Ambassador Chartier Attends UN PFII

April 22, 2024

From April 15-18th Ambassador Clément (Clem) Chartier attended the 23rd annual session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (PFII) in New York representing the MMF, the National Government of the Red River Métis.

On the second day, Ambassador Chartier made an intervention addressing the rampant Indigenous identity fraud taking place in Canada, and the lack of action by the federal and some provincial governments in not doing anything to correct it. The Ambassador also stated that there are some court cases in Labrador and Ontario initiated by First Nations challenging the fraudulent identification of organizations claiming to represent Indigenous peoples: Inuit and Métis respectively.

In that same intervention, Ambassador Chartier also raised the situation of jailed leader Brooklyn Rivera a MIskitu from Nicaragua who after attending the PFII last year was not allowed back into the country in response to his intervention against that government's treatment of his people. Mr. Rivera nevertheless did return secretly to Nicaragua in May and on September 29th he was arrested by the Sandinista security forces and has not been seen, nor heard from, to this day.

Ambassador Chartier stated that the MMF stood in solidarity with the American Council of Indigenous Peoples (ACIP) and called upon the Sandinista government to provide proof of life for Rivera and to release him, along Nancy Henriquez who was arrested two days after Mr. Rivera. While Mr. Rivera's fate is not known, Ms. Henriquez in December was taken before a secret tribunal on a trumped-up charge of conspiracy against the state of Nicaragua, and was sentenced to eight year in prison.

Mr. Rivera has been the leader/Chief of the Miskitu Nation since 1981 and was also an elected member of the Nicaraguan National Assembly. Ms. Henriquez is the longstanding President of AMICA an Indigenous women's organization and an alternate to Rivera in the National Assembly. Mr. Rivera is also the Secretary of ACIP, of which Ambassador Chartier is President.

Ambassador Chartier also attended other side events (meetings) dealing with identity theft and the Abenaki Nation in Quebec, and a session on the enhanced participation of Indigenous peoples in the United Nations. This session was to mark the 10th anniversary of the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples held by the UN General Assembly in 2014. During this session Ambassador Chartier spoke about the long and hard road Indigenous peoples and their leaders had taken to get to where we are today.

As an example, Ambassador Chartier stated he became involved in international matters through Grand Chief George Manuel in 1973 and participated in the World Council of Indigenous Peoples (WCIP) after its formation in 1975 by Mr. Manuel. He stated that his first international meeting was in 1976 and that he was engaged in the UN process since then.

In connection with enhanced participation of Indigenous peoples in the UN, it was announced that a new phase of dialogue would begin with two meetings on the topic, one in July and the other in October. Following that a report would be made to the President of the General Assembly for consideration and further action.

In another session, Ambassador Chartier raised the fact that while most Indigenous peoples, with particular reference to the Americas, are engaged in the UN systems and meetings. That the same is not true of engagement in the Organization of American States (OAS). Ambassador Chartier provided information that OAS General Assembly in 2016 adopted the American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (ADRIP), and the following year a five-year action plan. That the action plan has since been extended for a further five years.

He reported that a year ago a meeting took place in Guatemala where there was agreement between the OAS States members and Indigenous representatives that a working group be established by the OAS to serve as the mechanism for the implementation of the ADRIP. The members of the working group, which includes Indigenous representatives is scheduled to be announced next month (May).

To date, both Canada and the United States have not formally adhered to the Declaration and are therefore not part of the working group.

Intervention at PFII can be read HERE.


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