Opinion

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-by Hub staff

The Twitter-length description of the Unist'ot'en Camp in coastal British Columbia seems to be "Indigenous people, on their ancestors' unsurrendered land, who want no money and no pipelines."
Here at the Hub we see implications for Grey-Bruce from the escalating Unist'ot'en situation. Local discussions about Bill C-51, fossil fuels and climate change, consent for a deep geological repository for nuclear waste and on-going land claims may all be affected by the actions, and reporting, from the Unist'ot'en Camp.

Chris Albinati, Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound Green Party candidate, offered the following statement on the current situation.

"I fully support the Unist'ot'en Camp as they assert and exercise their laws over their unceded territory as part of their inherent right to self-determination as Indigenous peoples. I acknowledge that the Unist'ot'en are not "protesting" as the media and other institutions like the RCMP have attempted to portray, but that they are rightfully occupying their land.

The Unist'ot'en's right to self-determination is a right that is guaranteed not only in Article 3 of the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), but in Article 1 of both the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Canada is a signatory to all of those international agreements, but as the UN Human Rights Committee recently pointed out in its 6th periodic review, Canada's human rights record is abysmal when it comes to its treatment of Indigenous peoples, excessive use of force and police accountability and protection for fundamental freedoms.

Canadians should be reminded of the words of the Honourable Sidney B. Linden who as Commissioner of the Ipperwash Inquiry found as a matter of fact that, "The frequency of occupations and protests in Ontario and Canada is a symptom, if not the result, of our collective and continuing inability to resolve these tensions consistently."

The Green Party's Elizabeth May is one of more than a hundred signatories to a letter of support for the Unist'ot'en Camp.

 

 


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