What is UNDRIP? Nasal spray, some new kind coffee maker, or what?
What is the UNDRIP?
The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) is an international instruction adopted by the United Nations on September 13, 2007, to ensure (according to Article 43) the rights that "constitute the minimum standards for the survival, dignity and well-being of the indigenous people of the world." The UNDRIP protects collective rights that may not be addressed in other human rights, and it also safeguards the individual rights of Indigenous people. The Declaration is the product of almost 25 years of deliberation by U.N. member states and Indigenous groups.
The first of the UNDRIP's 46 articles declares that "Indigenous people have the right to the full enjoyment, as a collective or as individuals, of all human rights and fundamental freedoms as recognized in the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (4) and international human rights law. "The Declaration goes on to guarantee the rights of Indigenous peoples to enjoy and practice their cultures and customs, their religions, and their languages, and to develop and strengthen their economies and their social and political institutions. Indigenous peoples have the right to be free from discrimination, and the right to a nationality.
Significantly, in Article 3 the UNDRIP recognizes Indigenous peoples' right to self-determination, which includes the right "to freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development." Article 4 affirms Indigenous peoples' right "to autonomy or self-government in matters relating to their internal and local affairs," and Article 5 protects their right "to maintain and strengthen their distinct political, legal, economic, social and cultural institutions." Article 26 states that "indigenous people have the right to the lands, territories and resources which they have traditionally owned, occupied or otherwise used or acquired," and it directs states to give legal recognition to these territories. The Declaration does not override the right of Indigenous peoples contained in their treaties and agreement with individual states, and it commands these states to observe and enforce the agreements.
The UNDRIP was adopted by 144 countries, with 11 abstentions and 4 counties voting against it. These four counties were Canada, the USA, New Zealand, and Australia. Since 2009 Australia and New Zealand have reversed their positions and now support the Declaration, while the United States and Canada have announced that they will revise their positions.
UNDRIP and the proposed section 35 rights and recognition framework legislation would, if adopted and actionable, have profound implications for this country. But, the average Canadian knows practically nothing about what is being proposed. In fact, even those to be directly affected - status Indians living on reserves - have not been brought into the discussions.
Government representations and AFN chiefs met in private, while an incurious medica 'snoozed'. As for the Canadian public, they have received the mushroom treatment.
UNDRIP is the result of decades of advocacy on the part of Indigenous groups to advance their claim that they should have collective right reign over and above the human rights belonging to other citizen of a state.
Even our elected representative in Parliament seem to have a very poor understanding of what could be profoundly important proposed legislation if supposable aspirational legislation is made actionable. As for the business community, few have taken the time to understand UNDRIP and what it could mean for commerce.
Question your local MLA or MP on UNDRIP and you are most likely to see that I mean. Their attitude seems to be that someone else is looking after the best interests of citizens on this complicated issue. But, as with the old Gershwin tune: "It ain't necessarily so".
Gordon Gibson, who worked under Pierre Trudeau, has argues why UNDRIP should not be formally adopted as actionable law (Gibson and Tom Flanagan are Canada's "eminent grises" - top experts - on Canadian Indigenous issues).
This is the advice Gibson provided the Prime Minister after his 2015 election win:
"UNDRIP-Don't go there. The 2007 United Nations' construct is a muddy thing full of problems, without even a definition c indigenous. Because our Supreme Court has developed a doctrine of incorporating international human-rights documents into our law, ratifying UNDRIP would lead to even more chaos in our painfully constructed law to date. Almost all non-conflicted legal experts agree. We have nothing to learn from a U.N. body... dominated by the world's serial human-rights abusers. Do not proceed with the formal adoption of UNDRIP. Keep it aspirational and no one will hate you but the Aboriginal bar."
Well known Indigenous businessman and leader John Kim Bell summed it up this way: "Implementing UNDRIP would probably paralyze the entire Canadian economy".
Ontario lawyer and writer Peter Best describes in detail in Chapter 34 of his book "There is No Difference" how legislating UNDRIP would inevitably lead to the diminution of Crown Sovereignty in the same way that our Supreme Court's ill-conceived "duty to consult and accommodate," as formulated in the Haida Nation line of cases, has already done.
