today and tomorrow, October 18, 2005,
the United Nations Human Rights Committee in Geneva will be examining
representatives of the federal government on Canada's report on its
compliance with its international obligations under the International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

One of the main issues to be raised by the Committee will be related to
Canadian performance of its human rights obligations regarding Indigenous
peoples. In that regard, the Métis National Council (MNC) and KAIROS, a
national coalition of Christian churches that works on social justice
issues, have made joint representations to the Committee as it prepares to
examine the report that Canada submitted to the Committee earlier this

	    A main concern of the MNC relates to provincial failures to
recognize, respect and protect Métis rights, including Aboriginal
rights that have been expressly recognized by Canadian courts, and
rights that have been clearly identified by the Committee in past
reports and recommendations to Canada.

	    The international right of self-determination will also be at the
forefront of discussion. Canada's policy currently fails to measure
up to its obligations under Article 1 of the Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights, which states "All peoples have the right of

	    The joint submission points to Canada's failure to respect the
Covenant as it applies to the Métis people in Canada, one of the
"aboriginal peoples of Canada" given express Constitutional
recognition in section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982.
Notwithstanding numerous domestic and international legal
obligations, Canada has not enacted legislation nor adopted policies
that effectively recognize and protect the right of
self-determination of the Métis people.

	    Furthermore, in contravention of these obligations, the federal
government continues to assert that Métis land rights have been
extinguished, and also insists on the discredited technique of
"extinguishment" in treaty negotiations with First Nations. Canada has
consistently ignored repeated calls by the UN to abandon it policies of
extinguishment, including by the UN Human Rights Committee at its review
of Canada in 1999.

	    The joint MNC-KAIROS submission also addresses the issue of control
over natural resources and the fact that Métis are essentially
without access to land and resources. "Canada cannot avoid its
international obligations by pointing to provincial dereliction",
said Clément Chartier, President of the MNC. He added, "Canada is
responsible for all of Canada in international law."

	    Métis National Council Minister for International Affairs and
President of the Métis Nation of Ontario, Tony Belcourt says, "The
provinces are also bound to uphold their obligations under
international treaties signed by Canada and they must be brought to
task for their outrageous denial of Métis rights and access to lands
and resources. In particular, the provinces must be brought to task
for either refusing to recognize our Constitutional rights to hunt
and fish for food or, in the case of Ontario, breaking solemn
agreements they entered into in July, 2004, only to renege on the
agreement three months later."

	    Ed Bianchi, Aboriginal Rights Program Coordinator for KAIROS, will
appear before the Human Rights Committee in Geneva on Monday.

	    WHEN:  Monday, October 17, 2005 - 10 am
	    WHERE: United Nations, Geneva, Switzerland

	    The joint submission is available on the Métis National Council website
at: www.metisnation.ca


/For further information: Robert McDonald, Director of Media and Public
Relations, Metis National Council, 613.232.3216 Or Ed Bianchi, KAIROS
613.235.9956 / ebianchi at kairoscanada.org/

Macdonald Stainsby
In the contradiction lies the hope.

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