Thursday, July 15, 2021

Flora.ca down for maintenance

 I have been running pages for my consulting business on the flora.ca domain for many years.  The domain was allocated to separate from the volunteer work I was doing using the flora.org domain.

The pages are almost a decade out of date, as I've been employed elsewhere and not running the consulting business.  My plan is to use that domain for a new blog that will merge content from my other blogs in one place.

In the meantime, people will be redirected here.



Closing digital-copyright.ca

The digital-copyright.ca domain was set up for a specific campaign that started in the summer of 2001 as the Canada DMCA Opponents forum.

The last post was in 2015 when that election was called, and all the electoral district boundaries would be changing.

While I won't be publishing the archive any more, all the pages are on Archive.org's WayBack Machine.

Friday, July 2, 2021

What Bill C-10 is really about.

The letter to the editor I sent to the Hill times was too long, so Kate Malloy (Editor) did her magic and published:

 

The following is the unedited version with hyperlinks added.




I've been active in related areas of policy since the 1990's, so have watched the damage caused by the Department of Canadian Heritage (created in 1993 and given royal assent in 1995). This is a department whose Minister was granted jurisdiction over "Canadian identity and values, cultural development, heritage and areas of natural or historical significance to the nation" (from 4(1) of An Act to establish the Department of Canadian Heritage).


The departmental mandate includes Official Colonial Languages. Given what I have finally learned since the start of 2020 about what the Governments of Canada continue to do to the Indigenous peoples of this homeland, this mandate has a very different meaning for me than it did previously.



Two areas of technology law where that mandate is in conflict are Copyright and Broadcasting, but these were incorrectly included in 4(2) of the Act. These are areas of policy that should always have been the jurisdiction of the department currently called Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED), as transferred from the previous Department of Communications.

Sheila Copps set the tone as the first Minister of Canadian Heritage from 1996 through 2003. I met (and debated with her) in the context of Copyright law several times.


Ms. Copps saw intermediaries, such as broadcasters and collective societies, as proxies for creators. When discussing the 1996 WIPO treaties, and technological protection measures, she saw technology companies as one of those proxies. She believed that what was good for Apple, Amazon, Sony, Microsoft and Google would somehow be good for Canadian creators. It shouldn't be lost that the same Heritage thinkers claim to be so concerned with "Big Tech" given it was their flawed thinking which helped create that problem in the first place.

Ms. Copps and her Department of Canadian Heritage helped create a situation between Canadian creators and technology intermediaries that is not unlike Stockholm syndrome.

When the government of the day wouldn't provide an adequate budget for stable arts funding, Ms. Copps would create unaccountable and corrupt cross-subsidy schemes through the CRTC (Cable Production Fund, Canadian Television Fund, Canadian New Media Fund, Canadian Media Fund) and Copyright Board (Private Copying Levy, Access Copyright educational copying, and other compulsory or near-compulsory cross-subsidy schemes).

As technology changes, the department pushes to shift these cross-subsidy schemes into new sectors rather than finally recognizing the schemes were wrong from the beginning.


Once the tone was set, every Heritage minister since, Conservative or Liberal, and every Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage (CHPC), has followed her lead.

When I was very active in copyright with what a decade later was passed in 2012 as Bill C-11, I would closely follow what was said from MPs from the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology (INDU) committee and those from the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage (CHPC). It was my observation, including from meeting MPs in person, that the difference in views between an MP on INDU vs CHPC was far greater than the difference in views between a Conservative and NDP MP in the same committee.

During the 2019 review of the Copyright Act, INDU was forced to put out a press release reprimanding the CHPC for what for many people was yet another report from CHPC which read as if it were written by corporate lobbyists rather than a committee pretending to be concerned with the public interest.



The same is regularly said of the CRTC, which largely acts as a lobbyist for specific corporations rather than regulating in the public interest.


So, what is Bill C-10 really about?


In clause 1 it redefines "broadcasting" to include activities not related to broadcasting in order to yank jurisdiction away from ISED (INDU committee, and agencies such as the competition bureau, privacy commissioner, etc) toward Heritage and the CRTC.

It really is that simple. There is further discussion of cross-subsidy and other schemes, and some pennies to Indigenous languages and content to distract from the Heritage department's primary colonial mandate, but the core of the bill is a corrupt power grab between government departments and agencies.

