Monday, September 16, 2019

TONATIERRA: USMCA and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples


TONATIERRA 
Community Development Institute
PO Box 24009
Phoenix, AZ 85074 
www.tonatierra.org


September 13, 2019 


USMCA Working Group, US House of Representatives 
Speaker of the House, Reps. Nancy Pelosi (D-Cal)
Reps. Richard Neal (D-MA), Chairman
Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.)
Reps. Dan Schakowsky (D-Ill.)
Reps. Jimmy Gomez (D-Calif.)
Reps. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.)
Reps. Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.)
Reps. John Larson (D-Conn.)
Reps. Terri Sewell (D-Ala.)
Reps. DeLauro (D-Conn.)

Good greetings.

Today, September 13, 2019, marks the 12th anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). Upon review of the public record of debate concerning the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the context of the proposed US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), the systemic disregard for the territorial rights and human rights of Indigenous Peoples is blatantly discriminatory, unacceptable and must be addressed before the agreement is put to vote before the House of Representatives.

Specifically, we call today for a full public hearing before the appropriate committees and/or Working Group formations of the US Congress for the purpose of informing the US congressional representatives on the Right of Indigenous Peoples to Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC) regarding projects which impact their collective rights. Such a public hearing must be realized before the USMCA is approved.

The USMCA has been promoted as a necessary "update" of the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). In distinction from NAFTA which was adopted in 1994 thirteen years before adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the signatories of USMCA must comply with the minimum standards of FPIC or the corporate consortia investing in any development project in violation of FPIC will immediately become financially liable and exposed to the risk of legal challenges and financial penalties that must be presented before their constituencies (states) and shareholders (corporations).

This principle is now well established, having been the subject of the Soft Woods Lumber Dispute (1982) between the US and Canada which acknowledged the proprietary rights of Indigenous Peoples over territories and resources in the international trade tribunals. Recognizing this fact, the World Bank has restructured its procedures, protocols and practices regarding Indigenous Peoples and the right of Free, Prior, and Informed Consent under the Environmental and Social Standard 7 to shield its interests.

There can be no approval of USMCA without recognition, respect, and effective mechanisms for the equal protection of the internationally recognized Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the trade zone encompassing the three countries, specifically the right of Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC). Consultation is not consent.

Without the full and effective participation of Indigenous Peoples, as Peoples equal to all other peoples, there can be no legitimate approval of the USMCA.

“The Indigenous peoples of the Americas possess the underlying and inalienable title to their lands. Failure by settler governments to recognize that title within USMCA is a violation of Indigenous rights and the principle of “free, prior and informed consent” enshrined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. As a legal violation that infringes on the property rights of Indigenous peoples, this failure by settler governments creates a massive risk to the financial interests that rely on the tripartite agreement. Businesses cannot hide behind USMCA and disregard the rights of Indigenous peoples. Every investor, every corporation, every entity with a financial interest that crosses the borders between Mexico, the United States and Canada, must account for this risk when they operate on Indigenous lands. Failure to account for the risks associated with Indigenous title will result in faulty, and possibly fraudulent, valuations.”
Dr. DT Cochrane, Economist

With representation of Indigenous Peoples from Mexico-US-Canada organized under the Indigenous Network on Economies and Trade (INET), we offer to engage with willing members of Congress to bring such a proposed hearing to effect.

Please contact me at your earliest convenience to clarify the position of the USMCA Working Group regarding the issues we have raised in this intervention.

Tupac Enrique Acosta
TONATIERRA
chantlaca@tonatierra.org




Free Prior and Informed Consent FPIC

All Peoples have the right to self-determination. It is a fundamental principle in international law, embodied in the Charter of the United Nations and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.


The standard, Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC), as well as Indigenous Peoples’ rights to lands, territories and natural resources are embedded within the universal right to self-determination. The normative framework for FPIC consists of a series of international legal instruments including the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), the International Labour Organization Convention 169 (ILO 169), and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), among many others.

FPIC is a specific right that pertains to Indigenous Peoples and is recognized in the UNDRIP. It allows them to give or withhold consent to a project that may affect them or their territories. Once they have given their consent, they can withdraw it at any stage. Furthermore, FPIC enables them to negotiate the conditions under which the project will be designed, implemented, monitored and evaluated.

