CAP Files Legal Action Against Government of Canada

CAP files formal legal petition to the United Nations Human Rights Committee against current Canadian federal government led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

  On September 9th, 2021, the formal legal complaint filed with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva, outlines the Canadian government’s discrimination against Canada’s off reserve Status and Non-Status, Métis, and Inuit Indigenous peoples based on their indigeneity. The legal filing makes the case that the Canadian government’s discrimination is based on the inaccurate and stereotypical assumption that Canada’s off-reserve Indigenous peoples are less Indigenous than their reserve-based counterparts, and that federal government programs and policy fails to meet their needs. Canada, under the Trudeau government, calls this discrimination “a distinctions-based approach” towards Indigenous policy-making and has been in place since approximately 2016. As part of this policy, Canada has chosen only to engage in consultation and negotiation with three “recognized” groups, none of whom represent the interests or voices of all off-reserve Indigenous peoples. A large majority of Canada’s Indigenous people, and a majority of status Indians, live off-reserve. Off-reserve Status and Non-status Indians, Métis and Inuit peoples have faced a history of disadvantage and neglect in Canada.

Conclusion - the important takeaway

  The core of the UN legal action is the fact that the Trudeau government denies rights to CAP and its constituents, Canada’s off-reserve Indigenous peoples. This was done by failing to involve them adequately, or at all, in consultation or negotiations about self-government, land claims, healthcare, education, infrastructure, or natural resources. CAP’s national leadership was united in the decision to force legal action at the United Nations Human Right’s Committee.