While the Internet needs to be regulated, that regulation must be via a department and ministry, studied by a parliamentary committee, and managed by regulators that are looking at these issues from a lens that is the opposite of what Heritage and CRTC will offer.

  • We need to remove "Broadcasting" and "Copyright" from the Department of Canadian Heritage, and move those areas of policy to ISED where they always should have been. Only then should the policy in Bill C-10 be revisited with the appropriate lens.
  • We need to properly fund and empower the Competition Bureau, Privacy Commissioner, Consumer Affairs, and related agencies to handle a growing number of Internet issues.
  • We need to complete the digital transition, not continue to regulate digital technology as if it were still analog. (See letter from March 1, 2021, copied below)
  • We (including fellow creators) need more choice and competition in content distribution technologies, not less via central control.
  • We need to disallow content distribution intermediaries from controlling technology which they don't own, such as was allowed/enforced in "Copyright" under "technological protection measures".
  • We need creators to have more control over their own content distribution to maximize the benefits for themselves, rather than continuing to allow intermediaries to extract maximum benefits off the backs of creators.
  • We need to empower audiences to make their own choices of what creativity they access. While we need to regulate situations where the sender is the content programmer (as was the case with analog-era broadcasting), we should never be regulating scenarios such as on-demand content libraries where it is the audience doing their own programming. (Discoverability is a Competition policy issue, not a Cultural policy issue)
  • We must end unaccountable cross-subsidy schemes, especially never extracting money from services deemed essential during the pandemic to sectors which were not.



Russell McOrmond
Ottawa, Ont.
(The letter-writer is an internet consultant.)



Feds should complete digital transition as part of its response to COVID

March 1, 2021


Re: “Bell Canada’s cuts were a shoddy way to treat people,” (The Hill Times, Feb. 10, by Andrew Caddell). I would like to point policy-makers to my May 2020 submission to the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology. In it, I suggested that the government complete the digital transition as part of its response to COVID.

The summary is that the pandemic demonstrated that communications infrastructure is an essential service. While having vertical integration was required by analog technology given you couldn’t put both telephone and television signals on the same wires, this is no longer the case with digital technology.

With digital technology the obvious way to manage the physical layer within municipalities is as a utility, where municipalities own and manage the infrastructure as they do with all other infrastructure. A competitive private sector can then offer services “over the top,” as happens with other infrastructure including roads. With an actual digital transition, we no longer need to have an exception for this communications utility.

While Bell Canada was necessary when we needed a dedicated analog telephone system, this time is long past. Any laws granting analog-era, private-sector privileges to right-of-way or wireless spectrum, including the Bell Canada Act, should be phased out as part of completing the digital transition.


Russell McOrmond
Ottawa, Ont.
(The letter-writer is an internet consultant.)

Monday, June 21, 2021

Has the Green Party of Canada abandoned the Global Greens Values? And why Zionism keeps cropping up.

A cartoon at the top of a National Post article explains quite well what has gone wrong with the Green Party of Canada, but for the opposite reasons than the journalists are suggesting.

I was an active campaigner for the Global Greens movement within Ontario and Canada in the 1990's, hosting websites, and doing pretty much everything short of putting my name on the ballot. I've lived in Ottawa since 1987, and felt it inappropriate to parachute elsewhere or put my name forward as a uni-lingual anglophone. Several of my bilingual friends have had their name on the ballot.

In a culture that valued such things I might be considered a community elder and knowledge keeper of the movement from that period. Given we don't live in such a culture, I'm being told by Annamie Paul supporters that I'm just an "angry white man".






If you look at the Global Greens Values, it includes Participatory Democracy. This means that the Green Party Leader is supposed to act exactly as described in the cartoon: to be a spokesperson for the democratic participants and not be promoting her personal views above others.

Until recently the Green Party had 3 elected MPs, who need to be understood as the democratic caucus that directs any bureaucrat operating outside of parliament. This includes Annamie Paul who was only "elected" by political tourists who voted in a contest external to parliament.  She is not an elected parliamentarian, and thus her opinions on policy don't matter any more than any other unelected member of the party.

Her job is to support caucus members, never suggest a gag order, and never to allow her personal views to conflict with democratically established party policy and especially never conflict with elected caucus members.