Consultation is not consent.

TONATIERRA
Community Development Institute
PO Box 24009

Phoenix, AZ 85074

September 13, 2019





USMCA Working Group, US House of Representatives
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, (D-Cal)
Representative Richard Neal (D-MA), Chairman Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.)
Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.)
Representative Jimmy Gomez (D-Calif.)

Mike Thompson (D-Calif.)

Representative Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.) John Larson (D-Conn.)

Reps. Terri Sewell (D-Ala.) Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.)



Good greetings.



Today, September 13, 2019, marks the 12th anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). Upon review of the public record of debate concerning the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the context of the proposed US-Mexico-Canada Agreement, the systemic disregard for the territorial rights and human rights of Indigenous Peoples is blatantly discriminatory, unacceptable and must be addressed before the agreement is put to vote before the House of Representatives.



Specifically, we call today for a full public hearing before the appropriate committees and/or Working Group formations of the US Congress for the purpose of informing the US congressional representatives on the Right of Indigenous Peoples to Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC) regarding projects which impact their collective rights. Such a public hearing must be realized before the USMCA is approved.



The USMCA has been promoted as a necessary "update" of the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). In distinction from NAFTA which was adopted in 1994 thirteen years before adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the signatories of USMCA must comply with the minimum standards of FPIC or the corporate consortia investing in any development project in violation of FPIC will immediately become financially liable and exposed to the risk of legal challenges and financial penalties that must be presented before their constituencies (states) and shareholders (corporations).



This principle is now well established, having been the subject of the Soft Woods Lumber Dispute (1982) between the US and Canada which acknowledged the proprietary rights of Indigenous Peoples over territories and resources in the international trade tribunals. Recognizing this fact, the World Bank has restructured its procedures, protocols and practices regarding Indigenous Peoples and the right of Free, Prior, and Informed Consent under the Environmental and Social Standard 7 to shield its interests.



There can be no approval of USMCA without recognition, respect, and effective mechanisms for the protection of the internationally recognized Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the trade zone encompassing the three countries, specifically the right of Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC). Consultation is not consent.



Without the full and effective participation of Indigenous Peoples, as Peoples equal to all other peoples, there can be no legitimate approval of the USMCA.



“The Indigenous peoples of the Americas possess the underlying and inalienable title to their lands. Failure by settler governments to recognize that title within USMCA is a violation of Indigenous rights and the principle of “free, prior and informed consent” enshrined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. As a legal violation that infringes on the property rights of Indigenous peoples, this failure by settler governments creates a massive risk to the financial interests that rely on the tripartite agreement. Businesses cannot hide behind USMCA and disregard the rights of Indigenous peoples. Every investor, every corporation, every entity with a financial interest that crosses the borders between Mexico, the United States and Canada, must account for this risk when they operate on Indigenous lands. Failure to account for the risks associated with Indigenous title will result in faulty, and possibly fraudulent, valuations.”

Dr. DT Cochrane, Economist





With representation of Indigenous Peoples from Mexico-US-Canada organized under the Indigenous Network on Economies and Trade (INET), we offer to engage with willing members of Congress to bring such a proposed hearing to effect.



Please contact me at your earliest convenience to clarify the position of the USMCA Working Group regarding the issues we have raised in this intervention.






Tupac Enrique Acosta TONATIERRA



Free Prior and Informed Consent FPIC

All Peoples have the right to self-determination. It is a fundamental principle in international law, embodied in the Charter of the United Nations and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.


The standard, Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC), as well as Indigenous Peoples’ rights to lands, territories and natural resources are embedded within the universal right to self- determination. The normative framework for FPIC consists of a series of international legal instruments including the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), the International Labour Organization Convention 169 (ILO 169), and the Convention on Diversity (CBD), among many others.

FPIC is a specific right that pertains to Indigenous Peoples and is recognized in the UNDRIP. It allows them to give or withhold consent to a project that may affect them or their territories. Once they have given their consent, they can withdraw it at any stage. Furthermore, FPIC enables them to negotiate the conditions under which the project will be designed, implemented, monitored and evaluated.


