Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs Stand in Unity

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Grand Chief Derek Nepinak of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC).
Grand Chief Derek Nepinak of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC).

Grand Chief Derek Nepinak of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC).
Grand Chief Derek Nepinak of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC).

Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs File at United Nations

Geneva, Switzerland- Aboriginal – Treaty Nations from across Treaty No. 1,2,3,4,5,6,9 & 10 aligned themselves today to file an urgent action complaint related to the proposed Education Legislation with the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD).

“After many of our efforts to bring our national resistance to the ears of Canadian governments, Treaty leadership decided to bring the matter to the attention of the United Nations (UN). Our resistance was observed and noted by the Special Rapporteur James Anaya, in October, where he called on Canada to reflect on the planned legislation and to enter into proper process owed to Indigenous Peoples with Treaties. Canada’s response was to introduce the proposed legislation within ten days of the end of his visit,” stated Grand Chief Derek Nepinak of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC).

Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs File at United Nations

In making the decision to file an urgent action, Treaty Chiefs are determined to work and contribute together to file the action. In this submission, the Chiefs declared that the legislation continues a pattern of racial discrimination.

The grounds for the urgent action are:

  1. The presence of a significant and persistent pattern of racial discrimination within Canada’s continued unilateral imposition of laws and policies regarding our Nations’ education based on colonial beliefs and attitudes that holds racial and negative stereotypes of our Nations and our members, and that views our Nations as incapable of governing, our lands and resources, our communities or our people, as other “peoples” and Nations are capable of accomplishing, and as a result interferes with the Nations’ ability to exercise our Inherent Right to self-determination;
  2. Canada’s attempt to unilaterally impose the First Nation’s Education Act on the Nations, despite wide-spread opposition to such legislation from all of Canada’s Indigenous Peoples and Nations, is a continued manifestation of the Canadian state’s racist colonial beliefs and attitudes that is contrary to the Nations’ Inherent Right of self-determination and/or their Treaty Right to education as set out in the Treaty relationship between the Nations and the Canadian;
  3. A lack of effective mechanisms for our Nations to exercise our Inherent Right to self- determination within the current Canadian state’s political landscape, and that such a lack of effective mechanism is a result of the Canadian state’s continued use of ideologies that hold Indigenous Peoples and Nations as unable to govern our lands, resources, communities or our people as other “peoples” and Nations are capable of accomplishing. Such a premise is based on racist colonial beliefs and attitudes that held the Nations, as Indigenous Peoples, to have presumed inadequacies based on race as expressed through images of stupidity, poor decision-making, and childish, irresponsible and frequently irrational behaviors.

Canada’s continued unilateral imposition of laws and policies regarding our Nations’ children’s education, as the Canadian state strategically aligns itself with certain Aboriginal non- governmental organizations that do not politically represent our Nations and neither possess the inherent right of self-determination nor are they bound by the Treaty relationship that Canada, as a successor state, has inherited.

“It is our hope that by bringing Treaty Alliance based actions to the International community, we can better expose the conditions that we are being forced to live by to the global community. It is our hope that we can build a stronger network of Indigenous allies around the world who are also experiencing oppression in an apartheid colonial context.” concluded Grand Chief Nepinak.

The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs advocates on issues that affect First Nations in Manitoba. AMC works with 63 First Nation communities within the Treaty territories of Treaty No.1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and Treaty No.10 with issues ranging from the Environment to Housing, Treaty Advocacy and Education. The political organization is assisting First Nations in Manitoba by promoting and strengthening a stronger and unified voice, while respecting each other’s Sovereignty.