Well-respected past deputy minister of Indian Affairs, Harry Swain, provided stern advice not to even consider adopting UNDRIP: "UNDRIP is a ringing declaration of rights without a word on responsibilities, or conflict resolution, and is therefore seriously incomplete."
Swain listed a myriad of problems with UNDRIP, including raising intriguing questions about the preservation of culture. For instance, he asks:
If an indigenous tribe that had a culture of slavery, would it be able to enforce that "cultural right" Pacific Coast Tribes had a strong history of slavery. Similarly, questions could be asked about the treatment of women. Many of the indigenous cultures treated women in a way that could not be acceptable today. And would Canada's Human Right's Charter override UNDRIP?
Could and would such questions be taken to our courts, or to the United Nations in New York? Would Canadian courts be asked to enforce cultural practices that are completely repugnant to modern sensibilities? The answer to these questions and others is "who knows".
Would it not be crazy to put ourselves in a position where our courts and perhaps international tribunals- could or would be besieged by totally unproductive claims. Why should Canada's system of justice be virtually turned on its head for the sake of pleasing the 1.5% of the population that remain living on reserves?
When it is taken into account that each of the 635 or so "first nations" could and most likely would individually claim their own specific sets of cultural rights, traditions and laws, the complexity of what the formal adoption of the UNDRIP would well entail become even more clear. Apart from providing lawyers- all to be paid for by the Crown-with work for years., it is unclear why this country would benefit from twisting itself into knots just to please some very vocal critics.
Consider the Christian scholars of the early Middle Ages who wasted their lives trying to determine how many angels could dance on the end of a pin. Surely, Canada doesn't need or want to go that route with UNDRIP?
Tom Flanagan, Canada's leading expert on indigenous Law has a somewhat contrary view about the implementation of UNDRIP in British Columbia, suggesting that its adoption would, basically be "virtually signaling", and would not grant a veto to B.C's First Nations. However, Flanagan is commenting on a provincial adoption of UNDRIP, not on a federal adoption.
Flanagan's opinion about a federal implementation of UNDRIP is different than his view about B.C's planned adoption. Flanagan hols that a federal adoption of UNDRIP would lead to providing a virtual veto by First Nations over resource development. Flanagan argues that such a veto is in no one's interests.
This is how he puts it :
"Resource Industries are a leading source of private sector employer of aboriginal people in Canada and the only hope for First Nation's in remote locations to work their way out of poverty. It is not in anyone's interests to handicap Canada's resource industries by endowing aboriginal leaders with veto power over all proposals."
In any event, Gibson and Swain's strong criticisms of UNDRIP should be carefully reviewed, leaving the reader to form his or her own conclusion.
It is also a legitimate concern that complaints about the alleged breaches of an UNDRIP legislation could wind up before international panels. With UN panels including representatives from countries with appalling human rights records, those questionable panels would be ruling on Canadian made laws. Even the likely increase in litigation at home resulting from UNDRIP legislation should be seriously considered.
Currently there are 45,000 Indigenous claims in the works as it is. Making every provincial, federal, and possibly municipal law subject to UNDRIP has the potential to add enormously to that already mountain of litigation.
Undoubtedly, while some would benefit from all of the litigation, that would not benefit the large majority of the reserve residents who are now locked in poverty and dependence- those being the same people that UNDRIP is supposed to aid.
And, it is also legitimate to ask whether or not a legislated UNDRIP would further cement Canada's former Justice Minister's Practice Directive to all federal Justice lawyers attempting to defend claims brought by Indigenous claimants against the federal government- and, ultimately, the taxpayer.
That Directive - which has not been recalled- commands federal lawyers to abandon the usual defences lawyers advance against claimants in favour of a new regime that employs "reconciliation". This approach is opposed to properly defending a claim as the ultimate goal in any Indigenous claim. IN the words of one senior Justice lawyer, the Directive directs federal lawyers "to litigate badly" when defending claims, placing the tax payer at the mercy of any indigenous claim.
Considering there are now 45,000 indigenous claims (against the taxpayer) the Directive is an incredibly costly intervention. The total cost will almost be incalculable if the Directive is allowed to continue in the operation. Even if the Directive is withdrawn, current taxpayer's grandchildren will still be paying for this mischievous interference in the administration of justice long after the current federal regime in Ottawa has long gone.
