After reading the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, I am convinced that U.S. President Barack Obama was wrong to sign this declaration (Ponoka News Dec. 22) because it is clearly a racist document that has as its purpose the creation of a genetically-based privileged segment of our democratic society, to whom dedicated protections are granted based solely on race. I believe that this statement can be proved successfully from the document itself.
Article 13 section 1 states: “Indigenous peoples have the right to revitalize, use, develop and transmit to future generations their histories, languages, oral traditions, philosophies, writing systems and literatures, and to designate and retain their own names for communities, places and persons.”
Section 2 of this same article talks about the obligations that article 1 imposes on sovereign states and reads: “States shall take effective measures to ensure that this right is protected and also to ensure that indigenous peoples can understand and be understood in political, legal and administrative proceedings, where necessary through the provision of interpretation or by other appropriate means.”
When these two sections of Article 13 are taken together what they are saying is that a “preliterate” culture has the right to be supported by a literate culture. In other words, a society that requires of its citizens that they be able to read, if they are to advance, must cater to the cultural preliterate dimensions of the indigenous culture. Not only that but the literate culture must give the non-literate culture the special privilege of providing guaranteed access to the political and judicial system at little to no costs. And this must assist the preliterate culture in its fight against the supporting culture.
There are many portions of this document that are very disturbing but probably one of the most disturbing is Article 31 that says: “Indigenous people have the right to maintain, control, protect and develop their cultural heritage, traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions, as well as the manifestations of their sciences, technologies and cultures, including human and genetic resources, seeds, medicines, knowledge of the properties of fauna and flora, oral traditions, literatures, designs, sports and traditional games, and visual and performing arts. They also have the right to maintain, control, protect and develop their intellectual property over such cultural heritage, traditional knowledge, and traditional cultural expressions.”
Adoption of this document would have catastrophic implications for the advancement of medicinal research and intellectual debate surrounding native society and history. According to this article, everything involving native society would first have to get the OK of the “protected” native society. When it comes to medicines and genetics this would amount to nothing less than an entrenched monetary “shakedown” of the non-native society, which is responsible for the creation of all of the nation’s wealth, without the native society having to make any contributions of its own.
When it comes to native genetics, literature and oral traditions, what we would have is the complete disappearance of any unbiased intellectual research surrounding these native issues and cultural history. This means that the native population will be able to create the history that they “want” us to “know” and which serves to advance their economic and social agenda to the detriment of the non-native community. It becomes a matter of intellectual censorship that is not in conformity with our democratic history.
If we need any more proof for an argument against this declaration we need look no further than Article 30, which says: “Military activities shall not take place in the lands or territories of indigenous peoples, unless justified by a relevant public interests or otherwise freely agreed with or requested by the indigenous peoples concerned.”
Now the big question here is what defines a relevant public interests and who decides when such an interests exist? The weight of this document would seem to say that the final decision rest with the indigenous population. It would most likely be necessary that at least “permission” would have to be granted.
As citizens of Canada, or any other sovereign democratic state, we need to say a resounding “no” to any quasi-governmental supranational body that would attempt to establish legislation that impacts upon our legislative process and thereby make a countries legislators accountable either in part or in whole, to anyone other than their own citizens. Remember also that none of the people who sit on the U.N. are elected by even the people of their own nation.
I would also add that the UN is one of the most corrupt organizations on earth and that it is dominated with anti-Western countries who desire nothing more than to blame their own failures as nations on Western “imperialism.” The reality is that their cultures were already failures prior to contact with the West. Few of the countries that belong to the UN are democracies and those that have cultures and democracy like ours are even fewer in number. Of the European cultures and democracies that are like us, none of them are faced with the prospect of having a minority group lay claim to all of their territory while at the same time contributing nothing of economic importance to the culture that has to pay the bill for the beneficiaries of this declaration.
In the end, racism is racism. Racism is a belief system that can cut either for or against you, but it still smells even if the new beneficiary is the formerly disadvantaged. The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples merely switches the beneficiaries of racism around. Classes of privilege that were no more legitimate when white people benefited from them are not more legitimate because the native population is its recipient. If our goal as a society is to eliminate the existence of a genetically privileged class, then we need to face up to the fact that the native population is the last ethnic group that lays claim to this sin as being their right.
I would like to encourage anyone reading this letter to look up the UN Declaration of Indigenous Peoples on the Internet and read the whole document for yourself and decide if this kind of dual class citizenship structure is what you want for yourself and your children and your country?
Julian Ross Hudson