The fact that Annamie Paul didn't do her job correctly forced one of those caucus members to cross the floor. Floor crossing is exactly how you hold otherwise unaccountable parties to account, which is the direction that accountability should work. Party bureaucracies should NEVER have the ability to hold caucus members to account.

In a healthy democracy political parties, if they exist at all, exist at the pleasure of caucus members and not the other way around.



I was technically a Green Party of Canada member during the last "leadership race", and was sent a ballot. Since none of the caucus members put their name forward I didn't vote.  None of the people I consider to be legitimate possibilities to be leader in a participatory democracy were on that ballot.

Gender, race and religion.


For those who want to claim this dispute is about gender, race or religion I want to point out some important details.

  • Jenica Atwin
    • Is a woman
    • Stepfather is Ron Tremblay, the Wolastoqewi Grand Chief. (see some language classes).
    • Married to Oromocto First Nation band councillor Chris Atwin and has two sons.
    • Is technically not Indigenous to this continent, but is as close as a person without Indigenous ancestry can currently get. If Canada wasn't blocking self-determination of Indigenous nations, who knows what would have been possible.
    • Her views on what is happening in Palestine is consistent with the majority of those Indigenous to this continent.
  •  Annamie Paul
    • Also a woman
    • Is visibly BIPOC
    • Converted to Judaism in 2000, the religion of her husband and also two children. Judaism and other Abrahamic/Semitic religions (Christianity, Islam, and other factions) are indigenous to Palestine, but not to this continent.
    • Her views on what is happening in Palestine is consistent with the majority of European colonizers on this continent.


What is Democracy, participatory or otherwise



If people want to learn about Participatory Democracy, and democracy in general, Europe and its colonies are not the best source.

The Haudenosaunee Confederacy has been a participatory democracy for possibly a thousand years, while Britain and Canada have been eligible to be considered less advanced hierarchical (derived from feudalism) representative democracies for less than 100. Britain didn't become what we would recognize as a democracy until 1928. Canada didn't become eligible to be considered a democracy until the UK passed the "Canada Act" in 1982. Prior to the coming into force of that Act, the UK parliament had more influence over the laws of Canada than anyone on this side of the Atlantic.


Typical of anti-democratic Canada, the government sent in the RCMP to depose the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council (spokespersons, not European-style feudal lords/dictators) in 1924. Canada unilaterally installed an Indian Act Band Council bureaucracy which is responsible to the Canadian Crown and not citizens. Band councils are not responsible governments -- Colonial Canada opposes responsible governments.



If Canada supported democracy and human rights, as it claims in its widely distributed propaganda, it would restore proper relations with the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council and disband its imposed Band Council bureaucracy. Canada would honour the Haldimand Tract Moratorium, and stop arresting land title holders for protecting their land, and even arresting journalists for reporting on Canada's unlawful activities.

Zionism

 

There is a long history behind this. While Zionism is generally considered to have been founded in 1897, it is what happened a few decades later that needs to be understood.

When the Christians of Europe and its colonies wanted to get rid of Jewish people in the 1930's and 1940's, a few different strategies emerged.  The German solution became known as the Holocaust, and the British solution became aggressive Christian support for Zionism (Let Jewish people live, just not here).


For further context:


As of this moment indicates:

  • 2,173,180,000 Christians (31% of world population), of which 50% are Catholic, 37% Protestant, 12% Orthodox, and 1% other.
  • 1,598,510,000 Muslims (23%), of which 87-90% are Sunnis, 10-13% Shia.
  • 1,126,500,000 No Religion affiliation (16%): atheists, agnostics and people who do not identify with any particular religion. One-in-five people (20%) in the United States are religiously unaffiliated.

Islam, like Christianity, are Abrahamic/Semitic religious splinter groups, which together with Judaism (which due to less colonialism and conversion, only represents 0.2%) represents nearly 60% of the global population. Abrahamics splinter themselves further into Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, Sunnis, Shia , etc, etc.


The political trick that is regularly used is that in a region where one of these splinter groups is dominant, others will be oppressed by that dominant Abrahamic group. Given the impact globally of colonialism and conversion (regularly forced), focusing on uplifting Abrahamic religions oppressed by other Abrahamic religions only gives more power for Abrahamic religions to maintain their status as oppressors.

