Kenneth Deer: Canada eats crow on indigenous rights declaration
"Canada’s flip flop on its position on the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples must be embarrassing to the government. We have to remember that Canada is the only country to vote against the Declaration twice, once at the Human Rights Council in 2006 and again in the General Assembly in 2007. After stating that the Declaration would violate Canada’s Constitution, jeopardize 500 treaties that have been signed over the past 250 years and other incredibly outrageous reasons, Canada declared that it could not support this “very radical” document.

Now, Canada is eating crow and says it does not negate the Constitution and it could live with the contents of the Declaration albeit with some reservations.

Canada lost the vote at the U.N. on the Declaration1 44-4. It was a crushing defeat for them, just like losing the vote to be a member to the U.N. Security Council. And now they have changed sides, endorsed the Declaration and claiming victory, but not victory for indigenous peoples for which the Declaration is designed to do, but victory for themselves – that they will keep their unjust laws and continue their objections to parts of the Declaration. So much for their sincerity.

And Canada’s statements shouldn’t surprise us, what else can we expect from them. We have lived with foreign aliens and their settler governments for centuries and we know how they behave and how they got our land. Honesty, respect and integrity have not been their strong points."

Get the Story:
Kenneth Deer: Canada eats crow in its endorsement of Declaration (Indian Country Today 11/23)

Related Stories:
Opinion: Why Canadian government flipped on indigenous rights (11/15)