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


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