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Trudeau Government Touted ‘Reconciliation,’ Then Lobbied To Arm States Repressing Indigenous Peoples – The Maple

October 3, 2023

‘We have minister Anand platforming Canadian weapons manufacturers just a year after there was huge repression on major protests.’

Former defence minister Anita Anand was instructed to offer her counterparts advice about “reconciliation” before encouraging Latin American governments that violently suppress Indigenous-led protests to buy more Canadian-made weapons last year.

In particular, Anand’s briefing notes for the July 2022 Conference of Defence Ministers in Brazil highlighted Canada’s arms deals with Colombia. These have been a major point of concern among human rights activists who warn that such military supplies — including $418 million worth of light-armoured vehicles (LAVs)  — could present a danger to Indigenous populations in the coal mining region of La Guajira.

The briefing documents, which The Maple obtained through an access to information request, show a disconnect between the Trudeau government’s purported support for Indigenous human rights and its lobbying efforts to expand the arms trade, according to Kelsey Gallagher, a researcher with the arms monitoring group Project Ploughshares.

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