#IndigenousAffairs; #FirstNation; #relocationofKashechewanFirstNation
Toronto, May 9 (Canadian-Media): Greg Rickford, Minister of Indigenous Affairs issued the following statement today, according to media reports.
Greg Rickford. Image credit: Facebook page
"The Ontario Government is committed to do everything in its authority to support the relocation of Kashechewan First Nation.
Today, Kashechewan, Ontario and the federal government signed an agreement that commits the parties to work together to develop a community planning and development process that includes necessary steps to relocate the community.
Kashechewan faces a number of challenges that affect the well-being and safety of community members, including repeated, costly, evacuations in response to annual flooding and infrastructure issues. Ontario supports the efforts of the community and the federal government to secure a new location for the community where families can build their futures together and practice their traditions.
While the federal government has ultimate responsibility for the relocation, we are proud to play an important role and I was pleased to tell Chief Friday and the federal government that we are committed to fast tracking the provincial actions necessary to support relocation. I have had incredible opportunities to work in and with First Nation communities, as a nurse, lawyer and former federal cabinet Minister, and I am pleased that we have now taken this important step forward to improve the long-term health and sustainability of the community.
Ontario will continue to ensure the safety of community members by working with community leaders and host communities to safely evacuate the people of Kashechewan during flood season."
UN rights experts call on Philippines Government to halt ‘unacceptable attacks’ on Victoria Tauli-Corpuz
#UnitedNations; #HumanRights; #indigenouspeoples; #independentrightsexperts, #NewPeople’sArmy; #UNGenderFocus;
United Nations, May 1 (Canadian-Media/UN): False claims levelled at the UN expert on the rights of indigenous peoples by her own Government in the Philippines, “are without grounding in fact or law” and must cease immediately, said a statement issued by a group of her fellow experts today, United Nations (UN) reports said.
Image Credit: UN Photo/Manuel Elias: Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, at a press briefing on indigenous peoples' collective rights to lands, territories and natural resources on 16 April 2018, at UN Headquarters in New York.
In a joint statement, three UN Special Rapporteurs, or independent rights experts, said that “new accusations” against fellow rapporteur, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, had been made by officials in the Government of President Rodrigo Duterte, “clearly in retaliation for her invaluable work defending the human rights of indigenous people worldwide”.
Government officials have accused Ms. Corpuz of being an affiliate of the Communist Party in the southeast Asian island archipelago, and it’s alleged “terrorist activities” there. On 13 March, the Deputy Chief of Staff for Civil-Military Operations, Brigadier General Antonio Parlade, alleged at a news conference in the capital Manila, that the UN itself had been “infiltrated by the Communist Party of the Philippines through Ms. Tauli-Corpuz", said the experts’ statement.
This was despite the decision of a court in Manila, dated 27 July last year, which in effect ordered the indigenous rights expert’s name be removed from a petition filed by the Department of Justice, which was then seeking to declare the Communist Party a terrorist organization.
Tauli-Corpuz, has been repeatedly targeted by the authorities, and accused of terrorism and alleged membership of the so-called New People’s Army. Last year, President Duterte’s spokesperson publicly accused the Rapporteur of seeking to embarrass the administration, according to the statement.
“The criminalising discourse used by Philippine public officials undermines the value of the vital work of human rights defenders, denigrates them in the eyes of the public and may put them at risk of threats, violence or other forms of harassment,” said the experts.
“We call on the Philippine Government to immediately stop these unacceptable attacks on the human rights work of Ms. Tauli-Corpuz, and to ensure her physical safety.”
The three experts speaking out on her behalf are Michel Forst, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders; David Kaye, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection the right to freedom of opinion and expression, and Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism.
In the fulfilment of her mandate, Ms. Tauli-Corpuz conducts fact-finding missions and reports on the human rights situation in specific countries, addresses cases of alleged violations of the rights of indigenous peoples through communications with Governments and others, promotes good practices and conducts thematic studies on topics of special importance to the promotion and protection of the rights of indigenous peoples.
She is an indigenous leader from the Kankana-ey Igorot people of the Cordillera Region in the Philippines. As an indigenous activist, she has worked for over three decades on building movements among indigenous peoples and as an advocate for women's rights, and is a former Chair of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.
Last year, UN News spoke to her about her life and work, for our podcast series, UN Gender Focus: