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Lawyer Sharon Venne commenting on international awareness of the Lubicon situation after release of the UN decision.
In 1990, after six years of study and deliberation, an eighteen country United Nations Human Rights Committee ruled that Canada was in violation of Lubicon human rights saying that
"Historical inequities and certain more recent developments threaten the way of life and culture of the Lubicon Lake Band, and constitute a violation of article 27 (of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights) so long as they continue. "
The ruling continues that Canada "proposes to rectify the situation by a remedy that the Committee deems appropriate within the meaning of article 2 of the Covenant." ie. by a negotiated settlement. Martin Scheinin, a member of the United Nations Human Rights Committee explained at a human rights conference in Toronto in March 2000, that the United Nations, ten years later, is still waiting for that remedy.
Lawyer Sharon Venne, internationally respected for her work on Aboriginal treaties, has publicly commented that the Human Rights Committee decision "condemned Canada in the strongest possible language that they could, within the parameters that they work in. ". Furthermore in an unprecedented move, the Committee appointed a special rapporteur to report on the Lubicon situation to the Committee on an on-going basis. Usually when a decision is issued there is no follow-up. In this case, the Committee has signaled that Canada is not playing fair with the Lubicons and feels it important to continue monitoring the situation.
Click here to see a copy of the 1990 UN decision along with a description of contextual events surrounding the release of the decision.
Fifteen years later, the UN Human Rights Committee again hauled the Government of Canada onto the carpet. After hearing testimony from representatives of Lubicon Nation, Amnesty International and the Government of Canada, the Committee reaffirmed Canada's continuing abuse of Lubicon human rights. Events surrounding the release of the committee's concluding observations in November 2005 are documented below
Lubicon take long-standing land rights dispute to UN
Oct 14/05 : Lubicon Nation written submission to United Nations Human Rights Committee and news article
Lubicon to ask UN for help : "Canada should already be embarrassed"
Oct 16/05: Three media reports on upcoming Lubicon presentation to UN and rally on Parliament Hill Oct 17
Amnesty International submission to the United Nations in support of the Lubicon
Oct 16/05: Amnesty International submission to UN Human Rights Committee and news article
Canadian Groups call on UN to hold Canada accountable for human rights violations
Oct 18/05: Joint press release by seven Canadian NGO's after completion of UN Human Rights Committee hearings concerning Canada
Ottawa stalls despite UN prod
Oct 19/05: Joint Op-ed in Calgary Herald by Chief Ominayak and Secretary General of Amnesty Inernational Canada
Lubicon Nation's presentation to the United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC)
Oct 26/05 : Lubicon Statement to the UN, Canadian government response to UN and call to supporters to write to UNHRC and the Canadian Government
Student rally supporting Lubicon presentation to the UN
Oct 26/05 : Television coverage of the student protest on Parliament Hill Ottawa Oct 17.
United Nations' decision reaffirms that Canada is violating Lubicon human rights
Nov 2/05 : Concluding observations of the Human Rights Committee Eighty-fifth session regarding Canada
UN urges action on Lubicon settlement
Nov 5/05 : Media reports on UN conclusions & Letters to the editor countering government reaction
"IT IS TIME TO COMPLY: Canadas Record of Unimplemented UN Human Rights Recommendations"
Dec 20/05 : Amnesty International Canada Report
Liberals slammed for failing to implement UN recommendations for Lubicon settlement
Dec 22/05 : Edmonton Sun article
New Amnesty International report to UN renews call for protection of Lubicon Cree
Mar 30/06 : AI report -"It is a Matter of Rights: Improving the protection of economic, social and cultural rights in Canada"
Ottawa ordered to appear at UN
Apr3/06 : Edmonton Sun article
Upcoming election of new UN Human Rights Council prompts scrutiny of human rights concerns in Canada
Apr 20/06 : New Amnesty International web site with reference to Lubicon situation
Lubicon Nation addresses the UN
May 2/06 : Lubicon Nation submission to the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
European NGO's challenge Canada's candidature for a seat in the new UN Human Rights Council
May 2/06 : Letter from UN-accredited European NGO's sent to all UN Permanent Representatives
Canadas record on aboriginal issues is about to get a thorough going-over in Geneva
May 2/06 : TV interview with Lubicon and Six Nations Confederacy representatives prior to UN presentation
Write to UN representatives about Canada's mistreatment of Lubicon
May 3/06 : Urgent Action : valid until May 9
A Canadian official's view on human rights violations
May 4/06 : Views of a Canadian official made at a presentation at the Canadian Mission in Geneva
At the UN : Aboriginal relations in Ontario, Alberta raising questions about human rights
May 5/06 : Globe and Mail article
Lubicon address to the UN brought up in Canadian Parliament
May 6/06 : Response from Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indian Affairs
UN chastises Canada for human rights record
May 8/06 : Canadian Press article
UN Committee releases Concluding Observations re: Canada's record on social, economic and cultural rights
May 22/06 : Concluding Observations of the Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights
Media coverage re: latest UN report condemning Canadas treatment of the Lubicon people
May 23/06 : Edmonton Sun, Edmonton Journal, Toronto Star, CBC, CKYL, CanWest News
Amnesty International releases its authoritative Annual Report
May 23/06 : 2006 Annual Report
Statement from Lubicon Chief concerning Minister Prentice's remarks about recent UN decision
May 25/06 : Press Statement from Chief Bernard Ominayak
Lubicon Nation and Canadian Government written submissions to UN Human Rights Committee
Pettiness of Canadian government position on Lubicon land rights
Apr 15/07 : Excerpt of a silly analogy made in the Canadian government submission to the UN Human Rights Committee
Submission to the 4th Session of the UN Human Rights Council Regarding Lack of Canadian Compliance with UN Human Rights Decisions
April 15/07 :
UN rejects Canada's misrepresentation of Lubicon situation and urges Canada to negotiate
Aug 14/07 : Letter from UN High Commission for Human Rights and related media coverage
UN Mission to Canada - Special Rapporteur condemns ongoing injustice faced by Lubicon
Oct 23/07 : Preliminary Observations of the UN Special Rapporteur on adequate housing, Mission to Canada Oct 9-22
UN repeats call for moratorium on unauthorized oil and extractive activities at Lubicon
Mar 11/09 : Mission to Canada - Final Report of the UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing.