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May 2021

Self government

Gwich’in leaders lead the way to self-government

For almost 30 years, the Gwich’in Tribal Council has negotiated a self-government agreement with the federal and territorial governments.

The Gwich’in Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement, signed in April 1992, was touted as a necessary first step at the time in restoring Gwich’in control over their lands. It sets out a framework for eventual self-government with the goal of “enabling the Gwich’in to conduct their affairs and administer resources, programs and services as the Gwich’in situation requires.”

Almost three decades later, the process is far from over.

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Gwich’in Tribal Council (GTC) Grand Chief Ken Kyikavichik estimated that a final self-government agreement would be at least five years away.

“To tell you the truth, we didn’t think self-government would last that long with the negotiation process when we signed the land claim in 1992,” he told Cabin Radio.

“We often thought at the time that self-government would follow in the decade and unfortunately that never materialized. A lot has happened in the 24 years since we started trading – a lot of stops and starts and I know the frustration at times.

A successful self-government agreement for the Gwich’in would see both the federal and territorial governments give the Gwich’in the authority to deliver programs and services, as well as the ability to create and implement laws.

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Other Aboriginal communities and regions in the Northwest Territories are pursuing similar agreements.

The Tłı̨chǫ government and the Sahtu community of Délı̨nę both have self-government agreements. Ongoing negotiations include the Inuvialuit, Dehcho First Nations, Métis Nation of the Northwest Territories, and Sahtu Dene and Métis of Colville Lake, among others.

The JWG is now making an effort to advance self-government, according to Kyikavichik.

Negotiators strive to update a tentative agreement that outlines a timeline, framework and goals for a final agreement. The draft document will be presented to the CTG’s Annual General Meeting in Inuvik in August, where Gwich’in citizens can provide comments.

Kyikavichik has made a habit of frequently updating JWG members on Facebook, describing what he is looking for in negotiations and what self-government means to the Gwich’in people.

He said the goal is to help citizens better understand the process and its complexities so that they can share their thoughts and concerns.

CTG Grand Chief Ken Kyikavichik in Inuvik. Meaghan Brackenbury / Radio cabin.

“Ultimately they will have to ratify a deal with the Gwich’in government,” Kyikavichik said, “and critical to this process will be a solid understanding of what that can mean, what the impacts are and how things will change. . .

“At the end of the day, we can do all of this great work by negotiating a deal. However, if our people are not behind and support it… then we are not much further ahead than we are today.

What are the T & Cs looking for?

The GTC pursues a regional model of self-government.

Three of the four Gwich’in communities – Aklavik, Tsiigehtchic and Tetlit Zheh (Fort McPherson) – are represented by the GTC in the negotiations.

Nihtat Gwich’in Council in Inuvik has been seeking a separate self-government agreement since 2018, although it remains on the JWG board of directors.

There are seven areas that the JWG has identified as “priority jurisdictions”. These are governance, fiscal relations, housing, land use planning, culture and heritage, economic development and taxation.

Kyikavichik said the hope is to assume authority over these jurisdictions over the next five years.

“Priorities are really what’s important to the Gwich’in,” he explained. “The reason we are seeking a deal on Gwich’in government is to restore our historic methods of government.

“It comes through clear leadership lines at the community level, involving our youth and elders in decision-making, but also understanding that we don’t want government unless it has the funding to do it. to be able to support it. “

Other areas such as health, social services and justice will follow over the next 20 years, Kyikavichik envisages.

Bands and DGO exploded

Along with identifying priority jurisdictions, a key discussion was to determine what sovereign self-government would look like at regional and local levels.

While the Gwich’in Tribal Council is responsible for administering the rights and benefits set out in the land claim at the regional level, the agreement establishes “Designated Gwich’in Organizations” – or DGO, for short – in each of the four Gwich’in in communities to do it locally.

The four DGOs are the Nihtat Gwich’in Council in Inuvik, the Tetlit Gwich’in Council in Fort McPherson, the Gwichya Gwich’in Council in Tsiigehtchic and the Ehdiitat Gwich’in Council in Aklavik.

These organizations are distinct from band councils, which administer the rights and benefits accorded to members under the Indian Act as opposed to land claim – although in Aklavik and Tsiigehtchic, DGOs and band councils do not. one.