Consultation is not consent.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

UNPFII 2019 Haudenosaunee Statement: Treaties, Protocol and Relevant Issues


United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII)
18th Session, 22 April – 3 May, 2019

Item 11:  Human rights. Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
 

UNPFII 2019 Haudenosaunee Statement:
Treaties, Protocol and Relevant Issues

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Nya weñha Skanoh - Greetings,

To all our Indigenous delegations; to the distinguished members of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues,

Madame Chair:

Congratulations and thank you for excepting leadership and the responsibilities of the 18th session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. The Haudenosaunee stands in support of your work in the coming year.

We thank Ms. Vicki Corpus Special Rapporteur for your many years of service for Indigenous Peoples we ask you to monitor development of Canada’s proposal to indigenous nations for “New Treaties”.

The legislative framework proposal: Canada’s collaborative self-government fiscal policy has drawn strong reaction from indigenous nations territories and communities across Canada. The UNDRIP articles in particular the right to self- determination, free prior and informed consent and articles 26, 1, 2, and 3 regarding lands territories and resources are our immediate concerns. We have treaties of peace and friendship with the French, the British and the United States of America.

Canada became the successor state of Great Britain and therefore is obligated under International Treaty Law to recognize and uphold those treaties made between Great Britain and Haudenosaunee (Six Nations). Many treaties were made between entities in North America that included the Haudenosaunee. Treaties between Indigenous Nations and States must be recognized within the context of the times as valid and in force.
 

So, we are concerned with Canada’s new suite of legislation that would relegate Indigenous Nations and peoples to a third or fourth order of government. Lower orders of government do not sign Treaties.

Agreements with entities created under Canada’s Indian Act cannot replace the nation to nation relationship between the Haudenosaunee and the Crown.

Adding the words “Modern Day Treaties” to a process of extinguishment of Indigenous land rights in the 21st Century does not legitimize a felony.

Past centuries of land thefts of Indigenous territories pale in comparison to this proposal. We bring our issues before you with deep concerns for our coming generations and the survival issue they will face.
 

Human migration caused by global warming is underway as we speak. Climate change will intensify as powerful oil corporations intensify oil extraction with a process called “Hydro fracking”, this process has already affected Indigenous territories in Canada and the USA.

We perceive a relationship between “Hydro Fracking” and the termination of Indigenous titles to the land. Further, there seem to be no regard or concern by these corporate leaders for the future of their very own children.

We raised the issue of survival of the human species nineteen years ago in these very halls with our warning, that the “Ice is melting”.

If we can address climate change in a positive way with traditional Indigenous principles and values our species may have a chance for survival. Ms. Corpus, as Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Issues, we ask you to monitor, examine and issue a report on Canada’s collaborative self-government fiscal policy.

Thank you.

Dahnato, (Now I am finished)

Oren Lyons, Wolf Clan Onondaga Nation
Haudenosaunee External Relations Committee





Foro Permanente Cuestiones Indígenas ONU: Intervencion Neskonlith, Skat'sin te Secwépemc.


Foro Permanente de las Naciones Unidas para las Cuestiones Indígena
Decimoctava sesión 
24/25 de abril de 2019

Punto 11 del orden del día: Diálogo con el Relator Especial sobre los derechos de los pueblos indígenas

Punto 4 del orden del día: Implementación de las seis áreas obligatorias del Foro Permanente
 


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Ponente: Kukpi7 Judy Wilson, Secretaria-Tesorera de la Unión de Jefes Indios de Columbia Británica, y Jefa de la Banda India Neskonlith.


Mi nombre es Kukpi7 Judy Wilson, y soy Secretaria-Tesorera de la Unión de Jefes Indios de Colombia Británica UBCIC [Canadá] y Jefa de la Banda Neskonlith, Skat'sin te Secwépemc. Es mi honor y responsabilidad presentar la siguiente declaración en nombre de la UBCIC que representa a más de ciento diez Primeras Naciones en la Colombia Británica, Canadá. Esta declaración aborda las violaciones internacionalmente registradas de los derechos humanos del pueblo de Secwepemc en BC, Canadá, así como las luchas de los defensores de derechos humanos indígenas en todo Colombia Británica, Canadá.

