Canada's extinguishment of Innu Rights in Labrador

SEPT-IIES, QC, Nov. 18, 2011 /CNW Telbec/ - A Quebec-based Innu community from Sept-Iles is denouncing the Canadian Government's bad faith in its dealings with their land claim in Labrador.

"By signing a comprehensive land deal with the Labrador Innu, Canada is in the same breath breaching its fiduciary obligation towards our land claims in Labrador. In 1979, Canada agreed to negotiate our constitutionally-protected aboriginal rights in Labrador. Yet, today by unilaterally signing a land deal with the Labrador Innu without all Innu rights-holders being at the table, Canada is showing its true colors, bad faith and its willingness to pursue a policy of extinguishment of inherent aboriginal rights denounced many times by the United Nations Human Rights Committee " stated Innu Chief Georges-Ernest Gregoire.

"We are not against our Innu brothers and sisters seeking redress from past injustices, and wanting to improve their lives with this land deal, but we are certainly against an agreement signed by Canada that has far-reaching impacts on our economic rights and our sacred relationship to our lands, our resources and our territories in Labrador. Our footprints are everywhere on this land as evidenced by historical and archeological facts in the "Vollant" Court proceedings against Canada," he said.

"It is unfortunate that a year after Canada's endorsement of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Conservative Government failed to honour our basic human rights. Making the recognition and protection of Indigenous Peoples' collective rights to lands and resources an explicit objective of federal policies would have been the appropriate course of action to take " concluded Gregoire.

In April 2006, Canada was slammed by the UN Human Rights Committee and urged the federal government to re-examine its policy and practices to ensure they do not result in extinguishment of inherent aboriginal rights. The Committee asked to receive more detailed information on the comprehensive land claims agreement that Canada is currently negotiating with the Innu people of Quebec and Labrador, in particular regarding its compliance with the U.N. Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

SOURCE INNU TAKUAIKAN UASHAT MAK MANI-UTENAM (ITUM)

For further information:

Armand MacKenzie
Innu Takuaikan Uashat Mak Mani-Utenam
Tel : (418) 409-5626

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INNU TAKUAIKAN UASHAT MAK MANI-UTENAM (ITUM)

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