Indigenous Peoples' Rights Must Be Respected During COVID-19
In this COVID-19 crisis where all Canadians—except “essential service” workers—are urged to stay home, thousands of resource workers are currently entering into remote Indigenous territories to build mega projects (e.g., the Site C Dam and the Coastal GasLink pipeline in British Columbia) and endangering the well-being of vulnerable Indigenous populations.
The Coalition for the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples—which includes Mennonite Church Canada Indigenous-Settler Relations—has just released this statement calling governments to respect the right of Indigenous communities “to set conditions of entry into their territories.”
Historically, Indigenous peoples have been disproportionately impacted by disease and illness—and the same is true today. We invite our congregations to pray: that those in authority would honour the rights and lives of Indigenous peoples. We also invite you to write Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Minister of Indigenous-Crown Relations, Carolyn Bennett (email@example.com) to express your concerns and hope.
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