Canada is cozying up to the world’s most notorious human-rights abusers as a way of fighting a declaration on Native rights now being debated at the United Nations, says the Grand Council of the Crees.
Canada is leading the charge against the declaration by saying it will give indigenous peoples too much in the way of rights, said a GCCQ advisor in a. Montreal Gazette article.
Canadian officials are apparently lobbying China by pointing out how Tibetans in China could make use of thedeclaration to press for sovereignty. Canada has also lobbied Iraq by suggesting the declaration could be useful to the Kurds, victims of genocide at the hands of Iraq’s army. Indonesia, which killed 200,000 indigenous Timorese people in the 1970s, is another country Ottawa is buddying up to.
A decade in the making, the UN declaration says indigenous peoples “have the right to self-determination,” plus the right to own, develop, control and use traditional territories and get back confiscated or occupied territories.
“To not recognize us as peoples certainly denies our right to self-determination,” Kenny Blacksmith, deputy grand chief, told The Nation. “Canada perceives itself as a champion of human rights. We hope Canada maintains some consistency,” said Kenny, who travels this month to Geneva to counter Canada’s campaign at the UN.