People who want to know where the opposition to LGBTQ communities, misogyny, and human superiority (anthropocentrism, at the heart of global climate change and many other critical global problems) comes from should take a close look at the book of Genesis. Contrary to those who are playing the Abrahamic branch-name-game, these problems are in all Abrahamic religions and not only the one that in any region is being claimed to be the "bad branch" while trying to uplift other Abrahamic branches.


Hindus represent the 4'th largest grouping. Hindu is a name that was given to Indigenous peoples of India when foreign religious colonizers came to the subcontinent. The occupation by the Islamic Mughal Empire was followed by an occupation by the Christian British Empire.

There are several other Indigenous religions of India (Sometimes called Dharmic religions) including Hinduism, Buddhism, Janism and Sikhism. As with Turtle Island (what the peoples near where I live call this continent), Abrahamic religions are the religions of the colonizers and oppressors.


Our direction should be decolonization if we want to protect the oppressed from the oppressors. The Standard Abrahamic trick of "look, over there, an Abrahamic religious group being oppressed", never mentioning that it is nearly always by another Abrahamic faction or by a group trying to protect themselves from Abrahamic oppression, only furthers their goal of colonization.


What Christians did to Jewish people in Europe in the 1940's should have been followed by aggressive removal of the political power of Christianity and other Abrahamic religions in Europe and their colonies. That is not remotely what happened, and the problems continue. The Christians yet again created a "not me" title to point to, and continued with their activities. Genocide against Indigenous peoples is ongoing on Turtle Island, only reduced to a rate that won't get noticed in the same way it was in the 1940's in Europe.



Palestine was under British Christian occupation, so along with other members of the British Empire that had control of the newly formed United Nations they partitioned Palestine as part of the Christian Zionist "solution" to what European Christians considered "the Jewish Problem".



Britain partitioned both Palestine and India in 1947, and the fallout of those partitions are ongoing long after the British "officially" left.

It is hard to estimate how many people died due to India's partition, but 200,000 to 2 million deaths 10 to 20 million displaced is one set of estimates. The British murdered more directly during the occupations. Add the between 5 and 6 million Jews that European Christians murdered, and how many non-Christians were murdered on this continent -- but Christian Colonial Canada doesn't talk about any of these atrocities in these terms and always tries to point elsewhere.






The grassroots Green Party membership position on what European Christians have caused in Palestine is the more globally valid position.

It is not, however, compatible with the views of colonial British North America. It is something which the Green Party should learn to avoid discussing, as any substantive conversation about Zionism in Canada will have a huge and well funded backlash.

 

 

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Debate at Senate, and why not amend Bill C-15 to give definition to FPIC?

I have been watching the debates on C-15 in the House of Commons and the Senate.

Click "show sittings" on the different stages of the bill to read transcripts or watch video.  Please ask if you have never used this site, and have questions.

Some of the most interesting discussions are happening at the Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples.

Study dates so far (click on webcast image to watch video):

 

Most of the witnesses have been Indigenous.  They represent a wide variety of Indigenous perspectives from coast to coast, and into the north.

Most want the bill passed quickly so this policy won't be delayed again as happened when the bill had the C-262 number. This includes some witnesses that submitted amendments to the House of Commons that were not included.

Some witnesses have amendments that are a condition for their support, and a few want the entire process scrapped and start over.

Listening closely to the testimony, the primary division is what I've observed over the last few months of debate on social media.

  • Those who believe that C-15 is a government initiative, oppose it because the government is untrustworthy.
  • Those who believe this is an Indigenous initiative exerting pressure on Canada, support it because the government is untrustworthy.

 

I would have to listen to the many hours of testimony again, but I don't remember a single Indigenous person offer an opinion that suggested they trusted the government of Canada. This is regardless of which political party is in power, as this isn't a recent or a partisan issue.

I think it is important for fellow settlers to watch these videos, and listen closely to learn a more honest version of Canada.

See also: Who is, and isn't, behind UNDRIP and Bill C-15 in "Canada".



There is one common question/statement made by settler special interests I want to address.

Why not amend C-15 to give definition to FPIC?


The rhetoric around this question is ...ummm... interesting.

Some in the House of Commons and Senate will talk about the "mixed messages" around the Coastal GasLink pipeline, and how most "elected" chiefs supported it while "hereditary" chiefs did not.  They are trying to imply that democracies wanted it, but scofflaws were opposed.



All the bills I've seen to start the process to change laws to conform to UNDRIP include a verbatim copy of the declaration as passed on 13 September 2007  (Example from the version of the bill tabled in 2008 by Tia Keeper).