“In fact, the organizations were cauterized between designated Gwich’in organizations and Indian Act band councils for the most part,” Kyikavichik explained. “In our larger communities, they are separate organizations, and sometimes the mandates can be different.

“However, the reality is that whether you are a band council or a designated Gwich’in organization, the rights and interests of our people should come first. The plan is to eventually merge the band council and the designated Gwich’in organization into a single community government.

“To do this, we need the active participation of chiefs and band councils, and we have work to do in this regard. “

Community or regional autonomy?

In Inuvik, the Nihtat Gwich’in Council and the Inuvik Native Band are two separate organizations that each serve the city’s Gwich’in. The two have been working together since 2018 to pursue their own self-government agreement.

Chief Robert Charlie-Tetlichi of the Inuvik Indigenous Band said leaders at the time believed the process could work best at the community level.

“Between the Nihtat Gwich’in and the Band, we may be able to come to a self-government agreement sooner rather than going for a regional process,” he said.

The Nihat Gwich’in board has undergone a leadership change, with new chairman Kelly McLeod being elected to the post in March.

Now, McLeod said, the board is “reassessing” where it is in the process and how to proceed. A board meeting in Inuvik was held on Saturday to brief members and discuss whether to pursue their own deal or join the regional deal.

Charlie-Tetlichi said he would like to see the band and council stick together to the community model, but the decision ultimately is “for the members to determine how we move forward.”

“If Nihtat joins the regional process, then the group will also have to meet with its members to see how they want to proceed,” he said.

“We see nothing”

Nihtat Gwich’in Council and the Inuvik Native Band are not alone in reconsidering the regional model.

Fort McPherson is currently one of three communities included in the GTC negotiations. However, Chief Wanda Pascal of the Teetl’it Gwich’in Band Council told Cabin Radio that she plans to call a band meeting next week to reconsider whether to step down.

“This is what we wanted from the start,” Pascal said. “There’s just a small group of people who didn’t like it, but… it’s not mine or my board – it’s the community. I really think I should go back to the community and ask them.

Pascal said the move was prompted by growing frustration within the group – which is separate from Tetlit Gwich’in Council, the designated local organization of the Gwich’in – over a perceived lack of collaboration and financial support from the group. of the GTC.

“The funding that goes to Tribal, they don’t help us at all,” she said. “We don’t see anything. It’s really hard to work with people who don’t want to work together.

“I don’t know how we’re going to work as a regional government if they can’t even work as partners now. It is really frustrating.

Pascal said that she and band representatives would like to go to the AGM in Inuvik in August to discuss these issues, but that they will need to be invited by the CTG.

Cabin Radio has attempted to contact all of the Gwich’in chiefs. Chief Danny Greenland in Aklavik declined an interview request, while Chief Phillip Blake in Tsiigehtchic could not be reached.

Kyikavichik acknowledged that one of the greatest challenges facing the Gwich’in self-government process is the lack of unity.

However, he is committed to working so that each of the communities – including those that go it alone – is once again on the same page.

“One of the things I ran on was to bring our communities together again,” he said. “I have always believed that the four groups and communities are the strongest when we work together.

“I continue to see what we can do to get back to our original intention with the Gwich’in Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement, which called for four communities to work together for the benefit of all Gwich’in.

“It will certainly be a challenge for the future. “

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Sovereignty

Indigenous self-government is now a reality – a reality that will test the courage and creativity of Canadian and Indigenous leaders around the world

Bitter conflicts between Indigenous communities and governments and businesses have been part of Canada’s political landscape for decades. Since the turn of this century, many companies have first lost and then retreated in battles over mining and other resource projects. Leaders of Indigenous communities have become seasoned political warriors adept at changing Canadian public opinion. The scales seem to be tilting.

Today we see even more complex conflicts: struggles between and within Indigenous communities. The one making the headlines this week is the battle between environmentalists and the Pacheedaht First Nation. Along with those fighting ancient logging on Vancouver Island is a coalition of First Nations and Indigenous organizations in British Columbia, as well as some of their own younger citizens. In the middle is Prime Minister John Horgan, in whose riding this battle is being fought.

