August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Terrance Nelson: Time for economic sanctions against Canada

Terrance Nelson recommends a walk to New York from all parts of North America to demand economic sanctions against Canada

By First Nation Terrance Nelson
Roseau River Anishinabe
Censored News

If the Defenders of the Lands and Idle No More want to change how we are treated in Canada, we need to change our strategy and First Nations people cannot wait for AFN to lead the charge. The fight must be taken to AFN, by making those Chiefs who voted for Shawn Atleo stand up and be counted.  
The Government Ministers and Indian Affairs bureaucrats lobbied and made promises to Chiefs in the 2012 AFN election to vote for Shawn Atleo. The Government denied it but they wanted Shawn and he has proven that he is exactly what the Government wants, he cannot (or will not) leverage any of the protests to force Government to change.
The Governments understand economics, the First Nations still don't seem to understand how we finance all Canadians. Unless, the Defenders and Idle No More develop a strategy based on economics there will be no change of Government policies.
I have been called an "economic  terrorist" since 1993 because I used the Bond Rating Agencies to pressure Government on the Treaty Land Entitlement and Land Claims issue.
In 2007, as Chief of Roseau River, I would have used blockades on two rail lines going into the United States on the issues of unfulfilled TLE land. We forced Minister Prentice to the negotiation table. Over 100 First Nations "actions" took place on June 29 2007. It is the largest coordinated action that went all across Canada on a single day. We got 75 acres of land converted to reserve status near Winnipeg but also as a result of 2007, in Manitoba 450,000 acres of land have been converted to reserve status since 2007. Roseau River also got $80.6 million on a land settlement from 1903. It was deposited on July 29th 2011 on Friday morning.
Like Theresa Spence, I was targeted. They used a forensic audit, (which found no criminal activity) to label me with "mismanaged" $1.5 million money over six years of administration. Of course, they fail to admit we had unqualified audits in those six years or that mismanaged is simply a tag that means missing documents or just a need to ask our finance people for clarification. I will continue to face more accusations as we move forward, even if they have to manufacture the evidence.
The Conservatives are prepared for negotiation on Natural Resource revenue sharing with First Nation but the problem is Shawn Atleo and the AFN.
The go forward strategy this summer and for the next few years must involve Americans if you are to succeed in taking charge of the negotiations. I would suggest that an American boycott on British Columbia lumber be a goal for those of us who will use economics to hit the governments back for their actions. The next steps for me is pushing the boycotts on the American side. If you and Idle No More are to the lead in negotiations, you need American backers.
The Governments have used economics as a weapon. They have criminalized the Mohawk Tobacco trade and they will jail many of the people involved in tobacco. IF the Mohawks want to strike back, they need to hit the Government with economics, not politics.
Shawn Brant knows how Government uses economics to force First Nations to comply. In 2007, he organized a railway blockade. CN took him to court, sued him for millions of dollars and bankrupted him.
I organized about 60 people from AIM WPG and we blocked a major CN railway link in Manitoba on January 16, 2013. We got all the news media networks at the blockade. We only blocked it for six hours. It cost CN over ten million dollars. I am in court on June 24 2013 in Winnipeg to face motions from the Attorney Generals of Manitoba and Canada and CN will sue me for millions of dollars. I knew that this would happen but I am the only one that is fighting the CN injunction. I attach my court arguments but i don't expect to win in court. I stand alone in court as I had expected. Shawn Brant knows how that works. Economic blockades has consequences, blocking powerless people in the cities only angers people, it does not affect the economy. Until, we affect the economy, there will be no change in government policy.
APTN failed to get a freedom of information request, CSIS used National Security to block the application for information. That is how scared Government is of First Nations. IF APTN had succeeded in getting the information, it will contain the fear of government of First Nations using Americans to help us change things in Canada.
CN wants me to be scared. They want the courts to punish me and anyone who dares to use economics as a pressure tactic. The government can criminalize the Mohawks and jail all those in the tobacco trade but nothing will come of it because we are not using economics to hit back at the government.
I would recommend a walk to New York from all parts of North America to demand economic sanctions against Canada. We have to go the United Nations with more than paper. Going to New York cannot be about "begging" the United States government. It must be a strong statement on our commitment to change the way the immigrants treat us. AIM and many organizations in the United States would support us in this action. We have tremendous support across the world but as long as First Nations continue to limit their protests to Canada, we will fail to change the policies of government.
Trade between Canada and United States has been $4.5 trillion in the last ten years. Unless we seek international sanctions and get American media on these issues, there will be no change. Mayor Ford of Toronto has created a Media Firestorm in United States and if we organize an event in the United States this summer, we can force the government to take action.
On the CN injunction, I will not let them walk over me. The immigrants want us all to be scared. As long as we continue to play their game within their system and we never protest outside of Canada, we will fail. I have a lot of plans on how we can proceed after the court decision but I want to meet only with those who will not compromise and those who will not fear the immigrants. Idle No More lost the support of the people, because the people want more than just speeches from the Chiefs. We carried out the January 16 blockade and as our youth go forward, they will take more drastic action because they are already tired of talk.
CN thinks that a court decision against me and AIM WPG will solve their problem. The decision against us will simply move us to the states side to promote boycotts against the companies who use CN to transport stolen property to the United States. The Canadian products carried by CN that can be boycotted by Americans is a long list. BC lumber is a big one but by no means the only one that will force the immigrants to stop stealing our resources.