Me gustaría ofrecer la siguiente recomendación al Foro Permanente:

Que es crucial para los Estados, en la implementación de la Declaración de las Naciones Unidas sobre los Derechos de los Pueblos Indígenas, hacerlo de manera significativa y en su conjunto, no de forma selectiva en función de lo que sea políticamente conveniente. El consentimiento libre, previo e informado no es un proceso de consulta aumentado, y los estados no pueden ignorar las decisiones tomadas por los pueblos indígenas a través de sus propios sistemas de auto gobierno y la toma de decisiones que han elegido libremente para sí mismos.

Señora Presidenta: el 14 de diciembre de 2018, la Presidenta del Comité para la Eliminación de la Discriminación Racial de las Naciones Unidas escribió a Canadá, declarando que:
“la realización del Proyecto de Expansión del Oleoducto Trans Mountain sin el consentimiento libre, previo e informado, afectará permanentemente los derechos sobre la tierra de la Nacion Secwepemc y, como resultado, infringirían sus derechos”.

Canadá no ha prestado atención debida a esta advertencia internacional, ni a advertencias anteriores, sino que Canadá ha reiniciado las consultas con algunos grupos indígenas sobre este proyecto estatal, consultas que están demostrando ser discusiones unilaterales que continúan evitando consideración del tema del Título y Derechos Territoriales de los Pueblos Indígenas.

El 27 de marzo de 2019, recibí una carta del Ministro Sohi del Ministerio de Recursos Naturales que decía que el enfoque de consulta de Canadá era consistente con el estudio del Mecanismo de Expertos sobre Derechos de Pueblos Indígenas EMRIP sobre el consentimiento libre, previo e informado y que:
"La Consulta sobre los impactos potenciales de este Proyecto (TMX) no es un proceso de determinación de derechos, y no afectará sus derechos de título indígena reivindicados, a la espera de su resolución de reclamaciones".

Deseo señalar a los miembros del Foro las contradicciones de la declaración de Canadá y citar la sección C 1.14 de Informe de EMRIP sobre el Consentimiento Libre Previo e Informado (CLPI) que establece:
 


“[El CLPI] constituye tres derechos interrelacionados y acumulativos de los pueblos indígenas:

·   El derecho a ser consultado;

·   El derecho a participar; y

·   El derecho a sus tierras, territorios y recursos.

De conformidad con la Declaración, no se puede lograr el consentimiento libre, previo e informado si falta uno de estos componentes".

El gobierno de Canadá se niega a dar cuenta de que un elemento crucial del CLPI es el reconocimiento del Título y Derecho Territorial Indígena, el reconocimiento de que tenemos el derecho ancestral a nuestras propias tierras, territorios y recursos que este proyecto de oleoducto está preparado para infringir. La consulta sobre el Proyecto de Expansión del Oleoducto de Trans Mountain está indisolublemente ligada al reconocimiento de Título y Derechos de las Primeras Naciones; Canadá debe reconocer que el reconocimiento de Título y los Derechos de los Pueblos Originarios necesariamente determinan la forma, la función y la implementación de una consulta legitima. Los Neskonlith, al igual que muchos de los Pueblos Secwépmec, no han participado ni hemos tenido la libertad de guiar y dirigir los procesos de consulta, pero tenemos el derecho y la libertad de retener nuestro consentimiento si nuestro derecho a nuestros territorios y tierras es continuamente denegado por Canadá.


Está claro que Canadá mantiene un patrón de distorsión de los hechos y afirma que están comprometidos en un diálogo continuo y significativo con las Primeras Naciones solo como una táctica para cimentarse con sus proyectos corporativos lucrativos. Hasta que las Pueblos Originarios sean respetadas y reconocidas como tomadores de decisiones y poseedores de títulos territoriales legítimos y se busque el consentimiento libre, previo e informado, ningún proceso de consulta puede cumplir la anunciada agenda Canadiense de cooperación, asociación y verdadera reconciliación con nuestros Naciones Originarias.

