The Canadian Association of Statutory Human Rights Agencies (CASHRA) is calling on all levels of government across Canada to implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.Here's why we should not "implement" the Declaration:
The Declaration is a positive document that maps out a path for Indigenous peoples to be free from discrimination and secure in their identities and life choices. It recognizes the fundamental rights of Indigenous peoples around the world, and outlines minimum standards for their survival, dignity and wellbeing.
“Implementing the standards in the Declaration would foster stronger relationships with First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples and promote Reconciliation across Canada,” says Barbara Hall, Chairperson of CASHRA. “Together with Indigenous peoples, we need to increase people’s awareness and understanding of the Declaration and to develop an understanding of how the principles of this document can be implemented.”...
The Declaration, which was more than twenty years in the making, is a muddled document that does not even contain a definition of the “indigenous peoples” it is supposed to protect. It is also superfluous. Individual and minority rights are already addressed in existing human rights treaties.A good time to remember, folks, that in our day "human rights" is not necessarily about real human rights. It can also be about a claw back of those rights by those, both domestically and internationally, who disguise their lust for power via the convenient vehicle of "human rights" (which sounds so fluffy and altruistic and benign, but which, more often than not, is anything but).
The Declaration’s purpose is to manufacture a synthetic global group identity among distinct, unrelated communities of people living within legally defined national jurisdictions all over the world. The characteristic that all of these folks are supposed to share in common, under the blanket title of “indigenous peoples”, is that they claim to be ‘first’ inhabitants in a given area of land whom ‘colonialist’ outsiders have sought to wipe out or exploit. The Declaration’s proponents believe that today’s globalization is nothing more than a continuation of this exploitation, which they call ‘neo-colonialism’. In their anti-Western, anti-capitalist worldview, which the Declaration embodies, technology, multi-national corporations and global markets are all driving forces in the exploitation of countless indigenous communities which stand in their way.
Although not legally binding as a treaty, the Declaration is intended by its proponents to set forth international norms to govern the collectivist rights of indigenous peoples over ‘their’ lands, resources and ‘traditional knowledge’. Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, chair of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (an advisory group under the UN’s Economic and Social Council), said that the Declaration "sets the minimum international standards for the protection and promotion of the rights of indigenous peoples. Therefore, existing and future laws, policies and programs of indigenous peoples will have to be redesigned and shaped to be consistent with this standard."
Remember that you will not find any definition of “indigenous peoples” in the Declaration. It relies entirely on communities’ own self-identification as indigenous peoples, based on claims asserting historical continuity with pre-colonial and/or pre-settler societies, a strong link to territories and surrounding natural resources, and different cultural, linguistic, traditional, and other characteristics to those of the dominant culture of that region or state. That could mean just about any self-declared minority group with alleged ties to an area of land can claim indigenous status, insist on self-determination over control of huge swaths of territory and resources within national borders and demand reparations for perceived wrongs against them and their ancestors.
Not surprisingly, for example, the Palestinians are asserting with a straight face that “Palestinian rights are enshrined in the universally accepted principle that land belongs to its indigenous inhabitants...