Civil society, Indigenous and Human Rights organizations deliver strong statement of solidarity with Clyde River

Civil society, Indigenous and Human Rights organizations deliver strong statement of solidarity with Clyde River

by ahnationtalk on April 17, 2015541 Views

16 April 2015 (Toronto) – Forty-three organizations and individuals, including Idle No More, Naomi Klein, and “Xena the Warrior Princess” actor Lucy Lawless, have signed a solidarity statement supporting the Inuit of Clyde River in their attempt to stop offshore seismic surveys in the Baffin Bay area of Nunavut.

A proposal to conduct offshore seismic surveys near Baffin Island was approved by the National Energy Board (NEB) in June 2014. This approval was granted despite opposition from residents of Baffin Island, local municipalities, and representative Inuit organizations. The Hamlet of Clyde River has gone to the

Federal Court of Appeal to seek judicial review of the NEB’s decision. The hearing will take place this Monday, April 20th, in Toronto.

The statement claims that the approval of the surveys “is a clear and direct violation of international protection for the human rights of Inuit as Indigenous Peoples.”

“The federal government needs to understand that Indigenous peoples have the right to make their own decisions about their lives and futures,” said Craig Benjamin from Amnesty International Canada. “It’s precisely because of situations like that facing Clyde River that international Human Rights bodies have set out the requirement that decisions with the potential for serious impact on Indigenous rights should only be made with the free, prior and informed consent.”

The solidarity statement calls upon the federal government to “reverse the National Energy Board’s decision, and to ensure that no further permits for petroleum exploration development in Nunavut are granted unless Inuit rights are fully protected, including the right to grant or withhold free, prior, and informed consent to such development.”

“I want to thank all the organizations that have supported us in our struggle to protect our rights,” said Jerry Natanine, the mayor of Clyde River, after his arrival in Toronto to attend the court hearing. “It’s really important for our people to know that they are not alone as we stand up for our rights.”

Signatories of the solidarity statement include Indigenous solidarity groups, social justice advocacy organizations, human rights advocacy groups, environmentalist organizations, union working groups, and others.

The Clyde River Solidarity Network formed in March 2015 to support the Inuit of Clyde River in their struggle against seismic surveys. The network consists of representatives from several Indigenous, environmental and Human Rights organizations across Canada.

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For more information, or to interview Jerry Natanine, please contact:

Warren Bernauer, Clyde River Solidarity Network, 204-880-2968 [email protected]

NT5

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