Or maybe not?
Ben Powless at Indigenous Environmental Network – Canada analyzes Canada’s supposed endorsement of the UN DRIPS:
Canada has announced that it will ‘support’ the UN Declaration. First off, they announced this on a Friday afternoon, right after they announced major plans with the Afghanistan war, burying the story. Second, the announcement came as a press release posted online – no press conference, no informing Indigenous Peoples, just a quiet admission.
But the operative paragraph in their statement is this: “We are now confident that Canada can interpret the principles expressed in the Declaration in a manner that is consistent with our Constitution and legal framework.”
Without over-analyzing the semantics, this seems to echo their repeated statements in international fora and domestically, in which they claim the UNDRIP must fall under domestic law. This is a slight change, they’re not saying ‘subject to’ domestic law, but rather ‘consistent with’ and saying ‘legal framework’ instead of ‘legislation’. These may be minor improvements, but it remains up to the courts to really oversee, and still seems to be saying that they are confident they can interpret the UNDRIP to not mean anything more substantial than the constitution and existing laws. Which are the source of the problem.
In their statement, they state that they still disagree with the right to Free prior and informed Consent, one of the most crucial aspects of the Declaration.
So to me and others, this seems like a PR move, so they can check something off, but many of us have been saying it would be better to have another (non-Conservative) government endorse the UNDRIP unconditionally instead of supporting it as consistent with their interpretation of it. It also betrays their recent actions in the [UN Convention on Biological Diversity Conference in Nagoya, Japan], as the only party opposing Indigenous rights.
The upcoming climate negotiations however will be the real testing ground over whether Canada will live up to its word and respect Indigenous rights.
Indigenous Environmental Network – Canada