British Columbia is at the forefront of many of these sensitive disputes. A British Columbia Supreme Court ruling in 2017 approved moving Treaty 8 boundaries far to the west. Some First Nations in this disputed area were not satisfied. The court ordered BC to find a solution. All parties appear prepared to leave the matter open for the time being.

British Columbia has also shown leadership in legislating on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the first Canadian government to do so. Partnerships between certain indigenous communities and the oil and gas sector, sometimes vigorously opposed by neighboring communities and often members of their own community, will henceforth be governed by this framework.

As former Globe and Mail columnist Jeffrey Simpson noted in his eloquent Manion Conference 2020, Canada is the only one in the world to launch this experiment with the creation of up to 600 autonomous units within a sovereign federal state.

For many Aboriginal Canadians, the dream of self-government has been their lifelong struggle. The prospect of self-control over their health, education and economic development is an obviously powerful political vision. It is, after all, a universal ambition to be truly in control of the destiny of one’s family and community.

Self-government is still somewhat ill-defined, but at a minimum it must mean, as Simpson puts it, “full political responsibility for many public functions, responsibility for those chosen to lead and autonomous revenue to run.” these functions ”. But, in addition to the fun of raising health and policing standards through their own governments, the new rulers will face border disputes and the need to forge new relationships with neighboring towns from the outset. first day.

If this experience is to gain traction and deliver successful services to Indigenous Canadians, these leaders will need to find processes and agree on methods of dispute resolution. Indigenous traditions are based on long discussions of consensus building and have often resolved deep and difficult divisions. It is not certain that many non-Aboriginal partners will be so patient.

It is not a distant prospect. Fourteen First Nations in British Columbia are in the final stages of negotiating to create the largest number of self-government agreements with that province. None of these challenges should be used to slow down or thwart this process. But its imminence is perhaps an argument for more urgent discussions involving a wide range of Canadian and Indigenous leaders.

As Canada’s Indigenous leaders demanded a seat in the Bill of Rights negotiations and came out with the rights set out in section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982, this radical change in the way Canada is governed was set. Our courts have made it clear how these hard-won rights should be defined and enforced. But “self-government” has often been dismissed as a political vision for the distant future, if possible at all. It is now a reality and it will test the courage and creativity of Canadian politicians and Indigenous leaders around the world.

The Pacheedaht have a land management agreement with the province. They are understandably unhappy with the accusation that they are poor stewards of their forests. But this battle over the majestic centuries-old Douglas firs in a remote corner of Vancouver Island are the first tremors of an upcoming political earthquake that started nearly 40 years ago.

Robin V. Sears was an NDP strategist for 20 years and then served as a communications advisor to businesses and governments on three continents. He is a freelance columnist for the Star. Follow him on Twitter: @robinvsears

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Independence activist

Scottish independence activist’s plan to ‘disrupt’ Westminster with sparks of protest makes fun of | Politics | New

A Scottish campaign group has called for civil disobedience around London in a sweeping attempt to force Boris Johnson to hold a second independence referendum. RT host Kate Partridge ridiculed the group, known as the Radical Independence Campaign (RIC), suggesting it could backfire on the SNP-led mainstream cause of independence. She took to task group member Jack Ferguson, saying the disruption in London should not “convince Boris Johnson” to support a vote for independence.

Mr Ferguson explained: “There have been discussions about the idea of ​​taking protest action and doing things that will disrupt the UK government.

“We will meet with experts from the anti-nuclear energy protests and the climate protests.

“We will look at what will impact the UK government as there is a democratic mandate to hold another referendum.

“But the UK government appears completely determined to deny democracy and to deny Scotland’s right to self-determination.”

JUST IN: ‘Crushing’ European bureaucracy blamed for plight of UK nationals

He said the plan of action in London was due to the fact “that the protest actions in Scotland have a limited impact on the government in London”.

However, the RT UK host replied: “If you said this type of campaign didn’t really work in Scotland, why do you think it will gain support for the cause if you do it in London?

Mr Ferguson replied: “Any action we take will impact the UK government and disrupt Boris Johnson and the Tories.”

