Idle No More: Canadian Citizen Writes to the Governor General
A Canadian citizen writes to the Governor General, declaring fierce opposition to numerous pieces of legislation recently passed by the Harper Government. The bills the writer has issue with seek to further exploit, disempower, control and marginalize First Nations. They include Bill C-45, which is at the heart of both the Idle No More grassroots movement and Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence’s ongoing hunger strike.
via Idle No More grassroots movement:
Govenor General Of Canada
1 Sussex Drive
Ottawa Ontario K1A 0A1
Toll-free (Canada and the U.S.) 1-800-465-6890
Re: Opposition to Bills
Dear Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada:
As a Canadian citizen, I would like to declare that I am opposed to recent legislation passed by my representatives in government. I implore Canada to reopen for discussion the issues contained in Bill C-45 including all encompassed Bills so there can be a proper debate as outlined in the United Nations Declarations. It is imperative that ALL Canadians be informed of the impact these Bills have on our environment as well as our relationship with First Nations peoples in Canada.
We realize that the treaties made with Indigenous people will serve as protection to all Canadians, land, water and environment. The Treaties were nation to nation agreements that were supposed to benefit all people. However, it is clear that the devastating effects of colonialism has created inequality in Canada where settler Canadians have benefited greatly from the Treaties, land and resources while First Nations communities lack sufficient resources. Our government has promised reconciliation for the impact of hundreds of years of colonialism and racism, which has produced effects in First Nations communities such as intergenerational trauma, high suicide rates, and one of the highest incarceration rates in the country. It is clear that these Bills will exasperate these effects.
In addition, I understand that for Aboriginal culture to be sustained, connection to the land and water is imperative. These Bills fall under the United Nations definition of genocide, and as a Canadian Citizen I recognize the Bills as both illegal and immoral.
Each one of these bills is in direct violation of Article 18, 19, and 20 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
- Bill C-45 Job and Growth Act (Omnibus bill includes Indian Act amendments regarding voting on-reserve and land surrender/designations);
- Bill C-27 First Nations Financial Transparency Act;
- Bill S-2 Family Homes on Reserve and Matrimonial Interests or Right Act;
- Bill S-6 First Nations Elections Act;
- Bill S-8 Safe Drinking Water for First Nations;
- Bill C-428 Indian Act Amendment and Replacement Act
And Senate Public Bills:
- Bill S-207 An Act to amend the Interpretation Act;
- Bill S-212 First Nations Self-Government Recognition Bill and the “First Nations” Private Ownership Act
The UNDRIP Articles the bills violate are as follows:
Article 18 :Indigenous peoples have the right to participate in decision-making in matters which would affect their rights, through representatives chosen by themselves in accordance with their own procedures, as well as to maintain and develop their own indigenous decision- making institutions.
Article 19 :States shall consult and cooperate in good faith with the indigenous peoples concerned through their own representative institutions in order to obtain their free, prior and informed consent before adopting and implementing legislative or administrative measures that may affect them.
Article 20: 1. Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain and develop their political, economic and social systems or institutions, to be secure in the enjoyment of their own means of subsistence and development, and to engage freely in all their traditional and other economic activities. 2. Indigenous peoples deprived of their means of subsistence and development are entitled to just and fair redress. We represent First Nations and environmental, recreation and grassroots groups supported by more than half a million Canadians.
It is contrary to democratic principles that, despite the opposition of millions of Canadians to the attacks on nature and democracy in omnibus bill C-38, the government has chosen to rewrite some of Canada’s foundational environmental protection laws by inappropriately including amendments in another massive omnibus bill, C-45.