Would UNDRIP further cement the Practice Directive in place? Probably.
And, would the full implementation of UNDRIP make it even harder to undo the entire Indian Act and reserve system, a system that based on what made sense in 1763? That is, would the backward notion that Indigenous people should be dealt with as a giant tribe instead of as an individual Canadian citizens continue. The answer to that question is "definitely".
The full implementation of UNDRIP- which would make all Canadian laws subject to it- is essentially a vanity project for the Prime Minister. Even his now discarded Justice Minister, herself and Indigenous person, pronounced a full implementation of UNDRIP "unworkable".
Advocates of the Bill say that the legislation will create no additional legal impediments for Canada, but it will significantly improve the lives of poor and marginalized indigenous people.
Opponents, however, say that the legislation will create additional obstacles to resource development. They say it will grant a virtual veto on resource development to each of the 638 or so First Nations. They also say the Bill will enrich privileged people, chiefs, band counselors, and their lawyers but will do nothing to improve the lives of the poor and marginalized Indigenous people.
The opponents of the Bill are right to worry because the advocates are not being truthful. This is bad legislation, and the Conservative senators are absolutely right in stopping it.
An analogous situation happened in the early 1980s when Pierre Trudeau was determined to push through the Charter of Rights. Hew was thwarted by some western and maritime premiers who were concerned that the Charter would result in Canada's elected legislators surrendering power to the unelected judges- which is exactly what happened.
These premiers were also concerned that the Indigenous rights in Section 35 would create new laws that would interfere with resource development. This also happened.
Of course, the chiefs and their advocates swore that they were not trying to create new laws. With this promise, the premiers relented, but only after the word "existing" was added at Pete Lougheed's insistence.
But before the ink dried on the Charter, Indigenous advocates sent their lawyers to court arguing for new and expanded legal rights for Indigenous groups.
Soon after, the Supreme Court- drunk with newly acquired powers- interpreted Section 35 to expand Indigenous entitlements. Today, Section 35 has been interpreted so broadly that the premiers who reluctantly signed the charter would be horrified at what has been added.
But, all these new rights and all the money that has flowed to groups as a consequence have not improved the lives of poor and marginalized indigenous people. The money, However certainly has enriched many middle-class people, lawyers, chiefs, counselors, and entire university department's.
Federal studies clearly show that the gap between poor reserve residents and other Canadians has not changed significantly since the Charter in 1982. This is astounding. By one measure, one trillion dollars has been spent on reserves, and yet the lives of its poor majority have not improved relative to the general population of Canadians.
So, when the advocates of C-262 say that the lives of Indigenous people will be improved by passing this Bill, a more honest claim would be that some people will benefit from the virtual veto on resource development that the legislation will give to the Indigenous groups. But the legislation will not help the poor marginalized Indigenous people.
When these shrill advocates of what is known as "the Indian industry" assure everyone that Bill C-262 will not create a virtual veto on new resource development, as the Conservative senators fear, we should remember how much their assurances were worth in 1982.
The assurances were not worth the paper they were written on.
Finally , if the full implementation of UNDRIP held out the promise of once and forever dealing positively with the chronic poverty and unemployment that keeps the majority of reserve residents so far behind mainstream Canadians, it might be worth doing- no matter what the cost. But it wouldn't.
There is no evidence that a piece of legislation that would virtually lock in place a way of live that disappeared long ago would result in anything more than generate endless litigation, division, costs, and the preservation of ma stagnant status quo.
Those who have not taken the time to study and discuss these issues would be well advised to quickly do so. Don't let the now-minority Liberal government sneak profoundly destabilizing legislation through Parliament.
Citizens should demand the right to participate in these important discussions- with decisions from those discussions risking bringing permanent negative changes for this country.
Elected representatives should be questioned as to their knowledge of the matter and as to its risks. Open discussion and debate should not only be demanded but actually take place. Canadians should not let a weak minority federal government make decisions that could forever change this country for the worst behind closed doors.
Among the Indians there have been no written laws. Customs handed down from generation to generation have been the only laws to guide them. Everyone might act different from what was considered right did he choose to do so, but such acts would bring upon him the censure of the nation, which he dreaded more than any corporal punishment that could be inflicted upon him. This fear of the nation's censure acted as a mighty band, binding all in one social, honourable compact.
