mercredi, février 20, 2008

The Respect of Human Rights of the First Nations

News From Cambodia N° 0815-E

Khemara Jati
Montreal, Quebec
February 20, 2008

We diffuse below an article on the problem of the respect for the Human Rights of the First Nation peoples. We wish that our fellow countrymen of Kampuchea Krom ask to be a part of Representatives of these Autochtonous peoples as First Nation of the Delta of Mekong. It is also necessary to notice that the name of this river is Cambodian Mé = river, Kong is an ethnic group who was a part of the Khmer empire.

Then we publish another article concerning the public declaration for forgiveness of the Australian Prime Minister for the First Nation peoples of Australia for the misdeeds practised against her for centuries. This broadcast ceremony shows the Australian Prime Minister asking for forgiveness, in knees, in front of representatives of the First Native peoples of Australia.

The ancestors of the Cambodians du Kampuchea Krom indeed were indeed the First Native peoples of this region. They have brought to the earth the first known civilization. The proof? Thanks to the indications provided by the Cambodians living in this region, Louis Malleret discovered the site of Oc Eo. Malleret wishes that in Kampuchea Krom, people must keep the Cambodian names of origin. Because these names give indications which leading onto possible historic sites.

In when similar ceremonies on behalf of the representatives of France and of Vietnam celebrates in front of the Representatives of the Cambodians of Kampuchea Krom?

Annexes :

The First Nations determined to implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

VANCOUVER , Feb. 19, 2008 /CNW Telbec/ - Today, the leaders of the First Nations meet in Vancouver on the occasion of a two-day symposium during which they will consult representatives of the United Nations to see how the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of First Nations can be implemented at Canada. The National Chief of the AFN Phil Fontaine said that the First Nations are determined to implement this declaration of the United Nations.

“We look forward to hearing international experts tell us how we can move forward with the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on Canada”, said National Chief Phil Fontaine. "We believe that the international community agrees on this point, that the United Nations Declaration will benefit First Nations of Canada and the world by setting minimum standards regarding to survival dignity and well-being of all peoples.”

“The United Nations Declaration is a valuable tool that can be used to create opportunities to renew and improve relations between the peoples and states of North America and the world,” said Grand Chief Edward John, Council who is a member of the political executive of the First Nations Summit and a member of the First Nations Leadership Council. “Forums and discussions of this kind can enable First Nations Canada of this valuable tool for the benefit of our people. They also allow us to decide how we can continue to put pressure on the Canada to follow the example of Australia and abandon its colonial policies towards a full implementation of the United Nations Declaration.”

The First Nations about using of mechanisms of Protection of Human Rights of the United Nations in order to promote the Declaration. Members of this group are:
- Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, President, United Nations Permanent Forum on the issues autochtones; - Connie Taracena, Minister Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Guatemala to the United Nations;
- Claire Charters, Senior conférence, Victoria University of Wellington ;
- Tonya Gonella Frichner, Representative for North America, Nations Permanent Forum; and
- Les Malezer, spokesman, National Aboriginal Alliance ofNational Aboriginal Alliance of Australia.

Only Canada, New Zealand, the United States and Australia were opposed to the adoption of the Declaration of the United Nations last fall. The Canada objected to the declaration after participating for over twenty years in its drafting. Since then, all opposition parties, Canada urge the federal government to support the Declaration. In the meantime, support for the Declaration was part of the electoral promises of the Labour Party of Australia, which formed the new government in the country.
The two-day symposium is open to all media. The agenda can be found on the website
The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada.

February 20, 2008
Legal experts question Canada’s arguments against the UN Declaration

(Vancouver, BC) Today, on the second day of the symposium Implementing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples a panel of international law experts will discuss Canada’s stance on the UN Declaration. “The Declaration and Canadian Law” panel begins at 9:15 a.m.
The panel will critique the federal government’s recent campaigns against the UN Declaration, in Canada and abroad, including arguments that: the Declaration does not address individual rights, threatens the rights of non-native citizens, and is inconsistent with Canada’s constitution. The panel is also expected to comment on how Canada’s actions regarding the Declaration have impacted its international reputation and relationships.

