Student Solidarity, CFS, and the June 29th Day of Action on Aboriginal Treaties
Wednesday, June 13, 200714 Comments
In one of the most powerful moments of the week-long conference,students stood-up in the room as a message of solidarity with the Aboriginal representatives and in support of an emergency motion committing the Canadian Federation of Students to participate and give support in the day of action.
Little more than a week after National Aboriginal Day on June 21st, the June 29th Day of Action has been endorsed by the Assembly of First Nations to bring attention to the devastating effects of the Canadian government's longstanding neglect of disputed lands, monies, and assets of Aboriginal communities. Currently, officially recognized outstanding land claims are at a backlog of more than 800 in Canada, and are creating situations of high tension as aboriginal communities are strung along for decades on waiting lists to even have their claim heard, let alone engage in government negotiations.
With a bill on the table proposing $250 million in new spending over 10 years and plans for a new tribunal to address the tremendous backlog of outstanding land claims, its valuable to raise questions about in what forms this money will be spent and whether this new funding will empower impoverished indigenous communities to have access to the tribunal. Indeed, any aboriginal community undertaking the daunting task of a land claims process is often forced to take on years and sometimes decades of accumulated debt from loans accessed through the federal government to pay for the legal process.
A commitment to a just society in Canada means asking critical questions about the accessibility and effectiveness of both existing and proposed legal mechanisms to deal with land claims.
This new bill is a great opportunity to begin asking these questions as part of the actualization of this commitment against complacency in the face of often devastating poverty, and lack of access to social infrastructure (like education, appropriate health care, and drinkable water) that we so often take for granted.
On Friday, June 29th, 2007, the Canadian Federation of Students will join with Aboriginal organizations across Canada in a National Day of Action. The goal of the campaign is to organize protests and demonstrations in every region and province across Canada.
Students are demanding that the federal government:
* Sign the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People.
* Immediately implement the Kelowna Accord.
* Take action to ensure safe drinking water in Aboriginal communities
* Take action to end the violence against indigenous women and ensure
the proper funding for Aboriginal child welfare.
* Immediately take action to resolve land claims and uphold treaty obligations.
* Adopt all of the recommendations of the multi-party report by the
Standing Committee on Aboriginal and Northern Affairs regarding
Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education.
For more information on solidarity events at Guelph and beyond contact
Cailey , or Evan .