In Delgamuukw v. British Columbia  a case dealing with "aboriginal title" the supreme court of Canada seems to provide the Globe writers with some justification for their assertions. The court there referred to "pre-existing systems of aboriginal law" and "the rules of property found in Aboriginal legal systems" But a close reading of the decision and the other cases that have adopted these misleading phrases as if they were received truths, shows that the Court was clearly referring to the same things that Diamond Jenness and George Copway wrote about: Cultural mores and customs that had been handed down orally. As the Court said, "Aboriginal title arises from the prior possession of land and the prior social organization and distinctive culture of Aboriginal peoples".
Delgamuukw refers to Aboriginal "legal systems", The oxford dictionary defines a "system" as "a set of principles or procedures according to which something is done; an organized scheme or method." "juridical" is defined as "relating to judicial proceedings and the administration of the law."
There were no "systems", "judicial proceedings," and no standardized "administration"-nothing juridical-in the Aboriginal practice of their pre-contact, order-maintaining customs Consequently, it is highly misleading for the Supreme Court of Canada and for the Globe writers to carelessly suggest that there is.
The Royal Proclamation of 1763 evidenced a benevolent intention towards Aboriginals, representing a soft, open, helping hand. It was the opposite of "genocidal" in nature, clearly signifying British intentions to create a new political order where Aboriginal peoples and cultures could not be casually and ignominiously erased from history.
In the Ropyal Proclamation, Britain declared that it was "just and reasonable" that the Indians "should not be molested or disturbed" in the possession of any lands they occupied and not ceded to or purchased by the Crown. This was an unprecedented, remarkably generous and restrained policy for the British Crown to have advanced. It was in fact, a departure from the historical norm of conquest and dispossession.
The Royal Proclamation also granted Aboriginals a form of collective property rights protected by British law, which would have been impossible for them to secure or even maintain on their won. That is, the Proclamation created around Aboriginals enforceable rights that had previously been unknown to them, and that were certainly far more generous than any rights that conquering Indian tribes had ever created for or bestowed on their own vanquished foes.
There can be no juridical legal order- the existence of which is fundamental to the "right to have rights"- in the absence of a state and state authority. Only an organized political community, which in the last two hundred years has increasingly been the nation-state, can create a juridical order from which can emanate enforceable, juridical laws and institutions on the basis of and through which the rights of the citizen, including his property rights and his general right to freedom can be best preserved. Pre-contact-state and pre-literate Aboriginal tribes, bands and clans never achieved that nature or degree of political organization.
"When states are absent, rights-by any d3efenition-are impossible to sustain. States are not structures to be taken for granted, exploited or discarded, but are fruits of long and quiet effort." 
WHAT IS THE BOOTS ON THE GROUND THREAT POSED BY UNDRIP TO PROVINCIAL SOVREIGNTY?
On April 5, federal Justice Minister and Attorney General David Lametti was speaking to the Assembly of First Nations Special Chiefs Assembly, in Ottawa. The event was focused on a national action plan to address the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous people.
During a panel at the assembly, Justice Minister David Lametti was asked by two people about provincial: Jurisdiction over natural resources. Grand Chief Brian Hardlotte from Prince Albert Grand Council asked Lametti to "rescind the act, The Natural Resources Transfer Act, that affect the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. That's what we're asking you, minister as and action item with a statement. It affects our treaty rights of course, under the Sask First Act, that we hear about. And it's to do with natural resources. Indian natural resources."
Chief Don Maracle of Mohawks of Bay of Quinte said, "Canadian exports natural resources to other countries. They earn trillions of dollars in revenues from those resources. Those resources were given to the provinces, without ever asking one Indian if it was okay to do that or what benefits the First Nations expect to receive by Canada consenting to that arrangement.
In response Lametti said, "I take from Chief Brian and Chief Don Maracle the point about the Natural resource Transfer Agreement... You're on the record for that. I obviously can't pronounce on that right now. But I do commit to looking at that.
"It won't be uncontroversial, is the only think I would say, with a bit of a smile," Lametti said.
