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Profile: Armand MacKenzie

More about some of the people from the 8th Fire TV series.

Legal Consultant:

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Armand MacKenzie is a consultant on legal issues for the Innu nation in Quebec.

He was born in Labrador, where his parents and grandparents taught him how to hunt and live off the land. He later became interested in human rights issues and graduated from law school at the University of Ottawa.

Mackenzie writes that while working in the Quebec and Labrador legal systems he "witnessed the termination of the Innu people's rights to their land, resources and way of life" in connection with the construction of mega hydro projects and mines.

He has been involved in land claims negotiations, and has campaigned internationally for greater Innu self determination, representing the Innu Council of Nitassinan at the United Nations and UNESCO.

He argues that the Innu deserve fair compensation for being relocated off mineral rich lands that were once their traditional hunting and gathering territory.

MacKenzie participated in the drafting of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, along with hundreds of other indigenous delegates from around the world. (The unprecedented declaration, which was adopted by the UN general assembly in 2007, seeks to protect the rights and resources of indigenous peoples. Canada did not sign the declaration until last year).

Links

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples