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CHRC: Respecting the rule of law means respecting Treaty rights

Press Release

October 22, 2020 – Ottawa, Ontario – Canadian Human Rights Commission

Marie-Claude Landry, Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission, issues the following statement:

The Canadian Human Rights Commission condemns the violence perpetrated against Sipekne’katik and Mi’kmaq throughout Mi’kma’ki. The reported threats, attacks, assaults, and destruction of property are disturbing and graphic displays of the deeply rooted intolerance and systemic racism Indigenous peoples continue to face.

Canada and the provinces must uphold the rule of law through the implementation of Indigenous and Treaty rights, and in guaranteeing the safety of the Mi’kmaq. We all have a responsibility to advance reconciliation through respect and understanding, and by standing up to racism in our communities.

The Commission recognizes and supports the inherent Mi’kmaq right to fish and earn a moderate livelihood, as enshrined in the Peace and Friendship Treaties and upheld in the Marshall Decision. The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples further affirms the right of the Mi’kmaq to maintain, develop, and govern their own fisheries.

Indigenous peoples have the right to self-determination, to live free from violence and discrimination, and to safety, security, and well-being. Recognizing and respecting these rights benefits us all, and is essential to building a stronger and more inclusive Canada.

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