APTN National News
A delegation of Indigenous people from British Columbia recently returned from Switzerland where the United Nation’s committee on eliminating racial discrimination held meetings.
The committee heard a message from the BC delegates: Canada has a serious racial problem.
“Canada has it like it’s a bright and shiny history, that’s what they tell the world, but the truth is every day we have to stand up for our rights and title,” said Chief Deneza Na’Moks, of Wet’suwet’en First Nation.
Canada reports to the UN committee every two years and last year Prime Minister Justin Trudeau committed to a renewed nation-to-nation relationship.
But First Nations leaders say they haven’t seen changes.
“Nothing has changed. I see nothing on the ground,” said Na’Moks. “I have seen nothing substantive that he has done for our peoples.
“We need to see where the rubber hits the road and he is not doing that.”
Chief Bob Chamberlain, vice-president of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, said he’s growing tired of making these type of trips.
“We are still making trips to the international forums to expose Canada’s dirty secret of racism towards First Nations people,” said Chamberlain.
The B.C. delegation’s submission highlight concerns around land titles, energy projects, forestry and housing.
“It was important for our First Nations or Indigenous people to be in Geneva to tell the story, to tell the truth of what is going on in Canada,” said Chief Judy Wilson.
“Our rights, our land and our people are being extinguished continually.”
The UN committee is expected to make its final report within weeks.