Otro aspecto del Proyecto de Expansión del Oleoducto de Trans Mountain es el establecimiento de campamentos de trabajo temporales para proporcionar mano de obra a áreas remotas y "campamentos de hombres" para proporcionar vivienda temporal para empleados a miles de trabajadores masculinos en su mayoría no indígenas. Estos campos de trabajo fomentan una cultura de campo industrial híper-masculina que puede resultar en un mayor riesgo de acoso y agresión sexual y un aumento en los niveles de violencia contra las mujeres en el trabajo sexual y el autostop.

Las comunidades indígenas, especialmente las mujeres y los niños, son las más vulnerables y están en riesgo de experimentar los efectos negativos de los campamentos industriales. UBCIC tiene el mandato de nuestros Jefes a través de una resolución para "unirnos contra todas y cada una de las amenazas a nuestros pueblos, nuestras mujeres, nuestros dos espíritus, nuestros niños, nuestras tierras, la vida silvestre, el salmón, las vías de agua". Alentamos a este Foro a reconozca y haga frente a los diversos y multifacéticos impactos que el desarrollo corporativo y patrocinado por el Estado puede tener en los pueblos indígenas, especialmente en las mujeres, las niñas y las personas de Dos-Espíritus.

No es solo el Proyecto del oleoducto Trans Mountain lo que amenaza a los pueblos indígenas en BC. La represa hidroeléctrica del Sitio C, actualmente en construcción en el norte de BC, es uno de los proyectos de desarrollo de energía más grandes que se están llevando a cabo en la actualidad en Canadá. La empresa pública de servicios públicos que construye la presa lo ha calificado como un proyecto de "energía limpia"; nada mas lejos de la verdad. La construcción continuada de la represa del Sitio C es emblemática de una profunda brecha entre la retórica defendida por el gobierno en el escenario internacional y muchas de las políticas y decisiones reales aplicadas a nivel nacional. El Comité Para la Eliminación de Discriminación Racial de la ONU (CERD) ha recomendado que se detenga la construcción del Sitio C hasta que haya una revisión completa de cómo afectaría a las tierras indígenas y, sin embargo, la construcción continúa.

Otro claro ejemplo de violaciones de los derechos humanos y la impunidad corporativa y estatal resultante de estas violaciones es el desastre de la mina Mount Polley, donde en 2014 se rompió una presa de relaves mineros y se vertieron desechos en el lago Polley. Han pasado años desde el desastre de la Mina Mount Polley y, sin embargo, desde entonces no se han impuesto multas, cargos ni penalizaciones contra la empresa culpable. Es inaceptable que la empresa se salga sin repercusiones punitivas cuando las personas y el medio ambiente se vean directamente afectados por este derrame; Las comunidades indígenas que viven río abajo aún enfrentan amenazas a su seguridad alimentaria y prácticas espirituales, ya que los tóxicos del estanque de tóxicos continúan acumulándose en el ambiente.

Gracias señora Presidenta.



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El texto oficial en castellano (o cualquier idioma indígena) del acuerdo de USMCA nunca fue publicado en México o en ninguna otra parte hasta la fecha de 5 de diciembre, 2018 cuando nuestra organización TONATIERRA lo pidió en las oficinas del consulado de México en Phoenix, Arizona.  Sin tener el texto antemano, no existe una narrativa legítima o racional que pueda explicar cómo los Pueblos Indígenas de México han sido consultados por lo menos con respecto a la protección de sus derechos particulares y colectivos en el USMCA, mucho menos tomados en cuenta con la oportunidad de aprobar o NEGAR EL CONSENTIMIENTO.


Hoy, una vez más, la Comisión Continental Abya Yala reitera este llamado a la rendición de cuentas y la justicia en solidaridad continental indígena y acuerdo con el Manifiesto de Reconciliación de la Red Indígena sobre Economías y Comercio INET y en el espíritu del Manifiesto Abya Yala.  Nuestro mandato colectivo es la defensa de la Integridad Territorial de la Madre Tierra: El tiempo es ahora.