UNDRIP articles include:


Article 3
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.
Article 4
Indigenous peoples, in exercising their right to self-determination, have the right to autonomy or self-government in matters relating to their internal and local affairs, as well as ways and means for financing their autonomous functions.
Article 5
Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain and strengthen their distinct political, legal, economic, social and cultural institutions, while retaining their right to participate fully, if they so choose, in the political, economic, social and cultural life of the State.
Article 6
Every indigenous individual has the right to a nationality.





The so-called "elected" band council system was created by colonial Canada as a deliberate way to disrupt existing Indigenous responsible governments.  Band councils are not examples of responsible governments, and are bureaucracies responsible to the Canadian crown.  The notion that just because there is an "election" that the body must be democratic is false.


I regularly write about how Canada sent in the RCMP to depose the centuries old democratic Haudenosaunee Confederacy, and impose a "band council" that is only responsible to the Canadian Crown.

See also:


The question of who represents Indigenous peoples, and thus who can give consent, was disrupted by Canada.

While there are examples such as the Haudenosaunee Confederacy where the centuries old participatory democracy remains intact, and can take over from the "band council" once Canada properly recognizes it, this is not the case in other circumstances.  Colonialism and ongoing genocide has a huge impact on governance systems, and there are cases where all that remains is the "elected" band council.



The idea that Canada in consultation with Indigenous peoples can or should define FPIC at this point is to ignore (and seek to benefit from) the damage that Canada continues to do.

If the complexity of consent causes some business projects to be denied, then that isn't a bad thing.  That might cause industry to recognize an urgency and also push Canada to finally adequately resource the work required to move forward on the above UNDRIP articles.

It is the Canadian government that created these problems, and it is the Canadian government that needs to fix them.  If anyone has any problems with the uncertainty, please apply pressure against the Canadian government to fix their mess.





Some settlers (British loyalists, or something else) have even asked whether one chief along a pipeline saying "no" is a "veto" against the interests of all the other chiefs?

Switzerland and Austria are landlocked countries in Europe.  Nobody would ask if Switzerland wanted to put in a pipeline whether Germany or Italy had a "veto" in not letting Switzerland put a pipeline in another country.

Built into this question is their belief in the supremacy of the British created colonial governments of Canada, and the idea that these governments should be able to "veto" anyone else's views and impose their own.


I for one am not a British loyalist, and do not presume the supremacy of any of the British created colonial governments.  Canada should not have a "veto" when walking into negotiations with other nations they have treaties with.  This is especially true of places like BC and Quebec where Canada has been so disrespectful of human rights they didn't bother with a treaty.

Canada should never believe they don't need to get consent, and can just impose their will (with the barrel of a gun) if they don't always get their way.

In one case someone actually said out loud that Canada should impose restrictions on the structure of the self-governments that Indigenous nations are allowed to create for themselves.

Yes, that is something else.


Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Why I don't believe Alberta is bullied by extractive industries such as Big Oil

Over the years I have read many articles discussing how people believe the province of Alberta has a cycle of abuse with Big Oil.


Until recently I agreed with this sentiment, that Alberta is the victim of an abusive relationship with extractive industries such as Big Oil.

Since my anti-racism training lead me to a different understanding of Canada, and a more unbiased understanding of its history, I now have a very different perspective.


Canada was created unilaterally by the passage in the British Parliament of the British North America Act 1867 to effectively be a corporate subsidiary of Britain, to be part of the British Empire, and to provide cheap resources to the empire (affirmative action for Whites and all that). It was never created to be a democracy, or to think independently.  It retains pretty much all of the British systems which were unilaterally imposed on this homeland.


The British Parliament passed many laws called the "British North America Act" between 1867 and 1964 (only 4 years before I was born).  Up until the passage of the Canada Act 1982, British law was automatically Canadian law, and the British Parliament could pass any laws it wanted to enforce in Canada. It was an Act of the British parliament in 1949 which added the Orwellian doublespeak titled "New Found Land" to "Canada". (George Orwell's 1984 was published in 1949).