“We believe that Canadians are fair-minded people who care deeply about human rights and that they do not want their government to pick and choose when they will apply and respect human rights. Canada has made a commitment to uphold the highest human rights standards in international and domestic law. We remind Canadians that it is not too late for the federal government to reverse its opposition to the UN Declaration, as Australia has promised to do,” said National Chief Phil Fontaine. “We expect the legal panel will agree with other legal advisors and international experts by reaffirming that the UN Declaration is consistent with the rights guaranteed under section 35 of Canada’s constitution and all other domestic laws and international human rights laws."

Canada was actively involved in the drafting of the UN Declaration for 20 years, but in 2006, after the election of a new government, it suddenly changed its position and began actively opposing the historic document. The government’s opposition included a media campaign against the Declaration, lobbying other states to oppose the Declaration, and demanding amendments to provisions that Canada had previously helped draft.

“This week's symposium should be a signal to Canada that the adoption of the UN Declaration was not an ending but a new beginning. This gathering is an example of the work underway by indigenous peoples to ensure that the UN Declaration is recognized and implemented as the minimum standards for the survival, dignity and well being of the Indigenous peoples of the world”, said Grand Chief Edward John of the First Nations Summit and First Nations Leadership Council. “Canada's opposition to the UN Declaration has proven to be nothing less than an international disgrace. In fact, Amnesty International recently commented that Canada's position as a global human rights champion may be slipping due to its opposition to the human rights of Indigenous peoples. It is time for Canada to recognize its error and prove its concern for human rights by supporting the UN Declaration.”

The Declaration was adopted by the United Nations in September, 2007 despite opposition from Canada. Since then all opposition parties in Canada have urged the federal government to change its position and support the Declaration. The symposium Implementing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is a chance for First Nations leaders to learn how they can move ahead on implementing the Declaration in Canada.

The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples addresses both individual and collective rights, cultural rights and identity, rights to education, health, employment, language, and others. It outlaws discrimination against Indigenous peoples and promotes their full participation in all matters that concern them. It also ensures their right to remain distinct and to pursue their own visions of economic, social and cultural development.

The two-day event is open to all media. The full agenda is available online at: Today AFN National Chief Phil Fontaine and Grand Chief Edward John of the First Nations Summit and First Nations Leadership Council will be available to media at 12:30 p.m..
Media contacts:
Karyn Pugliese, AFN Communications: 613-292-1877,
Colin Braker, Communications Director, First Nations Summit, cell: 604.328.4094, e-mail:

February 12, 2008

AFN National Chief Congratulates Australia's Indigenous Peoples on Government Apology to its Stolen Generations

Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Phil Fontaine today expressed overwhelming joy to the Indigenous peoples of Australia and congratulated Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd for issuing an apology for the "Stolen Generations" as the first order of business by the new government.

“This apology is monumental for our Indigenous brothers and sisters in Australia, and throughout the world on righting a great wrong,” stated AFN National Chief Phil Fontaine. “First Nations in Canada applaud the Australian government for its demonstrated leadership on issuing this long awaited and profound apology. The forced removal of children from their parents was the most egregious of human rights violations imaginable, causing enormous harms.”

Indigenous people in Canada and Australia were victims of the same racist assimilation policies, practiced in similar ways, causing similar harms. For years, Aborigine children in Australia were forcibly removed from their homes by the government and placed in schools. Thousands were physically and sexually abused and many were never returned to their families or communities.
To acknowledge First Nations' solidarity with the Stolen Generations and the new government's apology, National Chief Fontaine appointed Grand Chief Edward John, a prominent First Nations leader and residential school survivor to be present in the Australian Parliament to witness Prime Minister Rudd's apology.

“It is obvious that Canada and Australia can and should work together on Indigenous issues, and learn from each other,” said the National Chief.

The Assembly of First Nations played a key and central role in concluding the recent Settlement Agreement on behalf of 80,000 survivors of Indian residential schools. Under the settlement, the Canadian government provided a $1.9 billion compensation fund for the 'common experience' of those who attended Indian residential schools. A further $5 billion will go towards compensation for individual abuses through an individual assessment process. There is also $125 million directed towards the Aboriginal Healing Foundation and the establishment of a 5 year Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) to bring to light the full story of the residential schools.

