Canada sued by First Nations groups in Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

A coalition of First Nations tribes have taken their human rights complaints against Canada to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights where the country will be required to defend itself.

The Hul’qumi’num Treaty Group has successfully petitioned the Inter-American Commission, an arm of the Organization of American States, to hear its case that Canada continues to violate the human rights of the aboriginal peoples whose territories – some 750,000 acres on Vancouver Island – were illegally confiscated and privatized by Canada in the 19th century.

The treaty group is seeking compensation for the dispossession of their aboriginal lands.

The Hul’qumi’num Treaty Group is a political organization representing more than 6,600 First Nations people in British Columbia, including citizens of the Chemainus First Nation, Cowichan Tribes, Halalt First Nation, Lake Cowichan First Nation, Lyackson First Nation and Penelakut Tribe.

The Group filed its human rights complaint with the Commission in 2007, arguing that Hul’qumi’num human rights to property and culture are being violated and ignored by Canada’s failure to resolve the First Nations’ land claims.

The complaint specifically cites violations of Articles II, III, XIII and XXIII of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man.

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