Email to the Premier of British Columbia:
Dear John (Horgan),
I saw your photo in the news when you announced that British Columbia would be adopting UNDRIP — the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People. You looked so smug and I was so furious because I suspect you are lying — again.
That’s not to say the people working on this have lied. Oh no, they’ve put their whole hearts and souls into it but you — you are only using them and UNDRIP as a facade to give yourself some breathing room.
John, we’ve been stuck with you since 2017 when you were elected. When you reneged on election promises. Even back then the UN was warning of Indigenous rights violations of Site C. Then Amnesty International joined the chorus. The UN gave you a deadline in April of this year, which apparently you deigned to ignore.
Not only that, you continue to force an LNG pipeline through First Nations territory using Canadian Armed Forces Military Advisers and Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
So this is your answer to the UN, Amnesty International and First Nations? You “adopt” and are going to “implement” UNDRIP? Ha!
Got to give it to you though, it’s a creative way of answering by saying nothing, by deflecting. Because you’ll make sure that this fancy footwork doesn’t affect ANY of your Indigenous rights violations already in place (Site C dam, LNG pipeline, Taseko exploratory drilling, Haida Gwaii logging, jade mining — did I miss any?)
You’ve already gotten Minister Fraser to say to the National Post that this doesn’t give First Nations a veto power. That was meant to soothe jittery investors, right? Without a veto, you’re giving charity not respect. I’ve been watching you and your ministers too long, John, I know that “working together” with you just means doing what YOU want. And you will be actively sabotaging anything else.
So I bet you’re going to choose your words carefully. Will you simply say adopting UNDRIP will not be retroactive? Going to go through the song and dance and set up committees? Or are you just going to stall until bigger news comes along? That last might be the best bet for you because then all the people thinking there’s actually been a win for First Nations won’t see the lie (for a while anyway).
Even then, they might see you as a fraud but may miss that the fact that you do play the colonial game in the sneakiest of ways. Much of the heavy oppression has already been done, now all you have to do is pretend good will while doling out mere scraps of “reconciliation” as it pleases you. And those in desperate situations may have to accept against their own conscience. In the world of environmentalism, “greenwashing” is what companies do pretending to agree. Would you call your maneuver “red washing”?
But there is still time. Your constituency assistant says the bill is only in second reading today.
Go ahead, John, prove me wrong. Cancel Site C, get CGL, loggers and miners out of First Nations’ lands. Prove me wrong, John.