Mohawk Council Seeks To End Seal Hunt - UN Wants Global Network To Strengthen Indigenous Rights
Monday March 23, 2009
CANADIAN TAX DOLLARS FUND MASS SLAUGHTER OF MARINE MAMMALS
For over thirty years the Government of Canada has funded and endorsed the largest mass slaughter of marine mammals in the world. The annual Seal “hunt” taking place off the Atlantic coast is a cruel and unjustifiable abuse of Canadian tax dollars.
The Government of Canada is unwilling to admit their incompetency in providing safe and sustainable forms of employment for people living in these provinces. As a result, the atrocious acts against the seals continue in the form of “democrapitalism”.
Canada hides behind a democratic process adding to the misconception that Canadian citizens are in support of the barbaric “hunt” while the true culprit is capitalism protected by democracy. This is causing all humanity to sink to the subhuman behavior which is destroying the Earth and the necessary life forms that live upon her.
Many countries have recognized the cruelty of the hunt. Belgium, Netherlands, Italy, Austria, Croatia, Slovenia, Germany, Switzerland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Mexico, Panama, Russia, Ireland and the United States have all either banned seal products or made moves to do so, adding to Canada’s shame on a global level.Native people of Turtle Island have also become a scapegoat for the greed driven massacre.
The Inuit of the far North have hunted and praised the seals for many generations. However, they take only what they need to uphold their customs, beliefs and traditions.
Their way of life is now being used and compromised by the Canadian Government as propaganda to benefit a capitalist agenda, despite the fact that the Inuit do not participate in the commercial seal “hunt”.
As Mohawk people and world citizens we condemn these acts of horror being committed against the seals as it furthers the destruction of our Mother Earth adding to the global ecological crisis.
As stated by Prince Charles of Wales on March 13, 2009, “the threat of catastrophic climate change calls into question humanity's continued survival on the planet." Canada chooses to invest in the war on the planet putting pressure on an already fragile eco-system.Canada has many policies and practices that are deplorable to the environment.
Subsequently, in accordance with the Silver Covenant Chain under the Two Row Wampum, we advise that a first step in correcting this is to pass Senator Mac Harb’s bill to end the commercial seal “hunt” permanently.
The proposed bill calls for an end to commercial seal hunting while respecting treaty obligations and protecting the Rights of Native people. With this in mind we urge you to support the end of the commercial seal “hunt” and stand together in defense of our Mother Earth for the benefit of current and future generations.
In Peace and Friendship,
Secretary, Stuart Myiow
Mohawk Traditional Council
UN TO LINK INDIGENOUS PEOPLES WORLDWIDE NETWORK TO STRENGHTEN STRUGGLE FOR RIGHTS
By Erika Tapalla INQUIRER.net
March 24, 2009
MANILA, Philippines—The United Nations is looking to set up a global network by which indigenous peoples (IPs) can help each other respond to violations of their rights, mainly by extractive industries.
Eighty-five IP representatives from Asia, Africa, the Pacific, Europe and Russia, Arctic, Latin and North America, as well as experts, have gathered in Manila for the International Conference on Indigenous Peoples and Extractive Industries.
Victoria Tauli-Corpuz chair of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues said there is a need to unite IPs in a global network to strengthen their responses to the problems they face.
"This conference is really to tackle the indigenous peoples’ rights, which are violated by extractive industries…oil, mineral or gas corporations. There is a need to develop a global network because there is no one existing body of IPs, there is no existing global network. If there is one, the voice of these people [is] stronger, so that's what we did in this conference," Corpuz told INQUIRER.net in an interview.
Corpuz said among the things IPs could do is bring their cases before national and international courts, raise awareness about destructive cultural and environmental issues through media, and dialogue with investors.
