Saskatoon

FSIN pitches direct link between First Nations and Buckingham Palace at UN forum

The idea of a treaty commissioner is nothing new in Saskatchewan. The FSIN is now pitching the idea of creating a commissioner who works internationally.

Child apprehensions also brought up at international event

Chief Evan Taypotat was delivering a message at the UN on behalf of FSIN. (Evan Taypotat/Facebook)

Chief Evan Taypotat had the mic in a room filled by United Nations delegates from all over the world.

Taypotat was in New York Wednesday at the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, asking for the UN to support the establishment of an International Treaty Commissioner.

The commissioner, Taypotat told the room, would support peaceful approaches to breaches of Treaty rights.

It was a nerve-wracking experience, Taypotat wrote on Facebook afterward.

"It is a travesty when First Nations peoples must gather to protect their traditional territories from settler greed, whether it be with arms defending First Nations grave sites from the development of a golf course in Oka or through peaceful presence protecting water as in Standing Rock," he said.

He wrote that he drew strength from Nathan Phillips, the drum-playing First Nations man whose image was shared worldwide after a confrontation in Washington, DC.

The teenager at the centre of an encounter caught on video, which some say shows the boy mocking an Indigenous veteran, says he was trying to diffuse tensions between multiple sides during competing rallies in Washington, D.C. 2:11

Phillips approached and stood with Taypotat as he called on the UN to intervene in supporting First Nations in getting their children back.

"I was honoured that this ol Warrior had my back," Taypotat wrote.

Chief Evan Taypotat wrote on Facebook that he could 'feel the crowd buzzing' when Nathan Phillips came to stand behind him. (Evan Taypotat/Facebook)

Taypotat's message at the UN came on behalf of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN).

In a news conference held by the group on Thursday, FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron said Elders across Canada support the idea of having an International Treaty Commissioner to act as a communication line between the British Crown and First Nations.

In practice, the British Crown would include the Governor General of Canada and the Royal Family at Buckingham Palace.

"I'm sure Prince William and them don't understand inherent and treaty rights and we'd love to give them a good honest, humble lesson — and Queen Elizabeth, before she dies. She must understand that our inherent and treaty rights are forever," he said.

The forum wraps up on May 3.