Indigenous people were highly engaged both inside and outside COP 25, the UN Climate Conference just ended in Madrid, in December 2019. These video pieces provided by the Indigenous Rising Media team highlight the critical role of Indigenous people’s activism and engagement in UN climate negotiations.
Jorge Barrera APTN National News. Ottawa didn’t think much of the high-profile UN World Conference on Indigenous Peoples’ outcome document and quietly posted an official statement outlining its displeasure in a back corner of its website.The statement is posted under Foreign Affairs’ website for the Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations. It’s not easy to find on the website as it’s not highlighted on the front page. It can be found first by clicking through a section on “Canadian Statements” and then the section subtitled “Statements on Human Rights.” The statement also did not make it onto Canada’s UN mission’s Twitter stream.The Assembly of First Nations’ website, however, posted Canada’s statement under “Latest News.”The first ever World Conference on Indigenous Peoples ran over two days and ended Tuesday.Canada rejected the conference’s outcome document because it gave Indigenous people too much power over development on their territories. In particular, Canadian diplomats rejected the conference document’s position on “free prior and informed consent,” which is one of the key aspects of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.“Free, prior and informed consent…could be interpreted as providing a veto to Aboriginal groups and in that regard, cannot be reconciled with Canadian law, as it exists,” said Canada’s official statement. “Agreeing…would commit Canada to work to integrate free, prior and informed consent in its processes with respect to implementing legislative or administrative measures affecting Aboriginal peoples. This would run counter to Canada’s constitution, and if implemented, would risk fettering Parliamentary supremacy.”
If correct, there is no making sense of this. It flies in the face of the World Bank’s own devastating report on Climate Change…
“Radical plans by the World Bank to relax the conditions on which it lends up to $50bn £29bn a year to developing countries have been condemned as potentially disastrous for the environment and likely to weaken protection of indigenous peoples and the poor.A leaked draft of the banks proposed new “safeguard policies”, seen by the Guardian, suggests that existing environmental and social protection will be gutted to allow logging and mining in even the most ecologically sensitive areas, and that indigenous peoples will not have to be consulted before major projects like palm oil plantations or large dams palm go ahead on land which they traditionally occupy.Under the proposed new “light touch” rules, the result of a two year consultation within the bank, borrowers will be allowed to opt out of signing up to employment safeguards, existing protection for biodiversity will be shredded, countries will be allowed to assess themselves, and harmful projects are much more likely to occur, according to World Bank watchdog groups including the Bank Information Centre BIC, the Ulu Foundation and the International Trade Union Confederation.
This past winter, however, attention shifted to a decision by the President of the General Assembly (PGA) John Ashe that Indigenous Peoples would not have full and equal participation on par with states in preparing for and at the conference. Most significantly, according to the North American Indigenous Peoples Caucus (NAIPC) – one of seven voluntary global caucuses that represent the world’s Indigenous Peoples at the U.N. – Indigenous Peoples would not be involved in drafting the conference’s outcome document, which would sum up the conference’s decisions on how to define the scope of Indigenous Peoples rights, the best practices for implementing those rights and other issues affecting the relationship between states and the world’s 379 million-plus Indigenous Peoples. The NAIPC is one of seven voluntary global caucuses that represent the world’s Indigenous Peoples at the U.N.
In March the NAIPC adopted a resolution by “absolute consensus” to call for the cancellation of the WCIP and promised to encourage other regions to join in a global consensus to stop it from taking place.
TORONTO (miningweekly.com) – While Canada has come a long way in reconciling pre-existing Aboriginal sovereignty with assumed Crown sovereignty, tension is rising between the proponents of several new mining projects located on Crown lands, or within Aboriginal reserves, and Aboriginals, who increasingly assert their rights.
In recent weeks, several Aboriginal communities have voiced their concerns regarding proposed mining projects, insisting on their right to self-determination.
For example, this week the West Moberly First Nations were in the Supreme Court of British Columbia, in Nanaimo, where they argued their case against a proposed coal project in an area 34 km north of Chetwynd, in north-east British Columbia, which had been deemed of “critical spiritual and cultural importance” by the community.
Last summer, the Energy and Mines Ministry issued mining permits to Canadian Kailuan Dehua Mines – a Chinese-backed mining company – for its Gething project, authorising the company to remove 100 000 t of material, transport 15 000 t of coal and construct the main components of a mine that would operate for about 30 years.
Posted on March 7, 2014 by Peter Rugh
Sovereignty, ecology, and decolonizing the female body
Ahead of International Women’s Day this Saturday, Ragina Johnson and Brian Ward spoke with Alex Wilson, a leading organizer for Idle No More and a member Opaskwayak Cree Nation in Manitoba, Canada. In a wide ranging conversation, Wilson discusses the historical and continuing relationship between the colonization of people and land and the colonization of women’s bodies. She first begins, however, by outlining the impact tar sands oil extraction has on indigenous communities in Canada and the threat tar sands expansion projects like the Keystone XL pipeline pose to all of us.
Most of the questions relate to implementation of this standard in Latin America, but his answers to the final two questions were particularly interesting to me, and applicable to many nations that are being called on to implement the prior consent standard.
Q: Do you think the state would lose its sovereignty if an indigenous community has the last word on whether or not an investment project can be undertaken on their territory?
A: The state does not lose its sovereignty if it respects human rights or indigenous rights. It has to comply with these rules to respect those rights; the state cannot do whatever it wants.I would say that the respect of these rights is a way of ensuring that this sovereignty is exercised. When the state respects human rights, it exercises its sovereignty, because it is acting in favour of its citizens and peoples.
Q: Nevertheless, there has been a loss of trust in governments. What can be done to ensure legitimate consultations and to open up dialogue?
for more, go here…
THERE will be echoes of 1967 in Parliament House on Wednesday when both sides of politics pass legislation that will give momentum to the push to recognise the first Australians in the nation’s founding document.
Shirley Peisley was 26 when she pinned badges on the lapels of politicians in support of modest but hugely symbolic constitutional change. On Wednesday she will watch as a new indigenous generation does the same in support of something more ambitious.
Back then, Ms Peisley was a woman in awe, inspired by the leadership and example of Lowitja O’Donoghue, who organised her trip from Adelaide to a planning meeting for the 1967 referendum campaign. Like most of the activists, they stayed at Brassey Hotel, then called Brassey Hostel. ”Anyone who had a room – and some of us did – would have swags all over the floor,” Professor O’Donoghue recalls. ”The dining room was full of people who weren’t guests. It was amazing how they put up with us.”
Lowitja O’Donoghue and Shirley Peisley on Tuesday. Photo: Andrew Meares
When they weren’t talking about the struggle or singing We Shall Overcome and other anthems of the American civil rights movement, Professor O’Donoghue recalls some of the activists throwing boomerangs on the vacant land opposite.
This week, the two women are back in the same digs, and hoping that the unity, energy and optimism that abounded almost half a century ago will be replicated – and help transform the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
The 1967 referendum resulted in indigenous Australians being counted in the census and gave the national government the power to make laws for their benefit, but only conferred what Noel Pearson described as a ”neutral kind of citizenship”.