“We expect the government of Canada to give a full and sincere apology at an early date,” said National Chief Fontaine. “We submitted a draft apology to the federal government in May of 2005 and we are still waiting to be consulted. We fully expect that this will happen soon so that we can move on with the healing and reconciliation that has been denied our people far too long.” The National Chief noted that the new Australian government plans to support the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

“I am optimistic that the Canadian Government will, like the Australian Government, see the error of its ways and reverse its position on the UN Declaration,” the National Chief added.
As part of the effort to inform First Nations leadership and others about the implementation of the Declaration, the Assembly of First Nations and the First Nations Leadership Council of British Columbia are co-hosting a symposium in North Vancouver on February 19-20, 2008 at the Chief Joe Mathias Centre. This historic symposium will include presentations from recognized experts in Canada and around the globe, including Grand Chief Edward John and Alberta Regional Chief Wilton Littlechild who have dedicated many years of their professional careers to working on and advocating for the Declaration.

Editorial (in Google News translated unofficially by Khemara Jati)
Saturday, February 16, 2008

Aborigines are Australia's honour

Through the long stopover in Australia, here a long time, I glimpsed those who are called Aborigines. I was shocked by the way they were treated. The aborigines are the inhabitants of this isolated continent where Europeans came to settle here more than two centuries.

The natives of this country wondered who were these intruders. The Europeans have quickly removed, deported them. They began to exploit the land, the undergrounds and they do not care if they land used by the indigenous tribes. These lands were robed, confiscated, occupied. The Aborigines were then regarded as intruders from colonization, of modernity. They were pushed ever further.

In the 1950's, white Australians and proud of it being were happy to have escaped of the Japanese interest that they had felt threatened during the Second World War. They rose strongly against immigration of color. They also continued to deny their place of the original inhabitants. These were no longer a threat. They had become simply a “problem” that one wanted to solve.

At the time of human rights, it was no longer to exterminate them as had been done in some of them of this part of the globe. It was decided simply to assimilate them surreptitiously. It should be dried up gradually their sources of life by confiscating their children. They abducted by thousands to their parents, to their tribes and were given to white Australians who later on convert them in Western culture; chunking unworthy of humanism of which it is claimed elsewhere.

It was still the time of contempt. The aboriginal was ridiculed, caricatured, mocked or laughed. His intelligence was denied, and nevertheless it was about one of the most ancient peoples of the planet. How was it happened here, in this huge island? How was there lived and survived face of a mostly rough and hostile nature, if not by means of intelligence, of imagination and creativity?

Indigenous peoples have civilized the globe

These people, we would have had to consider them infinitely respectable, because they were the efforts of the primary witness of humanity to emerge from chaos. However, we condemned to the nullity, illiteracy, alcoholism. Their health wavered, the life expectancy of their members was and still is considerably lower than that of the whites, sure of themselves and of their superiority for so long. Already in the 1950's, European visitor could only be outraged by the place reserved for aborigines.

And here is an extraordinary event occurred: «We ask forgiveness», solemnly declared the new prime minister, Kevin RUDD. «We ask forgiveness for deep grief, suffering and disappearances that we have inflicted them in removing their children of their families, their communities, their country.

For the pain and suffering endured by the stolen generations, we ask forgiveness to mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters. For having separated their families, we ask forgiveness. For the infringement of the dignity and the humiliation of a people proud of themselves and their culture, we ask forgiveness.

Today, we make the first step by recognizing the past and toward a future that encompasses all Australians ». So, henceforth, 450 000 people are recognized in their dignity. Finally, the word fervently and ardently hoped by all humanists is pronounced: PARDON.

Those who had previously mocked unacceptable been mistaken to this ancestral humanity are delighted : « It happened, today, in Australia, something great in the eyes of the world, said Gilles Devers (1): the recognition that the most important people in the world are indigenous peoples. »

They are, in fact, who are the first to have civilized the earth, but from their tireless efforts made since the dawn of time, that humanity began to rise.

(1) Gilles Devers,, rubrique « Actualités du Droit ».
François Régis Hutin

Note of Khemara Jati :

Still, a writing system remains now to invent to record the world of the First Nation peoples of Australia.


Note : Ce texte est aussi disponible en français sur demande.