Canada gets instant reminder of what signing United Nations Declaration supposed to mean

UN General Assembly

As reported in Wawatay News, Canada has endorsed the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) “in a manner, it says, is consistent with Canada’s Constitution and laws.” Although non-binding, the 46-article Declaration is nonetheless held up as a significant and meaningful standard by which to judge Canada’s treatment of, and conduct toward, Indigenous peoples within its borders.

And just to make sure Canada has a good solid idea of what that means, Sharon McIvor is about to file suit against the country for the way it “discriminates against Aboriginal women when it comes to granting Indian status,” reports the Toronto Sun. After winning her case in BC’s highest court, the feds put forth Bill C-3 as its response, but MacIvor argues this “partial and inadequate” legislation doesn’t go nearly far enough in ensuring all First Nations women can pass on status to their children:

Because neither Canadian courts nor Parliament have yet granted an adequate and effective remedy for the sex discrimination which has been a hallmark of the Indian Act for more than a hundred years, I will take my case to the United Nations Human Rights Committee.”

Ya gotta love her timing, eh?

8 thoughts on “Canada gets instant reminder of what signing United Nations Declaration supposed to mean

  1. For certain ‘you gotta love her timing’. She’s raising, but one of a plethora of issues that need to be addressed. The declaration is simply a starting point; any country that thinks they can endorse the declaration and then leave it at that has no clue as to what it’s all about!

  2. Shawn Atleo of the AFN issued a news release applauding Canada’s endorsement. Why – I have no idea. The Harper government doesn’t respect Indigenous rights in Canada, does everything it can to undermine Indigenous rights, and has no intention of respecting the UN’s Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. It’s a qualified endorsement that should be condemned for the wishy-washy, push-me-pull-you kind of BS that is the hallmark of this Reform-Alliance-Con job called the federal government.

    Do I should bitter? Hope not. P-O’d is how I feel. Really P-O’d.

  3. This so called endorsement is much like the so called “Apology”. It is a PR move, not meant to change policy at all in any way that is really to the benefit of anyone except probably those interested in privatization.

    If Canada were to actually implement this document a lot of things wouldn’t stand.

    The Canadian Government is trying to privatize as much as it can in relation to Indigenous folks:

    -Third Party Management is essentially privatizing the Indian Agent
    -Natural Resources are of course open to private companies
    -Flanagan and the Harperites are calling for land and property privatization on reserves
    -The governments are giving the Northern Store a monopoly on food provision in Northern Manitoba communities

    Just wait until we see if the Feds move on providing water to Northern reserves, who wants to bet it will be by a private company?

    All of these forced policies are arguably in contradicition of the declaration, not to mention the basis of Federal sovereignty. Canada cannot like most states actually live up to this agreement.

  4. McIvor is one of my role models as an Indigenous feminist and a great mom. I heard her speak about 3yrs. at a legal panel discussion, she spoke about her process of managing law school whilst raising children. This made a huge impression on me- her strategy was to study 9 to 4 all week & leave the weekends free for her kids. She inspired me. I recently re-read about her legal/poltical work in Making Space for Indigenous Feminism edited by Joyce Green. My comment is in support of ending the
    gender discrimination. I find it difficult to reconcile the inconsolable cultural genocide that Indigenous women have been subject to within settler-colonialism. I applaud McIvor’s tenancity and her stand for social justice. I agree the Conservatives have no clue!

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