Ms Partridge fired back: ‘Boris Johnson has said before that he won’t sanction a vote – that won’t convince him, right?

During the election campaign, Alba Party leader Alex Salmond said mass protests could be a feature of negotiations with the British government on Scottish independence.

The UK government has so far refused to grant a second independence referendum and instead emphasized that the 2014 vote was a “single vote per generation”.

Willie Rennie, leader of the Scottish Lib Dems, said: “Nationalists are connected to the moon if they think protesting about it in the streets of London is the priority.

“These people are more interested in an immediate race for independence than in helping our country recover from the pandemic.

“They are out of touch with the needs of most people in Scotland.”

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Self government

Self-Government Framework Agreement signed by Canada, the Métis Nation of the Northwest Territories and the Government of the Northwest Territories to guide negotiations

FORT SMITH, NT, May 19, 2021 / CNW / – The Government of Canada, the Métis Nation of the Northwest Territories and the Government of Northwest Territories signed a framework agreement that will further advance reconciliation, the right to self-determination, work towards building strong Indigenous nations and negotiations on Métis Nation of the Northwest Territories (NWTMN) land claims.

Today, the Honorable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations of Canada, alongside Garry Bailey, President of the Métis Nation of the Northwest Territories, Arthur beck, Interim President of the Métis Government of Fort Resolution, Trevor Beck, Chair of the Hay River Métis Government Council, Allan Heron, President of the Fort Smith Métis Council, and the Honorable Caroline Cochrane, Premier of Northwest Territories, signed a Framework Agreement that will pave the way for their vision of self-determination – a prosperous, self-sufficient, healthy, united and self-reliant Métis Nation in the Northwest Territories.

The Self-Government Framework Agreement will guide negotiations towards a final self-government agreement as part of the NWTMN land claims negotiation process. It describes the process of self-government negotiations, including governance of Métis Nation entities of the Northwest Territories, the legal status and capacity of Métis governments, land administration, Métis government finances. , legislative power, implementation plans and elections for Métis government. It also supports the principles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The government of Canada and the government of Northwest Territories remain committed to renewing nation-to-nation and government-to-government relationships with the Métis Nation of the Northwest Territories on the basis of affirmation of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership.

Quote

“The Métis Nation of the Northwest Territories (NWTMN) is pleased to begin self-government negotiations under the Framework Agreement on Self-Government Negotiations. The self-government negotiations will advance our land claims negotiations, which have been underway since 1996 and have been the missing piece of our land claims negotiations. The negotiation process will allow the NWTMN to advance the self-determination rights and governance interests of our Indigenous Métis members and three Métis councils. Building on our successes to date, we now have the ability to plan for our governance future.

The signing of the Framework Agreement on Self-Government is a key aspect of the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The agreement paves the way for the development of the NWTMN constitution to govern the relationship between the NWTMN, the three Métis government councils and our Indigenous Métis members. Self-government will recognize the NWTMN and Métis Government Councils as legislative authorities with the capacity to continue to provide programs and services to our members in accordance with the NWTMN Constitution. We have a lot of work to do to engage our members about self-government options and negotiations with Canada and the GNWT. The Self-Government Framework Agreement is another positive step for the Métis of the NWTMN and clearly shows the government’s commitment to reaching an agreement with the NWTMN. “

Garry Bailey,
President of the Métis Nation of the Northwest Territories

“The Métis Government of Fort Resolution recognizes that self-government is critically important to our members as it will empower the Métis Nation of the Northwest Territories (NWTMN) and the councils to effectively manage the lands and Métis finances and to continue to provide programs and services Canada, the government of Northwest Territories and the NWTMN. We have a lot of work to do to mobilize our members and solicit their input to inform the negotiations. We look forward to starting this negotiating process. “

Arthur Beck,
Interim President of the Métis Government of Fort Resolution

“After many years of perseverance and struggle, the Hay River Métis Government Council is pleased that we have reached an agreement on the Self-Government Framework Agreement and recognize that we have a lot of work to do. We look forward to working with our members to develop a constitution and shape self-government for the Métis of the Northwest Territories, which will benefit the Native Métis of the Northwest Territories for generations to come. Métis Nation and Métis Councils, and continue to provide much needed programs and services to our members. “

