Canada | Opinion

Carrie Garrow: Treaty rights being treated as 'policy matter'

"Prime Minister Harper’s insistence on excluding Governor-General David Johnston from talks with the First Nations leaders illustrates Canada’s degradation of First Nations’ treaty rights to a ‘policy matter.’

What Harper fails to understand is that First Nations entered into treaties with Great Britain. Moreover, Canada refuses to acknowledge many of these treaties signed by Great Britain and the First Nations, claiming they have not been implemented or sanctioned by Canadian legislation. Thus a representative of the signing country, Great Britain, is imperative at any discussion regarding treaty rights. Harper cannot claim Canada is not bound by the treaties and then also claim the sovereign bound by the treaties, Great Britain, cannot attend the meetings.

Furthermore, Canada endorsed the United Nations Declarations on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which states that Indigenous peoples have the right to recognition and enforcement of treaties.

Get the Story:
Carrie Garrow: Treaty Rights are Not Policy Matters (Turtle Talk 1/23)

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