Wolastoqey fisher brings the issue of criminalization of Indigenous Peoples to the United Nations

Hundreds of delegates from around the world converged on United Nations headquarters in New York for the opening of meetings to discuss Indigenous issues.

That includes representatives of the Wolastoqey Nation in New Brunswick who said the criminalization of Indigenous Peoples in Canada and around the world must be addressed.

“One of the topics here is the criminalization of Indigenous rights so it’s perfect timing we want to bring attention to it,” said Nicholas Paul. “We shouldn’t have to go to court to have make the government obey its own courts.”

This is the 23rd time the meetings have taken place. The “forum” as it’s called, is an advisory body and its is to force governments to adhere to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, or UNDRIP.

Also on the agenda is financing Indigenous Peoples to protect the planet and address the climate crisis.

The agenda includes discussions on economic and social development, culture, environment, education health and human rights.

“Critical to addressing the climate and bio-diversity crisis is using Indigenous knowledge that has been passed down over millenia. Indigenous knowledge is science and we empower its use,” said Deb Haaland, secretary to the Department of Interior in the United States and the first Indigenous person to sit in cabinet. “Our entire world benefits when Indigenous Peoples decision making over their ancestral homeland.”

Ben Owusu Samuel is from Sudan, a country where eight million people have been displaced in the last year by fighting between the country’s army and a paramilitary force. Canada announced sanctions against various players in the bloody conflict on Monday.

Samuel said Indigenous people are being affected by that and other issues.

“Over the years we have seen Indigoes people lacking education, lacking cultural values lacking certain kind of respect and recognition from our government and our society and we have all come to agreement that it is high time we understand the importance of Indigenous people,” he said.

Gary Anandasangaree, minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations told the meeting that “Canada is an active partner in advancing self determination of First Nation, Inuit and Métis.”

The meetings at the UN will take place over the next two weeks.


Contribute Button