Trevor Beck,
Hay River Métis Government Council Chair

“The signing of the Framework Agreement on Autonomy is symbolically an important step in Canada and the government of Northwest Territories’ recognition of our status as a Métis nation as an Aboriginal government. The signing of this agreement will allow the Fort Smith Métis Council to intensify its efforts to achieve an Indigenous Métis government that reflects our distinct identity and our continued contribution to Canada and the Northwest Territories. It will also allow the Métis Nation of the Northwest Territories and the Métis Councils to be legislative authorities capable of continuing to provide programs and services to our members. “

Allan Heron,
President of the Fort Smith Métis Council

“Our government is committed to working with Indigenous leaders to support their right to self-government. Achieving a self-government agreement will advance reconciliation and recognize and affirm the treaty rights of the Métis Nation of the Northwest Territories. The framework agreement is an important step in this process. It is a testament to the work of all parties to find common ground and demonstrates the strength of the relationship we have built. ”

The Honorable Caroline Cochrane,
Premier of the Northwest Territories

“Strong and self-sufficient Indigenous Nations, able to govern effectively and exercise their right to self-determination, are essential to enhancing the well-being and economic prosperity of Indigenous communities in the North. Congratulations and thank you to the president Garry Bailey, President Arthur beck, President Trevor Beck and president Allan Heron for your leadership and determination. By signing this framework agreement today, our government is taking a fundamental step towards advancing reconciliation and transforming our relationship with the Métis Nation of the Northwest Territories. ”

The Honorable Carolyn Bennett, MD, PC, MP,
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

“Ensuring that Indigenous governments are able to achieve self-government is essential to reconciliation. My congratulations to the Métis Nation of the Northwest Territories on this historic milestone, and I look forward to seeing further progress made through this framework agreement.

Michael mcleod,
Deputy, Northwest Territories

Fast facts

  • Section 35 of from Canada Constitution Act, 1982 recognizes the ancestral rights of the first
  • Nations, Inuit and Métis.
  • Today’s announcement marks a key step in the ongoing negotiations to advance reconciliation under this framework agreement.
  • A framework agreement defines the subject of the negotiation and describes how the negotiations will unfold. Negotiations will begin with a view to an Agreement in Principle, a detailed document that forms the basis of a final agreement and addresses most of the issues outlined in the framework agreement.

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SOURCE Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

For further information: media may contact: Ani Dergalstanian, Press Secretary and Communications Advisor, Office of the Honorable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, 819-997-0002; Media Relations: Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, 819-934-2302, [email protected]; Todd Sasaki, Department of Executive and Aboriginal Affairs, Government of the Northwest Territories, 867-767-9168 ext. 15015, [email protected]; President Garry Bailey, Métis Nation of the Northwest Territories, 867-621-2767, [email protected]

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Sovereignty

Métis Nation of the NWT signs framework for self-government and land claims negotiations

Métis leaders in the Northwest Territories say an agreement signed with Canada and the territorial government to negotiate their land claims marks a critical step towards self-government and management of their own finances, lands and member services.

On Wednesday, the Métis Nation of the Northwest Territories announced that it has signed an agreement with two Canadian governments that will guide their land claims negotiations, which have been underway for 25 years.

Garry Bailey, president of the Métis Nation of the Northwest Territories (NWTMN) said the deal was “a long time to come”.

“To date we have not been treated equally, so we expect a positive response and a positive outcome over the next three to five years. This should definitely be something to watch,” Bailey told CBC .

The signing of the self-government framework agreement is in line with the implementation of the principles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), Bailey said.

He will “prepare the ground” to develop a constitution that will govern the relationship between the NWTMN, three Métis government councils, and Métis Aboriginal members.

Through self-government, the NWTMN and the councils will be recognized as legislative authorities with the capacity to deliver programs, he said.

“We are going to be recognized as a government, not just as a society – so this is a big step,” he said.

Northwest Territories Métis Nation President Garry Bailey signed a framework agreement for negotiations on Wednesday. (Trevor Beck / Facebook)

‘Lots of work to do’

Fort Resolution Métis Government Interim President Arthur Beck said self-government is “extremely important” as it empowers them to manage their own lands and finances, and deliver programs and services. to their aboriginal Métis members.