Bill Means: Speaking Truth at United Nations

Bill Means speaks truth at United Nations

By AIM West

Bill Means at the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, upon speaking on behalf of human rights defenders including political prisoner Leonard Peltier, took the prerogative to admonish the USA on a statement they made earlier in the day. Bill received a standing ovation.

Item 7 Human rights:
(a) Implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Thank you M. Chairperson,

M. Chairperson, the United Nations Declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples suffers much from actual implementation by States. The Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues itself, as well as the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Special Rapporteur, all receive almost on a daily basis, reports on lack of respect and implementation of our now recognized rights.

These reports are invariable accompanied by reports of the persecution of our indigenous human rights defenders. In order to effectively implement the Declaration, we must protect our people who promote the implementation of our rights many times in the face of State persecution.

Many of our defenders are killed or imprisoned for decades. Their families are also victims of this persecution. We raise the case of Leonard Peltier, as the cornerstone of our unity as nations, cultures and peoples is respect for the rule of law which was violated in his case. Without our insistence upon obedience to the rule of law, this institution and virtually all of its conventions and decisions are deeply threatened.

Indigenous Peoples throughout the world recognize that the human rights of Leonard Peltier, a proud Dakota Ojibway man, were severely violated in a manner that defrauded and insulted the judicial process, a fundamental breach of International Law.

Indigenous Peoples throughout the world know that Leonard Peltier has been persecuted and deprived of his liberty based upon the most lethal weapon a nation may wield to threaten the cornerstone of our fair dealings as sovereigns - the intentional presentation of false evidence in a court of law.

The courts of the United States have refused to correct this injustice, yet the legacy of unclean hands is still haunting. Indeed, the United States Senior Circuit Judge Gerald W. Heaney declined to grant Leonard Peltier a new trial in the face of the many injustices, including extradition by fraud, yet for ten years prior to his death, Judge Heaney publicly pleaded with federal officials to release Leonard Peltier in consideration of the violations of human rights regarding his incarceration that are well documented in the public record.

There are many Leonard Peltiers in the world today. There are many Leonard Peltiers in the making. We ask that the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues to reaffirm the rights of Indigenous Peoples, to understand the need, in the interests of the rule of law, for the implementation of the Declaration. We ask that the Permanent Forum do a study on Indigenous human rights defenders that have been killed or languish in prison in order that the world understand the enormity of the problem and the real impediments to the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples be fully understood.

Omataquiasin, for all my relations,
William A. Means

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