Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

April 19, 2013

Terrance Nelson 'White Privilege Conference Seattle'

By Terrance Nelson
First Nation Roseau River Anishinabe
Dr. Eddie Moore Jr:
I would like to thank you for the opportunity to be keynote speaker at the White Privilege Conference in Seattle Washington on Friday April 12th 2013. To present to over a thousand people in the Assembly was especially meaningful to me because, the people present were activists from all over the United States, people who stand up for human rights.
To be truthful, I was wondering if there would be 2,000 people registered in the conference. To see how well organized you were and how much the people who attended were determined to make a difference is indeed unique. I congratulate you Dr. Moore on your impressive achievements.
To get a standing ovation was a great feeling. Speaking to Americans about the oil issue and how indigenous peoples in Canada suffer from the lack of payment for their natural resource base is important. Americans are the ones who buy the exports from Canada. It is Americans who finance the human rights violations in Canada and it is Americans who will put the pressure on Canada to change the way the First Peoples of Canada are treated. Dr. Moore thank you for taking a chance on me to make that presentation.
Your organization is extremely well disciplined. You have many environmental organizations with you and many human rights groups that have impact upon American policy.
In the closing of my speech, I asked, what are the next steps.
I now ask for your help in three areas. One is for Lubicon Lake Cree Nation. Another is for the Dakota and the other is the Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women of Canada.
The three internet addresses can help Americans begin the process of investigating the three areas I speak of. While there are many human rights violations and areas of concern, reality is that we should move on those that can be addressed and resolved. One hundred percent of the oil that Canada exports goes to the United States. The impact we can have if Americans start asking the question of where their money goes when they pay for gasoline at the pump is huge. I hope my information was helpful.
There is genuine anger amongst the average Americans who are being held economic hostage to "big oil", paying four dollars a gallon for gasoline and having to make decisions on what to cut in order to buy gasoline for their cars.
As a result of the presentation to WPC, I am being asked to speak to other conferences. Thank you once again.
I would ask that in your communications, that you encourage the WPC attendees to email and write to Prime Minister Harper. The Prime Minister's contact information is contained in the draft letter I circulated with some of the people at WPC.
Prime Minister                                         Fax: 1-613-941-6900
Steven Harper
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2

Email address                        

Dear Prime Minister Harper

Re: Oil From Canada

I listened to a presentation by Terrance Nelson in Seattle Washington on April 12th, 2013 regarding oil from Canada. As an American, I am concerned with the environment and with human rights.

I would like to know if Canada pays the indigenous people for the oil that Canada sends to the United States. What percentage or royalty is provided as payment to the indigenous people who own the oil that Canada sends to us.

I ask for this information from Canada as I intend to organize a boycott of Canadian products in my area if you as the government of Canada do not respect the property rights of the indigenous people. The human right to property must be respected and we as Americans expect that Canada enforces human rights when dealing with resource extraction.



Steven Harper's Government is cutting the funding that First Nation get drastically and it will further impoverish First Nations. Only Americans can stop the Harper Government if Americans refuse to participate in financing the human rights violations in Canada.

If the United States were to put aside a percentage of the price they pay for Canadian oil and have that percentage available for Canadian indigenous peoples, that might force the Harper Government to finally recognize the property rights of the indigenous peoples. The sixty different metals and minerals mined by Canada are not paid for. They simply take it without any royalty or payment to the rightful owners.

We don't need charity if we can get a rightful share of our own property. The immigrants who occupy Canada can stop all funding to First Nations if we as the original people get a share of our own natural resource wealth.

Americans pay $20 less per barrel of oil from Canada because of NAFTA. So why are American paying four dollars a gallon for gasoline? I am contracted with Lubicon Lake to help them settle with Canada. They have 95 square miles of land set aside for their eventual settlement and hundreds of millions of dollars owed to them. The Lubicons have fought for their rights for decades and decades but the government has split them. First the Woodland Cree were created out of Lubicon and now another group is preparing to negotiate a settlement with Canada likely for a lot less than they deserve. The Lubicon has "sweet light crude" in their area and it is not the heavy tar sands type of oil so Canada and Alberta want access. They are currently taking the oil but the Lubicons aren't receiving any compensation for their oil.

I face the same situation. I was not allowed to run in the recent Roseau River Election for Chief and Council. Three other people were not allowed to run. Unlike other people, I can fight back and I will take this issue outside of Canada. The Government supported my opposition, giving them lawyers and all the help they could to oust me. The fact that Canada will recognize the election fraud is a reality that they fear what I do. I take the issues outside of Canada.

I hope that other First Nations people begin to engage Americans regarding the issues in Canada. One of the targets for boycotts has to be the oil companies currently taking oil from the Lubicon area without the permission of the rightful owners.

I look forward to other speaking opportunities in the future. Again thank you Dr. Moore and thanks to Thomas Pearce, from the Sierra Club, for asking you to put me as a Keynote.

Terrance Nelson 

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