Beck said he is planning an agreement between Canada and the Government of the Northwest Territories to develop a government-to-government relationship.

Trevor Beck, Chairman of the Hay River Métis Government Council, said in a written statement “after many years of perseverance and struggle, the Hay River Métis Government Council is pleased that we have come to an agreement,” he said. declared.

“We recognize that we have a lot of work to do,” he said.

Allan Heron, president of the Fort Smith Métis Council, said in a written statement that the agreement is a “symbolically important” step for Canada and the governments of the Northwest Territories to recognize the Métis Nation and its status as government.

The agreement will allow the council to design a government that reflects the distinct identity of the Métis peoples and their continued contributions to the Northwest Territories and Canada.

Northwest Territories Premier Caroline Cochrane said in the statement her government is “committed” to working with the Métis in the pursuit of their right to self-government.

“Achieving a self-government agreement will advance reconciliation and recognize and affirm the treaty rights of the Métis Nation of the Northwest Territories,” she said.

Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett praised the Métis leaders for their leadership and determination.

“Strong and self-sufficient Indigenous nations, able to govern effectively and exercise their right to self-determination, are essential to enhancing the well-being and economic prosperity of Indigenous communities in the North,” she said. declared.

Liberal MP Michael McLeod has said he looks forward to further progress with the deal.

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Home rule

Home Rule, Contraceptive Trains, Royal Visits and Good Friday Agreements

In a new addition to the “On The Plinth” initiative, Deputy Political Editor Elaine Loughlin, scans the archives and highlights some of the major political events that have made headlines this week in years past.

May 19: The first meeting of the Home Government Association, which would later become the Home Rule League, was held at the Bilton Hotel in Dublin. The meeting, hosted by Isaac Butt, brought together more than 60 people from different political and religious faiths. They passed a resolution “that the real cure for Ireland’s ills is the establishment of an Irish parliament with full control over our home affairs”.

1921

May 25: The customs fire was carried out by the IRA in what was their largest operation during the War of Independence. Five IRA members and four civilians were killed in the shootings that took place in and around the building. The neoclassical building, inaugurated in 1791, and its administrative archives were completely destroyed.

Fire at the Custom House, Dublin in May 1921

1971

May 22: The “Contraceptive Train” brings contraceptives across the border after some 40 members of the Irish Women’s Liberation Movement arrive in Connolly State in Dublin with “a horde of pills and others contraceptives, ”the Cork Examiner reported. “In Belfast, some women struggled to choose a device to test the reaction of Customs. For some, it was the first time they had seen a contraceptive.

Women on the platform at Connolly Station, Dublin in 1971 before boarding the train from Belfast to purchase contraceptives, which were illegal in the Republic in the 1970s and 1980s. Nell McCafferty is pictured second from left, the chin partially hidden by the banner.  Image: The Irish Times
Women on the platform at Connolly Station, Dublin in 1971 before boarding the train from Belfast to purchase contraceptives, which were illegal in the Republic in the 1970s and 1980s. Nell McCafferty is pictured second from left, the chin partially hidden by the banner. Image: The Irish Times

1998

May 22: The Good Friday Agreement endorsed by referendum on both sides of the border. However, a few days later, nearly 1,000 pounds of explosives were found in two cars stopped by the Garda emergency response unit outside Dundalk. Two decades on Fiachra Ó Cionnaith looked back on the key moments of the first 20 years of the peace process. You can read about the rocky road from the peace here.

1998

May 25:

A headline on the front of the Examiner announced that it was “back to the drawing board” after thieves stole the plates for the new euro banknotes en route to printers. The controversial euro concept has disappeared “somewhere between Paris and Munich”, it has been reported.

Front page of the Irish Examiner of May 23, 1998.
Front page of the Irish Examiner of May 23, 1998.

