Iroquois passport controversy raises ire of Quebec sovereignists
A passport of the Iroquois nationThe plight of an indigenous lacrosse team barred from boarding a New York to London flight due to the fact the players insist on using passports issued by the Iroquois Confederacy is raising questions in Canada about the legitimacy of the documents, apparently used since the mid 1970s.
Bloc Quebecois Indian Affairs critic Marc Lemay said letting the Iroquois travel abroad with their own nation passport is against the law and tolerating it would only open a Pandora's box.
"If this were to be generally tolerated as of tomorrow, the number of people claiming to be part of a nation and requesting their passport Quebec is a nation would explode," Lemay said Thursday. "You'll see a Quebec passport, a Scottish passport, a Catalan passport, a Corsican passport."
Lemay, a lawyer, noted that a British treaty signed in the 1700s granted Iroquois a mobility right on their territory one that now encompasses land in Canada and the United States. Both countries let Iroquois use their national passports to cross their border, but only their border.
"They can't travel the world with it," he stressed. border that cuts through their territory has been unjustly imposed on them. They have regularly refused to use Canadian or American passports as a matter or principle.
Sebastien Grammond, a University of Ottawa civil law pandora watch charm professor who has studied aboriginal rights, said the Iroquois have asserted throughout history that they are "allies" rather than "subjects" of the British Crown.
While Canada would never officially recognize the indigenous group as sovereign, Grammond said the government has generally tolerated its actions to avoid conflict.
"I would not be surprised if Canada tried to negotiate a quiet solution," he said of the latest scandal. border, was scheduled to fly to England Tuesday for a tournament but were prevented from boarding due to a lack of proper documentation.
For years, the indigenous group has been using Haudenosaunee passports issued by the Iroquois Confederacy. While they've generally been honoured, apparently as a courtesy by host countries, increased security requirements post 9/11 have raised questions about their validity in recent months. State Department agreed to a "one time waiver" and promised to recognize their Iroquois passports when they return but the British government has yet to issue the visas.
"They're still there in New York and they're working on it," said Jessica Shenandoah, secretary of the Iroquois Confederacy, which includes Mohawks, Seneca and other native groups whose territory stretches across parts of Quebec, Ontario and New York state.
"They're not giving up at all. We can still get there in time to be a part of the tournament."
In a telephone interview from New York Thursday afternoon where the team took in the sights and posed for photos, league general manager Ansley Jemison said they've already had to forfeit one game. using the passports, pandora silver rings he's still hopeful they'll be given the green light.
The Iroquois lacrosse team was scheduled to take part in the world championship for men's lacrosse, a sport whose origins lie in Native American culture.
The tournament began Thursday and is scheduled to run until July 24.
According to a Facebook posting by the Aboriginal People's Television Network, Wilton Littlechild, an Alberta chief and former MP who is now a commissioner on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, is in Geneva and has called on the UN Human Rights Commission to look into Britain's refusal to issue the visas.
Courtney Battistone, a spokeswoman with the British High Commission in Ottawa, said the team is welcome in Britain provided they present valid documentation.
While the Iroquois passport pandora jewelry order online may have been honoured in the past, she said "travel document validity is regularly reviewed and updated" and documents must comply with the latest "international civil aviation standards."
Passport Canada jewelry store pandora officials have affirmed the Canadian passport issued by the federal government is the only official, reliable and universally accepted document for travel abroad, however, Citizenship and Immigration has said Canadian citizens and registered Indians under the Indian Act have a right to enter Canada with or without official documentation.
Shenandoah, who is responsible for issuing the Iroquois passports, said efforts are underway to ensure the Iroquois passports meet international standards given the current state of heightened vigilance.
Up to now, she said, it has been up to each nation to vet applicants on both security grounds and to ensure their indigenous heritage. The free passports are generally issued in person and are valid for five years and include a regulation passport photo.
Knowing the documents may be subject to scrutiny, Shenandoah said visa arrangements are typically made well in advance.
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