Art Manuel: The Reconciliation Manifesto, 2007
Truth must come before reconciliation
Loss of our land that has been the precise cause of our impoverishment
Systemic impoverishment is used as a weapon by Canada to keep us too poor and weak to fight back. It is used to bribe and co-opt Indigenous leadership into becoming neo-colonial partners to treat the symptoms of poverty on the Indian reserve without addressing the root cause of the problem, which is the dispossession
The US administration of Barak Obama agreed, finally, to adhere to the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) principles in 2010, UNDRIP calls for the cessation of violence against Indigenous peoples and
It demands our protection from “any action which has the aim or effect of dispossessing us of our lands, territories or resources.” It says states must provide restitution “with respect to their cultural, intellectual, religious and spiritual property taken without their free, prior and informed consent or in violation of their laws, traditions and customs.” UNDRIP clearly states that “Indigenous peoples have the right to establish and control their educational systems and institutions. In Article 3, UNDRIP states: “Indigenous peoples have the right to self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.”
UNDRIP is unequivocal on the land question: “Indigenous peoples have the right to the lands, territories and resources which they have traditionally owned, occupied or otherwise used or acquired” and “Indigenous peoples have the right to own, use, develop and control the lands, territories and resources that they possess by reason of traditional ownership or other traditional occupation or use.” It also states, “Indigenous peoples have the right to the conservation and protection of the environment and the productive capacity of their lands or territories and resources.”
“free, prior and informed consent” what development or resource extraction could and could not take place there.
This is the gradual dawning of awareness among ordinary Canadians that things are not right and things have to change, that there may be important projects in protecting the land and fixing Canada to make it a land of justice for … (Indigenous peoples and for all)
Many Canadians want to see reconciliation between the settlers and Indigenous peoples. But that cannot be forced. Reconciliation has to pass first through truth. And we still have not had enough of that from this government or country.