Oxfam Canada stands in solidarity with Idle No More, and with all First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples working peacefully to implement treaty and other indigenous rights. Oxfam welcomes the transformative leadership exercised by women and youth within the Idle No More movement.
Canadian treaties were negotiated to establish the foundation for a lasting, peaceful and equal relationship between First Nations peoples and European settlers. First Nations people have said treaties are sacred agreements that acknowledge indigenous peoples’ spiritual relationship with land, water and animals as life-giving and life-sustaining gifts from their Creator. The treaties are a promise to share, protect and sustain these gifts.
Many indigenous peoples around the world are struggling to defend their rights to land and other natural resources against efforts by governments and corporations to dispossess them. International law requires the free, prior and informed consent of indigenous communities before any transfer of land or other natural resources may occur in their communities.
Oxfam advocates in favour of the realization of the right to free, prior and informed consent, which is held by indigenous peoples everywhere. We urge the federal government to seek negotiated solutions with Canada’s First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples which uphold that right.
The renewed battle over resources in Canada’s North has many commonalities with land grabs in developing countries, which is the focus of one of Oxfam’s current campaigns. We encourage our supporters to help us win a freeze on land grabs. And we invite you to join us in expressing solidarity with indigenous peoples defending their rights. Learn more by visiting Idle No More.