APTN National News
Indigenous nations and other groups took Canada to task Monday over its record on racial discrimination, as well as recognizing lands and resources in Geneva, Switzerland Monday during the United Nation’s Committee on Ending Racial Discrimination (CERD).
“We also raised the Government of Canada’s failure to implement the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal decision to end racial discrimination against First Nations children and to fully implement Jordan’s Principle,” said Cindy Blackstock, executive director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society.
Blackstock, who is attending the United Nations meetings, said issues relating to missing and murdered Indigenous women, incarcerated persons, gender discrimination, hate crimes and inequities in education were addressed.
“The interventions by Indigenous peoples and NGOs were good – really informed the CERD committee members about the hard facts of brutal racism in Canada which for Indigenous peoples is often lethal,” Pam Palmater, professor of Indigenous governance at Ryerson University.
A delegation from Canadian government also presented, something Palmater, also in attendance, said contained a lot of “fluffy” words.
“Canada’s presentation was as expected – lots of fluffy words about great relations, partnerships, reconciliation and its pride as a multi-cultural, dual language country.
“Of course, many of the Indigenous reps and NGOs shook their heads as we experience the reality of racism in Canada,” she said.
Cindy Blackstock & Pam Palmater during informal session with CERD members. pic.twitter.com/vwZQh8Yv44
— Russ Diabo (@RussDiabo) August 14, 2017
After the presentations, CERD then put questions to Canada.
“The Special Rapporteur has asked that Canada provide details on whether it will comply with the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal orders and has also raised a number of questions relating to free, prior and informed consent, and the implementation status of recommendations made to Canada by James Anaya, former Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,” said Blackstock.
Palmater said she was pleased with the questions from the committee.
“We hope they will see through Canada’s very weak report and relies on the documented facts and research versus Canada’s propaganda for their recommendations,” she said.
The review is ongoing and will continue Tuesday with more questions to Canada.
It is believed CERD will release final observations and recommendations for Canada within a couple weeks.
Canada last went before CERD in 2012.
More to come.