MUNSEE DELAWARE NATION, ON, June 4, 2013 /CNW/ - The Anishinabek Nation
supports the Hupacasath First Nation in its legal battle against the
Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement
(FIPA). FIPA was tabled in the House of Commons last September without
any First Nations consultation and accommodation. The agreement affects
puts the future of natural resources in Canada, and also ignores treaty
relationships that Canada has with First Nations.
Grand Council Chief Patrick Wedaseh Madahbee has affirmed the
Anishinabek Nation's opposition to FIPA. "Every time we turn around
Canada is doing something to undermine First Nation rights and
jurisdiction then they wonder why the majority of First Nations oppose
federal conservative policies", Madahbee said. "I don't know who
they're consulting, if anyone, but it sure isn't the Anishinabek First
Chief Isadore Day Wiindawtegowinini from Serpent River First Nation and
also the Anishinabek Robinson-Huron Regional Chief described the
situation as going against international laws.
"Our treaties are internationally credible and just as valid as any
other Nation to Nation relationship in the world. Canada has no right
to sell or assume jurisdiction over resources in the Lake Huron Region
or any Anishinabek region. Every piece of land and every ounce of water
are protected by treaty rights, and our treaty rights protect our
inherent rights and these rights are recognized by the United Nations,"
said Chief Day.
The Canada-China agreement ignores treaties that were agreed to prior to
Canada becoming a country and in essence, FIPA undermines the
Canada-First Nation treaty relationship.
The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
(UNDRIP) Article 32 says: "States shall consult and cooperate in good
faith with the indigenous peoples concerned…in order to obtain their
free, prior and informed consent prior to the approval of any project
affecting their land or territories and other resources, particularly
in connection with the development, utilization or exploitation of
mineral, water or other resources", both Canada and China are among the
state governments that have endorsed UNDRIP.
"Canada is a colonial government and the Canadian Government has not
consulted with the rights holders, which are the First Nations who hold
the legal, underlying title to all lands, waters and resources across
the country," Madahbee said.
"There are Supreme Court decisions that explicitly direct the government
to consult and accommodate First Nations in instances such as this. The
United Nations continually acknowledges our rights through
international forums, but the question remains: Is Canada above the law
when it comes to First Nation rights? From everything we've seen over
the years it would appear as though First Nations have no real
protection in Canada's constitution, Canada's legal system, or in the
framework of international declarations. Until they start respecting
our rights we have no reason to believe that equality and democracy
exists in Canada and the international community should be paying
The Anishinabek Nation established the Union of Ontario Indians as its
secretariat in 1949. The UOI is a political advocate for 39 member
communities across Ontario, representing approximately 55,000 people.
The Union of Ontario Indians is the oldest political organization in
Ontario and can trace its roots back to the Confederacy of Three Fires,
which existed long before European contact.
SOURCE: Anishinabek Nation
For further information:
Marci Becking, Communications Officer
Phone: 705-497-9127 ext. 2290
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