Alberta was unilaterally created in 1905 by the Alberta Act out of a subset of what the British called the Northwest Territories in order to better administrate colonial expansion (meaning, free land, free resource extraction, affirmative action for whites, etc). It was created by the British corporate subsidiary, not by its inhabitants. Canada did not "buy" Rupert's Land, which Alberta was carved out of, from the Hudson's Bay Company.  The Hudson's bay company only owned an exclusive patent from the British Crown to do business in a region, and didn't own land which they could sell.

see Territorial Evolution, as well as Maps: 1667-1999


This article on farming in the Prairies gives a hint to what has been happening since the unilateral creation of Alberta.

Undermined at every turn: the lie of the failed native farm on the Prairies.


Why believe that it is the oil and gas industry that are bullying "Alberta", when "Alberta" was created as a corporate subsidiary to do what it is doing?

Understood in this context, Alberta was created as a type of permanent foreign worker program, which is quite different than the more recent temporary foreign worker programs.  This workforce was desired in part to replace the existing inhabitants, but largely to create a loyal workforce for extractive industries.  Given the loyalty to British worldviews, laws, and extractive industries exhibited by a majority of the inhabitants in the prairies today, this program was obviously very successful.




People confusing Alberta with a government created by the inhabitants of the region which Alberta claims control over creates confusion as to who and what is really in control.
 

The core problem is that these corporate subsidiaries acting as "provinces" have existed for far too long, and it is time to fold them in a responsible manner (make them pay for the damage they have caused, and the debt they have accumulated) as they are replaced with domestic naturalized (meaning, Indigenous) governance.



From the article:

Industries pay royalties to places where they extract resources, but Alberta’s royalty rates are embarrassingly, laughably puny. On the world stage, no one else on the planet comes nearly as close to simply giving their resources away for free than Alberta does. That’s why Norway has amassed a sovereign wealth fund worth more than $200,000 USD for every single citizen from the sale of its oil reserves — exactly the sort of thing that comes in handy when a crisis like Covid comes along — while Alberta has sold 45% more oil than Norway did over the same time period and still managed to end up nearly $100 Billion in debt.

For the people of Turtle Island to have done what the people of Norway did, this region would need to have been governed by people naturalized to the nations and worldviews of this homeland. Ongoing colonialism doesn't allow that to happen.

As with many problems with "Canada" and its subsidiary governments, I strongly believe that LandBack is the only long-term solution.


Saturday, May 1, 2021

Who is, and isn't, behind UNDRIP and Bill C-15 in "Canada".

Many people have drawn conclusions based on the notion that the Canadian government is behind Bill C-15, and thus because the Canadian government has demonstrated itself untrustworthy over generated, the bill also can't be trusted.

Knowing who helped create UNDRIP and C-15 may then help move the next steps forward once this bill is finally passed into law.

Who isn't behind this policy?

Canada (including its provinces) has been an opponent of this policy from the beginning.  The formal aspects of UNDRIP started in 1982 when the Working Group on Indigenous Populations was established, and Canada has been an opponent for the entire 39 years since.

There are individual politicians (Members of Provincial Parliaments, Members of the Federal Parliament, Senators) who support, and they are largely but not exclusively Indigenous. The governments of Canada has been an opponent regardless of which party happens to have formed a government.

The Conservative Governments and party spokespersons are more overtly opposed, using phrases suggesting UNDRIP is merely an "aspirational document" and not part of international human rights norms.

The Liberal Governments and party spokespersons will claim publicly to be supportive, but will do whatever it can do to confuse and delay work towards updating Canadian laws to come into compliance with these finally recognized human rights.

The NDP provincial governments and party spokespersons will also claim publicly to be supportive, but even once similar bills to C-15 are passed provincially as happened in British Columbia, they will actively seek ways to get around the policy.


The governments of Canada do not want to move this policy forward, but are receiving considerable international pressure to do so.  In the long run Canada has no choice, so the only tactic they really have is to delay for as long as possible.

Who is behind this policy?

As I wrote in my brief to the parliamentary committee studying the bill, this process can be seen as dating back to 1923 when Deskaheh, Chief of the Iroquois League, representing the Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy, left Canada to go on a mission to Geneva (Switzerland).

Many of those alive today who have been working for decades of their life on this policy have done interviews or participated in forums worthy of listening to. There are many other Indigenous people who have been actively working on this area of policy for decades.


Pam Palmater

Video created from her intervention as a witness in front of the Senate committee studying Bill C-15 on May 10th.


