Thursday, December 27, 2012

Robert Gopher Policy Institute Calls for UN Role to Mediate Canadian Crisis

Will the Native Winter Follow the Path of the Arab Spring?

Brock Conway, Representative of 
Loud Thunder International, and three 
native activists meet with Canadian Consul 
Nadia Scipio Del Campo at the
Canadian Consulate, Los Angeles
Friday, December 21, 2012 on the 
escalating Canadian crisis
Peoples movements have defined global affairs the past two years beginning in Tunisia with the Jasmine Revolution; Egypt, Libya and Yemen followed.  Syria has been more problematic and descended into civil war, just today the UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi calls for a transitional government.  The role of Bashar al Assad is unstated following weeks of intense negotiations by the UN envoy between Assad and the opposition movement.

The glaring issue facing Canada is its prior acceptance of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, the crisis in Canada puts this universal declaration to its first major test in addressing the policies of a major industrialized nation.  Canadian Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn Atleo stated in a news broadcast interview of the need for Canada to step up and fulfill lawful treaty obligations on a nation to nation basis that was guaranteed 250 years ago.  

Atleo cites the UN Declaration's requirement of informed consent by indigenous people on major legislation.  The Harper backed legislative proposals have created nationwide unrest and civil protests throughout the nation, the United States, and several areas around the globe, in support of the Idle No More movement.

The Need for UN Role to Oversee Canadian Crisis

The Robert Gopher Policy Institute sees the need for the UN to take a prominent role, certainly an investigation launched, and calls for the UN to mediate the escalating crisis,  and apply provisions of the Declaration on behalf of Canadian First Nations.  The UN Declaration outlines several articles, many of those have been violated by the Queens Cabinet led by Harper in the failure to consult before the passage of the Omnibus Bill C-45.  The Queen's Governor General Johnston has stated it is not his role, but that of the legislative body, to conduct face to face dialog with First Nations.

This leaves the AFN led by Atleo, with no recourse within the government of Canada to pursue constructive dialog, as hunger strikers Chief Theresa Spence of the Attawapiskat First Nation, Raymond Robinson of Cross Lake and Emil Bell of Canoe Lake starve for a solution.  This situation is ripe for international intervention that only the UN can provide to move mediation efforts forward.

The international community must step up and aid the indigenous people of Canada, where historically, the indigenous peoples of the Western Hemisphere have lacked international support to address colonial abuses, exploitation and genocidal policies since historic times.  The indigenous people must be afforded the same attention and dedication as given the Palestinians, Syrians and Libyans.

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