KITCHENUHMAYKOOSIB LNNINUWUG (KL) LETTER TO PM AND PRESS RELEASE OPPOSING CANDRIP (BILL C-15)

January 20, 2021
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON
K1A OA2

Re: Bill C-15 "An Act Respecting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples"

Dear Honourable Prime Minister Justin Trudeau,

On behalf of Kitchenuhmaykoosib lnninuwug (Kl), I write to express our strenuous opposition to Bill C-15 "An Act Respecting the United Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples" (hereinafter the "Bill"). At its root, our opposition centres on what we see as the entrenchment of the racist Doctrine of Discovery within the Bill, and its "domestication" of our rights as articulated within the international jurisprudence, and although a number of examples can be provided demonstrating the above in the Bill, I am providing you within this letter the main reasons for such opposition, and some of the underlying reasons that support such opposition.

Doctrine of Discovery

First, it is Ki's position that Canada has consistently unilaterally imposed its laws and policies upon Kl and Kitchenuhmaykoosib Aki (hereinafter "Homelands") within what is now northwestern Ontario based upon a false and racist premise. This premise provides that our inherent rights to our Homelands, and the accompanying natural resources, are subservient to the Crown's presumed underlying title to our Homelands and natural resources.

At the premise's core, the belief in the Crown's presumed underlying title is based upon racially offensive colonial ideologies and attitudes that were enshrined in two doctrines used by European colonial powers to deny Indigenous peoples' rights to their Homelands; the Doctrine of Discovery and the doctrine of terra nul/ius. Although the Supreme Court of Canada has stated that the doctrine of terra nullius never applied in Canada, the Doctrine of Discovery, and its racially offensive principles and beliefs, continue in Canadian jurisprudence and political policy to deny Ki's ownership and title to our Homelands and natural resources. By such adherence, Canada continues to attempt to dislocate Kl from our Homelands that provides us our culture, our spirituality, our physical existence, and indeed our very sense of identity as Kitchenuhmaykoosib lnninuwug.

It is Ki's position that continued adherence to the Doctrine of Discovery as the baseline by which the Canadian state attempts to reconcile our inherent rights is intrinsically not only unable to provide a fair and just reconciliation as professed by your government, but is also a failure to meet its obligations under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (hereinafter the "Convention"), the United Nation Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination's (hereinafter CERD) general recommendations and concluding observations, and the United Nation Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (hereinafter the "Declaration").

Kl views Canada's failures to meet its obligations under the Convention, CERD's general recommendations and concluding observations and the Declaration all deprive Ki's rights to ownership and title to our Homelands, and thus begs the question put before Canada by Vice-Chair Noureddine Amir at the CERD's eightieth session in Geneva in February 2012 when he asked, "Upon what legal basis does Canada claim underlying title to Indigenous lands?" To the present, it is our understanding that Canada has not provided an answer to CERD.

The Cross, the Coin and the Crown

Kl believes that the application of the Doctrine of Discovery to what is now Canada may be considered a process of the Cross, the Coin and the Crown, whereby European title to Indigenous lands was sanctioned by God/Jesus (the Cross), was expanded by the English addition of occupancy and ritual possession and a desire to exploit the natural resources of Indigenous lands (the Coin), so that presently in Canada the Crown's underlying title to Indigenous lands is an assumed natural fact (the Crown); Kl specifically rejects this assumed natural fact.

To clarify Ki's belief, we provide a brief outline of the Cross, the Coin and the Crown position. The dispossession of Indigenous peoples of their Homelands began as an activity sanctioned by the Pope, God's emissary upon earth, who provided that any "Christian Prince", upon discovering lands where the people were not Christian, had a duty under God's will that such lands become the property of the said "Christian Prince" so as to further the churches work; this is the Cross As time marched on, the English and French, not wanting to run afoul of the Pope's decrees, and the established international legal order of the day, but very much wanting to take economic advantage of Indigenous peoples' Homelands, modified the prevailing international legal order such that any non-Christian lands not actually in possession or occupation of a "Christian Prince" could be claimed. Any Indigenous peoples in possession of such lands, including the use of such lands by the Indigenous peoples use of the lands, were minimized as inferior than those of European use that derived economic value; this is the Coin.

