Lawyers Rights Watch Canada, Amnesty International Canada and the Hul’qumi’num Treaty Group host the First Nations’ Rights: The Gap between Law and Practice speaker series, in cooperation with the Vancouver Public Library and other partners.  This ongoing series of free presentations by celebrated speakers was started in 2012 to provide the public with education about the rights of Indigenous peoples under domestic and international law and to highlight persistent problems with the enforcement of those protected rights. Please see below for access to videos, podcasts and power points.

Indigenous Rights Speaker Series: The Gap Between Law and Practice |  Video Collection

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Indigenous Rights Speaker Series | Video Descriptions

Justice for Children, Jan 15/15

Dr. Cindy Blackstock’s talk to an overflow audience of about 200 at the Vancouver POLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAublic Library on 15 January 2015 was informative and inspiring. She reviewed the difficult six-year course of The First Nations Child and Family Caring Society and the Assembly of First Nations v. Canada (FNCFCS & ASN v. Canada) complaint before the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal. Watch the video.

Land Rights are Human Rights, April 3/14

Robert Morales examines international human rights law as the framework needed to bring justice to Aboriginal people in Canada. UVic event - Robert_MoralesMeaningful reconciliation of First Nations land issues has stagnated in a system still hampered by colonial beliefs. He explains the argument he made to the Supreme Court of Canada as intervener in Tsilhqot’in Nation v. BC. Learn from the power point | Watch the video.


Consent or Consultation: Examining the Gap,  January 30/14 GC Ed John

Grand Chief Edward John examines the gap between Canadian and international law on the right to free, prior and informed consent and the duty to consult First Nations on issues affecting their rights. Grand Chief John is a lawyer, Hereditary Chief of Tl’azt’en Nation, Representative to the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and holds two honorary Doctor of Law degrees. Learn from the PowerPoint | watch the video | download the podcast.

Savage Anxieties – The Invention of Western Civilization ; Indigenous Rights and the Hul’qumi’num Treaty Group case May 9/13

Robert A. WilliamsProfessor Robert Williams explores justifications for conquest, war, acts of racist violence and colonial dispossession from the time of the ancient Greeks to 21st Century treaty negotiations and introduces his book, Savage Anxieties – The Invention of Western Civilization. Prof. Williams is the author of several books, the recipient of many awards and is member of the Lumbee Indian Tribe of North Carolina. Savage Anxieties Powerpoint Presentation | Download the podcast | Watch the Video.

Indigenous Law as a Solution to Resource Conflict February 28/13
caleb_behn_poster-new-page-001Caleb Behn examines the conflict generated by fracking in Treaty 8 in northeastern BC and explains the potential of indigenous laws and legal traditions to ensure preservation of the environment as a condition of energy development and to effect reconciliation. Mr. Behn is Eh-Cho Dene and Dunne Za/Cree from the Treaty 8 Territory and holds a J.D. Watch the video|Download the podcastDownload the poster.

Debunking the Doctrine of Discovery January 24/13
UVic event - Robert_MoralesRobert Morales, lawyer and chief negotiator for the Hul’qumi’num Treaty Group unveils the continuing effects of this archaic doctrine used to justify the seizure of lands and oppression of peoples. Robert is Coast Salish and a member of the Cowichan Tribes. Watch the video | Download the poster | learn from the power point PPTX version | PDF version.

First Nations’ own laws and legal systems May 17/12
Sarah Morales Talk PosterSarah Morales explains Coast Salish legal traditions—snuw’uyulh—and the displacement of those laws during and after the colonial period. She examines the concept of legal pluralism and the potential for such a system today in Canada. Sarah is Coast Salish, a member of Cowichan Tribes and an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa. Watch the video.

Remember the children: What a landmark human rights case tells us about discrimination and justice in Canada April 24/12
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACindy Blackstock, Executive Director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, explains the legal action against the Canadian government to end the discriminatory practice of providing significantly less funding for social services to help First Nations children living on reserves. Dr. Blackstock is an associate professor at the University of Alberta and member of the Gitksan Nation of northern BC. Watch the video.

UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People-Indigenous rights in the UN system March 19/12
Kenneth DeerKenneth Deer of the Mohawk Nation at Kahnawake is internationally recognized for promoting the recognition and protection of Indigenous Peoples’ rights. Kenneth Deer explains that UNDRIP, the United Nations declaration developed over 25-years, does not create new rights. Rather the Declaration asserts that First Nations people have the same fundamental rights and freedoms as others: that the universal rights recognized by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and guaranteed by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and other international law, apply equally to First Nations people, individually and collectively. Watch the video and learn from the power point.

Seeking Justice Elsewhere- The Hul’qumi’num Treaty Group land claim case before the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights February 23/12
Robert Morales addresses indigenous rights in the context of the 1884 unlawful seizure and privatization of Hul’qumi’num peoples’ land on Vancouver Island, the serious consequences for Hul’qumi’num survival and cultural integrity and the history of unsuccessful negotiations that led the Hul’qumi’num people to seek justice elsewhere. Watch the video.

Ghost Dancing with Colonialism January 12/12
GraceWoo2011Dr. Grace Woo, legal historian and author of Ghost Dancing with Colonialism: Decolonization and Indigenous Rights at the Supreme Court of Canada examines whether the Supreme Court of Canada is colonizing Indigenous peoples by examining Anglo-Canadian legal history, international law and Supreme Court of Canada decisions. Watch the video.



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