Truth and Reconciliation Commissioners Honourable Murray Sinclair, Dr. Marie Wilson, and Chief Wilton (Willie) Littlechild.

 
Event hosted by Faith in the Declaration on May 4'th, 2021



 

Professor Brenda Gunn and the Honourable Murray Sinclair

Interviewed as part of the Warrior Life Podcast (April 2021)




Kanienʼkehá꞉ka grassoots warrior and Onkwehón:we rights activist Ellen Gabriel

Interviewed as part of the Warrior Life Podcast (April 2021)




Romeo Saganash


Interviewed as part of the Warrior Life Podcast (January 2021)





Romeo Saganash, Brenda Gunn, and Grand Chief Littlechild


March 2021, Amnesty International town hall


 


 

Honourable Graydon Nicholas

Interviewed as part of the Warrior Life Podcast (Mar 2021)




Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond

Provided a great summary of Bill C-15 at the Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre's dialogue on implementing the UN Declaration through Bill C-15.


 
 
 

Leah Gazan

There are so many interviews, and she has her own YouTube Channel where she regularly discusses UNDRIP and C-15.




 
 
 
 
She spoke about her work in this area on an APTN interview in November 2019, before much of the current opposition emerged:
 
 


She also spoke on the One Dish One Mic radio show in February 2021. I highly recommend this weekly Indigenous talk radio show.



Why am I involved at all?


Part of White Privilege is the possibility of living in Canada and being entirely unaware of what this system is.  It is not that the settler-colonial systems of Canada give every white person a hand up, but that the systems aren't designed specifically to oppress what it declares "others" including BIPOC people generally and Indigenous peoples specifically.

I learned about UNDRIP as part of classes I took from the University of Alberta department of Native Studies in the fall of 2020 and spring of 2021. I continued to learn both from the people listed above, as well as closely listening to the Indigenous critiques. I have no sympathy for the settler critiques of UNDRIP I've heard, which amount to a desire to continue to violate human rights for profit.

In the Indigenous critiques I found justifiable critiques of the Governments of Canada, with the Canadian systems being dishonorable since the British created these systems to be part of the British Empire in 1867.

While reading the bill and the background I did not find evidence that this was policy that the Government of Canada wanted to pass. It is clearly the result of decades of international (including Indigenous nations) pressure against Canada.

I watched many presentations from opponents, and while I learned more and more why none of us should trust the systems of Canada, none of these presentations offered evidence to explain opposition to UNDRIP or C-15 as these aren't Canadian policies.


If anyone is curious, I wrote about how I analyse and why I support Bill C-15, the UNDRIP related bill.

 

Why don't I "stay in my lane"?


One thing opponents have been saying on social media to try to scare settlers into not advocating in support of UNDRIP is to suggest we should "stay in our lane" -- that this should only be a debate between Indigenous peoples.

I am not willing to do this for two primary reasons:

  • Since Bill C-15 was tabled, certain Indigenous opponents have been asking settlers to also oppose C-15.

    In some cases opposition has come in the form of accusing some of the Indigenous people above of being sellouts (or worse).

    Some of these Indigenous opponents are individuals and groups that supported the same policy when it had the earlier numbering of Bill C-262. Bills of the same basic design have been tabled multiple times since 2008, always blocked or delayed by the government of the day.

    I consider it my duty as a settler to ensure that fellow settlers don't incorrectly believe there is a pan-indigenous opposition on this issue, and to point them toward the Indigenous people who have been working for decades on this policy. Settlers rarely understand the diversity within and between Indigenous nations.

  • Since Bill C-15 regulates Canada, not indigenous peoples, this is my lane.

    While some opponents only want settlers to engage if they also oppose C-15, I hope everyone who is aware of all the work that has been done over the past nearly hundred years towards this policy will be engaged.

    I do not want Indigenous peoples to "stay in their lane".

    • Finally getting UNDRIP passed through the general assembly in 2007 was an important step, but not the destination.
    • Finally getting Bill C-15 style legislation passed into Canadian law after the delays of the last 13 years is an important step, but not the destination.
    • This is going to be a long process to amend Canadian law to become less and less an ongoing expression of White Supremacy. This may be the destination for some, but I personally hope this process will eventually lead towards decolonization.

      Misinformation about who is pushing for these changes will only delay this process, to the benefit of the systems of Canada, so it is incumbent upon all of us to learn as much as we can.