Finally, beginning in the 181h century the above previous principles became "normalized" and accepted so that this now normalized state of affairs minimized and subsumed Indigenous peoples' rights to their Homelands to that of the British Crown. Such presumed belief was based upon the racial inferior mythos created to serve early European colonial aspirations and later modified and espoused to justified a status quo beneficial to Canada as an assume natural fact; this is the Crown.

If the above process is traced back to the beginning, any assumed right of a European state to Indigenous lands on Turtle Island (North America) is at its root premised on a human so-called representative of "God/Jesus" sanctioning such right. Ki's position is that it does not need the human sanctioning of its rights to its Homelands as

Kitchi Manitou the Creator put our peoPle on our Homelands prior to any other peoples or Nations, and upon this basis we claim a superior right than Canada.

The Expression of the Principles of the Doctrine of Discovery within Canada The principles from the Doctrine of Discovery have informed, and continue to inform Canadian legislation and jurisprudence affecting Kl and its Homelands, including the Bill. As a basis of "aboriginal" law in Canada, a fundamental and allegedly immutable principle is that all of Ki's Homelands, including lands set aside as "reserve" lands, and treaty lands are subject to the assumed belief that the Crown has underlying title due to previous British assertions of sovereignty. Such assertions of sovereignty also assume the ability to enact legislation affecting Ki's rights as bestowed upon us by Kitchi Manitou the Creator

In specific relation to the Bill, there is an underlying assumption that Canada justly has the ability to define Ki's rights as bestowed by Kitchi Manitou the Creator, and acceptance of the Bill as currently proposed would in no way challenges the Crown's assertion of sovereignty. As noted above, and in the particular instance of the Bill, Canada's sovereignty over the Indigenous peoples of what is now Canada is accepted without question without thought to how such an assertion was accomplished. Kl specifically questions the legal basis upon which such assertion could subsume Ki's rights, including rights to our Homelands, that are based on countless years of being in existence upon our Homelands prior to Canada's creation, and prior to European intrusion.

From Ki's perspective, the hard truth is that the forms of recognition "given to us" by Canada in the proposed Bill are simply a sophisticated colonial distraction, that acts to transmogrify our rights bestowed by Kitchi Manitou the Creator, and as recognized by international law, into a domesticated set of "aboriginal rights" contained within section 35 of the Constitution Act. Such "domestication" of our rights therefore subjects them to limitation, derogation and denial in accordance with a set of laws not of our making, and at the whims of a government entrenched with colonial ideologies regarding such rights; this is not acceptable.

Kl asserts that the proposed Bill is simply a new form of distraction to cloak the failure of Canada to address the land question in a just and honourable way, and frankly Kl is fed up with the false promises Canada has offered us. Kl have directly experienced the fact that Canada will violently, if necessary, act to maintain access to the lands and resources of Indigenous peoples. In our case, Ki's leadership were jailed in an act of colonial violence for defending our Homeland against mining exploration. For other Indigenous Nations within Canada it is logging, pipelines and hydroelectric dams, but the reaction is always the same. Ontario is, and remains stolen land, and the proposed UNDRIP legislation does nothing to change that fact.

We provide this letter to set out our positions as indicated, and to reject the proposed Bill as currently drafted. We must also be clear that no person, whether it be the Assembly of First Nations or other similar corporate or political body, speaks or makes decisions for Kitchenuhmaykoosib lnninuwug regarding our rights and Homelands. Kl is undertaking a study and action plan that will bring greater clarity and direction to our position as set out above, and to the direction that we as an Indigenous nation wish to proceed in our relationship with Canada.

Accordingly, if you wish to begin a respectful dialogue regarding the Bill and the matters as raised within this letter we will make ourselves available. We are not interested in continuing the status quo but in aiding Canada meet its duty to act honourable towards a true reconciliation with our nation.

Respectfully,

Chief~ris Kitchenuhmaykoosib lnninuwug

Governor General, Julie Payette

Minister David Lametti, Department of Justice

Minister Carolyn Bennett, Crown Indigenous Relations

UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD)

Chief Perry Bellegarde, Assembly of First Nations

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