#IdleNoMore #CDNPoli #NWT Arrange meeting requested by Chief Spence, Lawyers Rights Watch Canada tells @PMHarper
- "...The Right Honourable Stephen Harper
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2
E-mail: stephen.harper@...; pm@...
Dear Prime Minister,
Re: Meeting requested by Chief Theresa Spence of Attiwapiskat
We write to urge that you immediately arrange a meeting as requested by
Chief Theresa Spence. Chief Spence wants a meeting on a Nation to Nation
basis with the Prime Minister, the Crown, and the Provincial and
Territorial leaders along with all the First Nations leaders to discuss
First Nations� inherent and treaty rights.
Please remember that Canada is constitutionally defined as a �free and
democratic society� founded on principles that recognize the supremacy of
the rule of law. This means that law must be formulated with the informed
consent of the Canadian people. The equality rights in our constitution
are meant to ensure that law is used as a tool to achieve justice for all.
This is part of our traditional Anglo-Canadian constitutional heritage.
These principles have been affirmed by international human rights treaties
that Canada has ratified. The Canadian constitution also explicitly
requires respect for �aboriginal and treaty rights�. Moreover, just as
Parliament was established to ensure that law-making is founded on informed
public discussion, so too the Supreme Court of Canada supports the right of
Indigenous peoples to meaningful consultation on issues that concern them.
In addition, we draw your attention to Article 19 of the United Nations
Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which Canada has endorsed,
and which provides that...
"States shall consult and cooperate in good faith with the indigenous
peoples concerned through their own representative institutions in order to
obtain their free, prior and informed consent before adopting and
implementing legislative or administrative measures that may affect them."
In summary, in this country it is unquestionably illegal to use the power
of the State to destroy or repress rights or grant unwarranted privileges.
Conversely, it is unquestionably legal to use all peaceful means to resolve
both internal problems and external disputes...."
GEORGE LESSARD <http://www.flickr.com/photos/george-lessard/sets/129389/>
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