Five Key Indigenous Peoples Issues Every Week - News

Five Key Indigenous Peoples Issues For The Week Of March 27 - April 4, 2011: Canada, Brazil, Australia, Rwanda, Honduras


Canada: Mining Alert On Algonquin Territory


Barriere Lake Algonquins say “No” to mining exploration on their land, Cree workers agree to leave site


Last week, Barriere Lake community members discovered that Val D’ Or based Cartier Resources has begun line-cutting in preparation for mining exploration on their unceded Aboriginal lands. According to their website, the mining company claims that their “100% owned” land base of 439 square kilometers boasts rich copper deposits ripe for exploitation.


The so-called “Riviere Dore Project” was undertaken without obtaining the community’s free, prior, and informed consent – the minimum standards set out in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP), which Canada has endorsed in words but not in action. The mining project also violates the community’s own environmental protection regime, the Trilateral Agreement, which was signed in 1991 by Barriere Lake, Quebec, and Canada and has yet to be honoured. Read more about Cartier Resources and mining on Barriere Lake lands here....


Brazil: Maniesto Of The Members Of The Bench Indigenous And Indigenous People From 16th Meeting Of The National Commission On Indigenous Policy


We indigenous leaders and members of the bench indigenous and indigenous meeting in Brasilia, on the occasion of the 16th. Regular Meeting of the National Commission on Indigenous Policy - CNPI, considering the continuity of this Commission under the responsibility of the Government of President Rousseff, after more than four years of operation, concerned with maintaining a framework of disregard for and violation of the rights of indigenous peoples and aware of our responsibility to ensure these rights at this forum for dialogue and negotiation with the Brazilian state, came through this present to your Excellency the following events.


While recognizing the advances that resulted in the creation of CNPI and made a few queries as possible to discuss proposals for the new statute, the preparation of the Draft Law of Council of Indigenous Policy and the construction of a proposed National Policy on Land Management and Environmental Improvement Indigenous Lands (PNGATI), the Brazilian State during the term of the Lula government did not respond satisfactorily to the demands and perspectives of the indigenous movement, enabling policies toward indigenous peoples remain poor or zero, threatening the physical and cultural continuity of these peoples, such as in the case of the Guarani Kaiowá in Mato Grosso do Sul and the peoples of the Amazon Valley Javari, expressions of neglect and omission of the state. Read the Manifesto's Demands from the Bench Indigenous of Brazil here....


Australia: 500th Indigenous Land Use Agreement A Good Sign For Principled Agreement-Making


The registration this week of the 500th Indigenous Land Use Agreement is testament to the importance of engaging with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples through agreement-making based on free, prior and informed consent, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner Mick Gooda said today.


Commissioner Gooda said agreement-making based on these principles highlighted the importance of cooperative relationships with governments and other parties but he cautioned that a level playing field needed to be in place.


“The 500th Indigenous Land Use Agreement marks a significant point in our relationships with each other and with governments,” Commissioner Gooda said.


“What we need to ensure, as we move into the future, is that governments support the spirit of this agreement-making by negotiating in good faith and providing adequate resources to all the organisations involved in the process so they can have the tools they need to achieve the best possible agreements.” Read more about the 500th Indigenous Land Use Agreement in Australia here....


Rwanda: Rwandan ‘Anti-Thatch’ Campaign Leaves Thousands Of ‘Pygmies’ Homeless


A Rwandan government programme to destroy all thatched roofs in the country is leaving thousands of Batwa ‘Pygmies’ homeless.


Hundreds of Batwa families have seen their homes destroyed in recent months, forcing them to live in the open during the rainy season.


The authorities plan to destroy all thatched roofs in the country by May this year. Under the destructive scheme, families with means are meant to build new houses at their own expense.


The very poor (which include almost all Batwa) are supposed to be provided with iron sheets to replace the thatch, and the sick and elderly should be given completely new homes. But many huts have been destroyed without new homes being provided. Read more about the Batwa Pygmies and housing problems in Rwanda here....


Honduras: Honduran Moskitia Peoples To Defend Their Territory


On Monday 28 March, over one thousand indigenous Miskito, Tawahka, Pech and Garifuna moved to Puerto Lempira for the purpose of claiming Moskitia autonomy, the right to free, prior and informed , the immediate cessation of the construction of hydroelectric dams in the river Patuca, in addition to the eviction of the U.S. base in the Laguna de Karataska.


Moskitia became a party in the year 1861 the territory of the Republic of Honduras, through the treaty between Great Britain and Honduras called Wyke-Cruz, the content that clarified the rights of the Miskito people on the ancestral territory, without that the various Republican administrations throughout the nineteenth and twentieth century, had taken account of that treaty.


The systematic looting of the Moskita is a sign of internal colonialism that we have been subjected indigenous and black peoples in Honduras: From the forest resources and coastal and marine, from the abuse committed by the manipulated agricultural colonization fronts, ethnocide made with the divers by the industrial fishing fleet based in the Bay Islands. Read more about the Moskitia Peoples of Honduras and defense of their lands here....


Last Weeks Five Key Indigenous Peoples Issues can be found here.

Tags: Canada  Brazil  Australia  Rwanda  Honduras  

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