"By raising the issues and cases to national and even international courts, the voices of the indigenous peoples will be heard. Now, with this global network, hopefully their voices can be heard. Media also [have] a crucial role in delivering the situations, the issues, these people encounter so everyone will know about what is really happening. And lastly, the dialogue with the investors and these corporations will really help. It is in fact the most important thing," Corpuz said.
Corpus also said it was sound corporate thinking to respect IPs’ rights.
"It is in the self-interest of these corporations to respect the rights of the indigenous peoples because, if not, there will be more conflict, and more conflict means more expenses for them. Then they [corporations] will be seen in a bad light. If they don't mutually agree to terms or negotiate, it's like they are robbing these people of their own things in their own home," she said
Corpuz also said states and mining corporations should adhere to the standards set by the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) to avoid criminalizing IPs for protecting their land or resisting the entry of extractive industries.
The UNDRIP, signed by 143 countries in September 13, 2007, is the latest international agreement adopted by the UN General Assembly.Conference organizer Tebtebba, the Indigenous Peoples’ International Centre for Policy Research and Education, said cases of human rights violations committed against indigenous peoples have been filed before courts in various countries as well as inter-governmental bodies such as the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.
IP representatives said their cultural territories continue to shrink because of massive encroachment by mining companies.
The Philippines alone has suffered two of the biggest mining disasters—the collapse of the Tapian Pit of Marcopper Mining Corporation, which spilled 1.6 million cubic meters of mine tailings into the waterways of Marinduque in 1996; and the cyanide-laden waste spill of Australia-owned Lafayette Mining Limited in waters around Rapu-Rapu Island in 2005.
"We thought that the Philippines was in one of the worse states, but after this conference, we have realized that many groups [and] tribes from different parts of the world experience similar issues. The actors involved are the same– corporations that act like thugs encroaching on the lands of the people," Corpuz said.
INTERNATIONAL INDIGENOUS CONFERENCE ISSUES DECLARATION ON EXTRACTIVE INDUSTRIES
- Calls For Specific Action By Governments, Corporations And Others
March 26, 2009 Manila, Philippines.
The International Conference on Extractive Industries and Indigenous Peoples held in Manila, Philippines March 23-25th issued a strong declaration at the close of the three day meeting.
The conference, hosted by Tebtebba Foundation, involved indigenous representatives and organizations from over thirty countries representing every region of the world. The resulting Declaration calls for recognition, respect and implementation of indigenous rights and international standards for mining on peoples’ traditional lands.
Conference participants also reached agreement on the immediate formation of a global indigenous network on extractive industries to better monitor corporate behavior, provide support for communities and issue policy statements and guidelines on extractive industries practice.
The conference examined the social, cultural and environmental impact of extractive industries on indigenous peoples. Brian Wyatt, of the the National Native Title Council of Australia, stated: “The declaration is the result of many years of frustration felt by Indigenous peoples worldwide as they always play second fiddle to the big mining companies whose priority is increasing profit margins. Indigenous peoples’ rights and interests don’t always get the attention they deserve.
“We are here because the impacts of extractive industries on our people have reached a critical point where companies now come into our communities and divide our people by offering money and other things but refuse to address our spiritual and environmental concerns.
We need stronger human rights and other mechanisms to ensure that our L.A.W.S. (land, air, water and sun/spirit) are respected and protected.” Stated Larson Bill, Western Shoshone Defense Project (U.S.A.)
Beginning today, many of the indigenous delegates will join United Nations agencies and international experts in the International Expert Workshop on Indigenous Peoples’ Rights, Corporate Accountability and the Extractive Industries, chaired by United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues Chairperson Vicky Tauli-Corpuz.
For more information on the Workshop, please see the Tebtebba website at http://www.tebtebba.org/.
A full copy of the Declaration is attached to this release.
Julie Cavanaugh-Bill, email@example.com 063 – 908-642-7069 (Western Shoshone Defense Project)
Brian Wyatt 61 417 970 413
Carolyn Betts 0400 854 067 (National Native Title Council)
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