jump to content
In the Network: Media Co-op Dominion   Locals: HalifaxTorontoVancouverMontreal

The Need for Legal Empowerment

January 26, 2010

The Need for Legal Empowerment

The Need for Increased Legal Empowerment

We must avoid the trap of interpreting disadvantaged or poor strictly from a material paradigm.


Paula LaPierre

Own your media. Support the Dominion. Join the Media Co-op today.


The Haudenosaunee assertions that they cannot surrender sovereignty is the same with all genuine national sovereignty. A nation must protect, preserve and perfect itself, and it the responsibility of other nations to assist.

"Colonial rule" has absolutely no legal basis. The only justification that the British Crown can claim would be that of protectorate, which would be of temporary nature.

However, if a nation should forget its own history and lose its identity, and then by peaceful agreement comply with a protectorate Sovereign then adverse possession will have been acquired by the protectorate; which of course is the process being attempted.

What is unfortunate is that without adequate and appropriate education of the facts most people in Canada, not being able to exercise free, prior and informed consent,are not aware of the magnitude of the situation and the inherent potential for serious violations of human rights within an unmitigated globalization arena if the situation is not effectively remedied.

But without the much needed institutional changes at the UN acceptance into the "club" as it currently exists would just equate another layer of entrapment.

What is most needed is the appropriate institutional development, reflective of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the development of clear, concise, repeatable procedures for legitimately identifying and re-establishing the Indigenous Peoples and their institutions in contemporary forms that would actually strengthen the human rights protections of all the people dependent on those territories, in ways that are complimentary and cooperative, but without compromising responsible land title systems.

advancing a sovereign nation's status & clarity

A process of adverse possession leading to possession --of indigenous territories?--by a foreign nation advancing colonial interests seems like another way of describing-explaining a process of genocide.

It isn't clear which [necessary] institutional changes to the UN you refer to to reason that joining that 'club', which would be meaning to be a recognized sovereign nation within that 'body~club~' would equal another layer of entrapment?

Am curious whether the panel in NY had the participation of the American Indian Law Alliance(AILA), an important group of indigenous~'Native American' lawyers, who work in official consultative status with ECOSOC and are an excellent organization on the legal knowledge base concerned with this issue, and also directly involved with the drafting process of UNDRIP. Possibly a good connection to gain pertinent and perhaps innovative legal perspectives from?
Also, it might be worth considering inviting the UN Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Peoples Issues to meet with you so that that UN officer can bring a specific report before the UN?

Also, still more on the theme of advancing lawful procedures to address the Crown conflict of claimed jurisdictional interests within the UN forum, going back to another Haudenosaunee example I am sure you will be familiar with, that of Deskahe having (attempted to have)brought the case of the Six Nations before the UN in Geneva, nearly one century ago. The UN process required, and I'm supposing that it therefore still would, that for this to happen you must have the sponsorship of three (3) UN members. Deskaheh had the sponsorship of Japan & I think Turkey and one other UN member but what happened is that Britain, through diplomatic channels, was able to foil his plan to make his case-complaint before the main assembly, to have an official audience, which was his intent in going there. This, the Algonquin nation's situation, is probably another appropriate moment in history to do this! Yes, this would be very powerful. Japan, and along with the ASEAN group of nations' joint engagements to advance UNDRIP throughout their region of the world, would be an impartial body to investigate for this purpose.

Having re-read your introductory open letter again, I do have a sense from the statements presented as questions of there being some awkwardness when asserting sovereignty on an equal nation to nation basis, as differentiated from asserting legal claims within a Canadian legal context, important because the two positions may not be legally reconcilable, depending on how definitive the Algonquin nation is about the 'degree' of sovereignty you believe to be rightfully yours to uphold as law.

Starting point legal obligations

Would like to comment on the foundational terms of asserting sovereignty, in that in relation to your nation the Crown has zero sovereign jurisdiction anywhere within Algonquin territories, collectively & inclusively, that is the legal fact that they have been trying to 'assert' their way around since they've been coming here.
With this knowledge, which is of irrefutable legal certainty in interpretations of international law I can assure you, it follows that for the UN to be able to claim obeisance to its internationally agreed instruments for recognizing members (in the UN 'club', as one could describe it, perhaps?) it must be ready, willing and able and to demonstrate an open door policy of inviting your nation as a full standing =voting member, while, as one examines the UN's stated concerns regarding the societal ill-effects of colonialism, the Crown, in relation to your nation's case being in the guise of 'Canada' should have been shown the club door already.

That is to clearly frame the legal context, as it actually is in practice.

Now, more significantly from my perspective is the societal legal framework which indigenous nations hold-possess-retain-assert by our inherent collective obligations within the sovereign domain of our laws, as our indigenous governing laws, to maintain the health & social well being of our distinct societies in perpetuity-- yes this may differ amongst different indigenous nations and I must clarify that what I am about to lay out has to do with the laws inherited by all Haudenosaunee and so therefore may be somewhat or even quite different for your nations?-- That we can never surrender any of our legal sovereignty unto any other entity, it is clearly against our law, as we understand our obligations both spiritually as well as materially to honor our ancestors and to ensure the inheritance which we owe to OUR future generations. This makes it fully-absolutely and in every conceivable way a clear impossibility that 'colonial rule' has ever or ever could have any legal validity within our respective territories.