QNW expresses its concerns following the consultation with Minister Bennett
Kahnawake, April 6th 2018 – Québec Native Women to express its preoccupation and questions in relation to the consultations led by Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs, Carolyn Bennet, regarding the Recognition and Implementation of Indigenous Rights.
During the last years, the Trudeau government has focused on reconciliation with Indigenous people to establish new relationships, which we feel is a good approach and political action. However, it must take into consideration the reality of Indigenous communities. In preparation for the consultation meetings, the government distributed a document titled “Recognition and Implementation of Indigenous Rights: Engagement guide”. This document does not represent the issues and realities of Indigenous people in Canada. For many nations and communities, these questions are far from the past and present preoccupations of First Nations. As part of the first step of this “national mobilization” – as it is called by the government – this document is obviously meant to help communities, organisations and institutions, both indigenous and non-indigenous, to reflect on the ways of defining and building a new relationship between the State, the Canadian society in general and Indigenous Peoples, without restructuring the colonialist policies of the Indian Act.
Mobilizing Indigenous people, their communities and their organizations to discuss such a framework appears to us as another form of colonization, considering that the questions are already oriented and are far from the priorities an preoccupations of Indigenous people in Canada. We cannot help but see in that a similar approach to that defined in the White Paper of 1969, but one that uses the principle of reconciliation and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
The consultation methodology currently used by the government must absolutely be revised and updated to favour the value sand principles of Indigenous people, which are focused on listening and action. It is essential to recognize Indigenous rights and focus on the demands of First Nations, rather than simply proposing points for reflection. Québec Native Women feels that this mobilization is extremely important and necessary, in order to express its concerns and recommendations regarding the rights of Indigenous women in Québec.
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Source : Julia Couture-Glassco, Communication Officer
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