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MEDIA INDIGENA : Indigenous current affairs

Current affairs roundtable focusing on Indigenous issues and events in Canada and beyond. Hosted by Rick Harp.
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MEDIA INDIGENA : Indigenous current affairs
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Dec 14, 2023

This week: where there’s smokes, there’s fire. Does a recent ruling by Quebec’s Superior Court have the potential to dramatically alter Canada's constitutional landscape? Known as R. v. Montour and White, the case takes its name from a pair of Mohawk tobacco traders who refused to pay millions in excise taxes on goods brought across the Canadian border. Import duties the defendants said violated the Covenant Chain, a series of treaties with the Haudenosaunee dating back to the mid-1600s. A defense the court not only accepted, but built upon to breathe new life into these centuries-old treaties, adopting the more recent lens of UNDRIP, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. A Declaration the Court held to be both binding and the floor of section 35 protections for Indigenous rights in Canada. And the Court didn’t limit the scope of its findings to just tobacco, or even the Mohawks. As some observers note, it affirmed the right of any and all First Nations to freely pursue economic development by their own chosen means, a view that goes well beyond the familiar, racist shackles of mere subsistence or moderate livelihood.

Joining host/producer Rick Harp to smoke out the potential ramifications of this mammoth, 440-page judgement—a ruling (spoiler) Canada appealed days after our recording—Brock Pitawanakwat (Associate Professor of Indigenous Studies at York University) and Candis Callison (Associate Professor in the Institute for Critical Indigenous Studies and the Graduate School of Journalism at UBC.)

* 100% Indigenous-owned, we're 100% listener-funded: learn how you can help keep our content free for all at mediaindigena.com/support *

CREDITS: 'Forest Heartbeat' by malictusmusic (CC BY); our theme is 'nesting' by birocratic. Edited by Cassidy Villebrun-Buracas and Rick Harp.

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