The murder of Indigenous women and girls is a crime of extreme violence, and it is essential that the United States, Canada, and other countries take action to stop it. MMIWG are disproportionately impacted by the impacts of colonization.
The FNMI and Native American populations have suffered from inadequate health care, incarceration, poverty, and other human-rights violations. The recent Supreme Court decision upholding the use of residential schools as a form of forced assimilation in Canada is the latest example of an ongoing human-rights crisis. However, the impact of this ruling extends beyond the Canadian context. The US government has recently opened the door to new policies that will affect the human rights of indigenous people living in the US.
A key step towards improving human rights for Indigenous peoples is the recognition of their legal status as nations. This can only be achieved through a process of decolonization. Such a process must also include a recognition of the inherent right of Indigenous peoples to self-determination, which includes the right to determine their own laws, customs, and practices.
The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights provide guidelines that can be used by corporations to help ensure they are not complicit in human-rights violations.
Introduction Canada and the United States share many common values, but there are also fundamental differences in how the two governments approach human rights. Canada has a stronger commitment to universal and equal human rights than the United States does.
However, the US federal government has recently taken steps towards recognizing the rights of Indigenous peoples. For example, the US Department of Justice has recently released guidelines for corporate actors that could potentially help ensure that they are not complicit in human-rights violations.
The guidelines explain that "Indigenous peoples' land and resources should be preserved and protected, and that they have a right to control their own destiny." These statements echo the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which states that "all peoples have the right to self-determination. They have the right freely to determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development."
While Canada is not a signatory to the UN Declaration, the Supreme Court decision in the Canadian case of Tsilhqot’in v. British Columbia (2018. confirms that the government of Canada recognizes the inherent right of First Nations to self-determination. However, many FNMI communities still lack the political institutions necessary to exercise their inherent rights.