2015

May 21: As part of his four-day trip to Ireland, Prince Charles visited Mullaghmore in Sligo to see the port where his godfather Lord Mountbatten was killed by the IRA in 1979. You can read about the visit there including the historic handshake with Sinn Fein frontman Gerry Adams here.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015 .: The Prince of Wales (left) shakes hands with Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams at the National University of Ireland in Galway, Ireland.  Photo: Brian Lawless / PA Wire
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 .: The Prince of Wales (left) shakes hands with Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams at the National University of Ireland in Galway, Ireland. Photo: Brian Lawless / PA Wire


* “On The Plinth” coverage continues weekly in Tuesday’s Irish Examiner (in print and online). Make sure you’re up to date on major political stories as well by signing up for the On The Plinth political newsletter as well. HERE.

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Self government

The Congress followed the implementation of the European Charter of Local Self-Government in Spain

A delegation from the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe followed the application of the Charter in Spain, from 18 to 20 May 2021.

The delegation is made up of rapporteurs Bryony Rudkin (United Kingdom, SOC / G / PD) and David Eray (Switzerland, EPP / CCE). They held meetings with local and national authorities in Spain to assess the implementation of the charter. The previous monitoring report and the recommendation on local and regional democracy in Spain were adopted in 2013. All meetings were held at a distance due to the current health crisis.

The delegation met the Spanish National Delegation to Congress, the national associations of local and regional authorities, the Parliament, the Ombudsman, the Ministry of Territorial Policy and Public Administration, the Ministry of Finance, the Constitutional Court and the Court. accounts. They also met the mayors of Madrid, Ohanes and Valladolid.

The resulting report will be examined by the Monitoring Committee in autumn 2021.

Spain ratified the European Charter of Local Self-Government in 1988. The countries which have ratified the Charter are bound by its provisions. The Charter requires the implementation of a minimum set of rights which constitute the fundamental basis of local self-government in Europe. The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe ensures that these principles are respected in the 47 member states of the Council of Europe.

Contact:

Stéphanie POIREL, Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, Secretary of the Monitoring Committee, Tel. : +33 (0) 3 90 21 51 84,
E-mail: [email protected]

See also:

Interview with rapporteur David Eray

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Home rule

Tory minister rejects Drakeford call for Welsh home rule

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Prime Minister Mark Drakeford on Pawb ai’i Farn. Photo by Michael Gove from the Policy Exchange (CC BY 2.0).

A Tory minister has rejected Mark Drakeford’s calls for a Welsh home government.

Cabinet Minister Michael Gove has dismissed a warning from the Prime Minister that interest in independence would only rise in Wales unless the UK government allows the country more autonomy.

Gove told the Financial Times that other people might want to “put energy into this conversation” and added, “I’m focusing on the practice.

He also reiterated the UK government’s determination to use the powers of the Home Market Law to bypass the Senedd.

The Welsh government has condemned the law as a ‘takeover’ because it takes away spending powers that were previously vested in and centralizes them in Westminster. The Senedd voted overwhelmingly against, but was rejected.

Gove’s comments follow Welsh Labor’s victory in the Senedd election, where it won 30 of 60 seats.

His election manifesto called for the federalization of the UK, as well as the devolution of specific powers such as the police and the judiciary.

The Tories, who ran on a platform more aligned with the UK government, won just one more constituency – while two parties vowing to get rid of the Welsh parliament failed to secure any seats.

Gove also revealed that he said he spoke with leaders of the Welsh and Scottish governments following Thursday’s parliamentary elections.

“Good conversations”

He said: “I had good conversations with the leaders of the decentralized administrations.

“Everyone was convinced that the number one priority for the whole of the UK was to rebuild better and to emerge from the coronavirus pandemic. “

He added: “We just have to demonstrate how these institutions work for the benefit of all.

“I prefer that we focus on people’s priorities rather than looking for new areas of abstract debate to enter into.”

Mark Drakeford told the Financial Times that Senedd’s election result had given Wales “leeway” to reform the UK in a way that would give it “real stability”.

“We need a Home Rule for Wales, more power, a position where decentralization cannot be held back by the whim of a prime minister.”

He added that Johnson’s approach “added to the stress and tensions which undoubtedly weighs on the UK”.

He cited the UK government’s Home Market Act as an example.

“The UK government’s action to take powers away from Wales. . . is a recipe for turning the interest in independence for Wales into something more fundamental, ”he added.