These comments got a sharp reaction out of Premier Scott Moe, who tweeted on morning of April 10, "The federal justice Minister says he will look at taking control over natural resources away from the provinces. It's an outrageous statement. Read my response below."
That statement by Moe said:
"These dangerous and divisive comments from the federal Justice Minister are a threat to the unity of our country.
"The federal Justice Minister says he will look at rescinding the 1930s Natural Resources Transfer Agreements that gave control over natural resources to Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba. This is an outrageous and ill-formed comment, as those agreements and the province's control over natural resources have been entrenched in the Canadian constitution since 1930.
"On what basis does the federal Justice Minister think he has the authority to unilaterally strip Saskatchewan and the other western provinces of our constitutional authority over our natural resources?
"Saskatchewan has always had reason to be concerned about this federal government's agenda to infringe on provincial jurisdiction and autonomy, and we will be relentless in defending our jurisdiction and autonomy.
"The prime Minister needs to immediately tell his Justice Minister he has no business even speculating about rescinding western provinces' constitutional authority to control our natural resources."
Reacting to Moe's tweet, Alberta Premier Danielle Smith tweeted "I just received word that the Federal Justice Minister may attempt to rescind the 1930 Natural Resources Transfer Agreement with the prairie provinces. This would pose an unprecedented risk to national unity and Alberta condemns this federal threat in the strongest possible terms. I will be contacting Premiers Scott Moe and Heather Stefanson to discuss next steps and call on the Prime Minister to immediately have his Justice Minister retract and apologize for these comments immediately."
This perceived threat over control over natural resources was a driving factor behind the Saskatchewan first act, And that was the second major item on this file to take place last week. The Saskatchewan first act was proclaimed into law on Thursday April 6 coincidentally the day after Lametti's remarks to the. Assembly of First Nations. While a bill may pass the legislature on a particular date, as the Saskatchewan First act did on March 16, it is not the law of the land until it has been proclaimed.
While its short form title is "The Saskatchewan First Act" its full name implies the action it means to take. And that name is "An Act to Assert Saskatchewan's Exclusive Legislative Jurisdiction and to confirm the Autonomy of Saskatchewan."
The Saskatchewan First Act amends the Constitution of Saskatchewan to confirm Saskatchewan's autonomy and assert Saskatchewan's exclusive legislative jurisdiction under Section 92 (A) of the constitution of Canada over a number of areas, including:
* The exploration for non-renewable natural resources
* Regulation of fertilizer use in Saskatchewan, including application, production quantities and emissions.
* The development, conservation and management of non-renewable natural and forestry resources
* The operation of sites and facilities for the generation and production of electrical energy
The act has been criticized by First Nations groups, citing a lack of consultation and infringement of inherit treaty rights. The Federation of Saskatchewan Indigenous Nations has threatened blockades and legal action, as seen in this report by Global News on March 19. Chief Bobby Cameron even threatened that it would be "Like they did in the Oka crisis in the 90s."
There is absolutely no question that UNDRIP is yet another step in the globalist Liberal government agenda to institute a unitarian state in Canada. UNDRIP fundamentally changes the structure of Canadian federalism, without following the clearly set out requirements for Constitutional amendment. UNDRIP is a trojan horse by which the Federal Government plans to usurp Provincial sovereignty in the name of special human rights for indigenous peoples. UNDRIP is therefore a call to action for AB, SK and MB, to reject further incursion by the Liberal Government into Provincial Sovereignty. The Trudeau government has no regard for our Constitution or its history. This is the government which unilaterally changed our flag in 1968 to include a leaf that does not grow west of ON. This is a government which use the coronation of King Charles III as an excuse to remove all Christian symbols from our national coat of arms, replacing them with leaves and a snowflake. This is a government which just removed Canadian iconic Terry Fox from the pages of our passports, in favour of the Transgender Rainbow flag. This is the government which plans to abolish our monetary system in favour of a digital loonie/ Finally, this is a government which has as part of its 2025 election campaign, mandatory universal Covid-19 vaccinations-which are the number one cause of death in Alberta.
In short, the very best advertisement for Alberta independence is the demonic totalitarian government in Ottawa. UNDRIP is but one of the heads on this hydra, which must be slain at all events.