Indigenous Rights In Canada Essay

834 WordsMay 23, 20114 Pages
To what degree is the Indigenous rights movement in Canada unique to this country, and how is it connected to broader international protests and processes? In the aftermath of World War II as the atrocities of the Jewish genocide came to light, many peoples’ attitudes towards racial intolerance were severely altered. The hitherto held notion that civilized European nations were the standard bearers for acceptable principles of behaviour had taken a huge blow. Japanese violence against the Chinese and the brutal destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the US did much to provide their citizens and politicians cause for rumination too. The culmination to all of this reflection was the United Nations and its consequent Declaration on Human Rights. “This seminal document challenged the cultural assumptions of the past - particularly the assertion that one culture, race, or ethnicity was superior to another – and stated boldly that all human beings shared the same basic and fundamental rights.”1 This document and it’s partner the declaration which defined and outlawed genocide finally gave the Indigenous people of Canada, and indeed the world, the legal leg up that they so desperately needed. Indigenous people now had the protection of the law. Many groups attempted to parlay this protection into reclamation of lands and rights that had been taken from them by colonialist nations. New World nations such as Australia and Canada were pressuring colonial nations to give up their control over the colonies. At the same time Indigenous peoples were pointing out this hypocritical attitude to the New World governments suggesting they might like to get their own house in order first. One could be forgiven for thinking that Indigenous people had never protested these issues previously, the difference now being a willingness to listen “What changed – and this is profoundly

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