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Independence activist

Indonesia: police arrest independence activist – JURIST

Indonesian police arrested Victor Yeimo, an independence activist, according to a statement from Iqbal Alqudusy, the head of the Nemangkawi special commission, on Monday.

Yeimo is known as the former spokesperson and current chairman of the National Committee for West Papua, a group of peaceful protesters calling for a self-determination referendum. He was arrested on charges of makar who, according to local reports, refer to treason, subversion and rebellion. The makar charges are brought under the country’s controversial Penal Code.

The accusation refers to Yeimo’s alleged public statements inspiring unrest and allegedly spreading lies. This follows his involvement in anti-racism protests in 2019. The protests drew thousands, left dozens dead and sparked an internet blackout.

Alqudusy commented that the police “arrested a person [Yeimo] on the wanted list in a case of racism and riots in Papua in 2019. ”

Indonesian police also suspect Yeimo of having insulted the country ”[a]s referred to in the wording of article 106 in conjunction with article 87 of the penal code (KUHP) and / or article 110 of the KUHP and / or article 14 paragraphs (1) and (2) and l Article 15 of Law No. 1/1946 on Penal Regulations.

Yeimo has already been the subject of police action. He has been arrested several times during his activism, largely for his involvement in the protests.

Likewise, many human rights defenders and activists face sanctions for their work. Arrests are a method commonly used by Indonesian authorities in an attempt to discourage dissent.

The arrests of peaceful protesters and dissenting voices raise concerns over Indonesia’s respect for international law. Indonesia signed the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in 2006. The treaty provides for a right of peaceful assembly in article 21. Article 19 provides for the right of individuals to hold opinions without interference and to freedom of expression.

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Home rule

Support for independence will increase unless Wales wins Home Rule, Drakeford told Johnson after big election victory

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson (left) in yesterday’s speech broadcast on BBC One. Mark Drakeford (right), Welsh government photo.

Prime Minister Mark Drakeford called for Home Rule for Wales after securing Labor’s biggest joint victory in the Senedd election on Thursday.

The Prime Minister said interest in independence would only increase in Wales unless the UK government allows the country more autonomy.

The Welsh Labor election manifesto called for the federalization of the UK, as well as the devolution of specific powers such as the police and the judiciary.

The Tories, who ran on a platform more aligned with the UK government, won just one more constituency – while two parties vowing to get rid of the Welsh parliament failed to secure any seats.

Mark Drakeford told the Financial Times the result gave Wales “leeway” to reform the UK in a way that would give it “real stability”.

“We need a Home Rule for Wales, more powers, a position where decentralization cannot be overruled by the whim of a prime minister,” Drakeford told the Financial Times.

He added that Johnson’s approach “added to the stress and tensions which undoubtedly weighs on the UK”.

He cited the UK government’s Home Market Act as an example, which the Welsh government condemned as a “takeover”.

“The UK government’s action to take powers away from Wales. . . is a recipe for turning the interest in independence for Wales into something more fundamental, ”he added.

“Better luck”

Boris Johnson wrote to Mark Drakeford on Saturday, inviting him to a meeting to discuss their common challenges in tackling the Covid-19 crisis.

The Prime Minister said he would write in similar terms to the Prime Minister of Scotland and the First and Deputy Prime Ministers of Northern Ireland.

In the letter he said he looked forward to “working with you in the years to come in a spirit of collaboration and mutual respect to serve the people of Wales”.

“We both share a belief in the enormous potential of our UK – both to be a force for good in the world and to be an engine of security and prosperity for its citizens here at home,” did he declare.

“The people of the UK, and in particular the people of Wales, are best served when we work together. “

Mark Drakeford told The Guardian he would tell the Prime Minister he needs to work with the self-governing nations, rather than trying to dictate to them.

“This is truly a moment that the Prime Minister should seize to reestablish relations across the UK, for serious consideration of how we can create the mechanisms that will allow us to work together in the future,” said said Mark Drakeford.

“Not an approach that thinks of flying more unions to the top of the building, but appropriate and respectful relations that recognize that sovereignty is now dispersed among four parliaments in which we choose to pool it for common ends.

“This is the kind of UK that I think will have the best chance of surviving, because it will be a UK where people want to be here, rather than have to be.”

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