by Jaime Battiste - Citizenship Coordinator, KMKNO
The Mi’kmaq have had a long history of more than 30 years of advocating for Mi’kmaw rights at the United Nations(UN) in Geneva Switzerland and New York City. Mi’kmaq elders have said “if you want to herd some moose or deer into a trap, you cannot do it from one side-you have to use two sides.” This wisdom directly reflects the Mi’kmaq domestic and international strategy on Aboriginal, Treaty and human rights. In 1980, Mi’kmaq Grand Keptin Alexander Denny , began an official communication with the United Nations Human Rights Committee claiming that “Canada has, and continues to, deny our right to self-determination; Canada has and continues to involuntary confiscate our territory despite the terms of our treaties; Canada has and continues to deprive our people of its means of subsistence”. Denny made this statement in a communication to the Human Rights Committee using the convention on civil and political rights, endorsed by Canada in 1976. In UN terms, a convention is a treaty negotiated at the UN between multiple countries. Once convention negotiations are finished, each country must sign onto the Convention and take steps to implement it.
The Human Rights Committee which Denny submitted his communication to, consisted of 18 legal experts from the Nations States who ratified the convention, the committee stated that “in light of Mi’kmaq history, this could mean the right as a distinct society to have a direct voice in and constitutional decis ...
Tags: Human Rights, KMKNO, UNDRIP