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Our Network connects community members, scholars, researchers, lawyers, Indigenous rights and consultation and consent from all over the world. We have asked members to provide their opinions and insights in current issues.

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Exercising Indigenous Rights Increases Risk of Criminalization, Incarceration, and Death

There is much to celebrate since the 2007 signing of the Declaration of the rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP)1. The internationalization of Indigenous rights has certainly not been without consequence. The signing of the Declaration, the development of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights2, and an increasing corporate attention to the issues and practice of Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) have confirmed the minimum standards of consultation and consent for proposed development on Indigenous lands. Indigenous communities have gained visibility and political profile both within Nation States and internationally. Indigenous communities globally are increasing their communication and collaboration with one another. The internationalization of Indigenous rights has contributed to increased Indigenous efforts to exercise rights to consultation and to decision making power regarding access to and development of Indigenous lands and resources. To what end? Corporate and state responses have not reflected the hopes of the Declaration. In 2017, 10 years after the signing of the Declaration, there is documented evidence of increased criminalization of, violence against, and deaths of Indigenous leaders, activists and allies. It was reported that in 2016, 281 people were killed while defending Indigenous lands and environmental rights in relation to ...

The Promise of Indigenous Youth

This article was originally created in October 2012 in the blog series "The Rise of the Fourth World" published by the Centre for Governance Innovation. Access the original post. Canadian social policies directed towards Aboriginal (First Nation, Metis and Inuit) populations have largely been developed outside of a historical, cultural framework, providing a long standing demonstration of the role of policy as a centralized mechanism of social control. Little attention has been given to the specific cultures of diverse Aboriginal communities in the design and administration of policies which are administered across Canada. Aboriginal peoples have, historically, been collectively addressed in federal policies as “the Indian Problem,” rather than recognized and addressed, as they expected, as sovereign peoples with distinct cultures. Indigenous peoples endured formidable hardships. Their populations were decimated by the introduction of old world diseases such as small pox, typhus and influenza. The demographically weakened and political marginalized Canadian Aboriginal population was further affected by national social policy. The government introduced a series of political and administrative measures designed to undercut Indigenous cultural survival, including the criminalization of spiritual and cultural practices, forced re-location, the implementation of assimilation policies which interfered with local governance, and punitive forms of ...