Canadian Indian group supports Nelson Maori claim

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The Nelson Maori group fighting its stalled Treaty claims says it is humbled and honoured to receive support from Canadian Indian Chiefs.

Yesterday Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the s (UBCIC) criticised the New Zealand Governments failure to negotiate with Nelsons Te Kahui Ngahuru Trust.

The New Zealand Government is refusing to negotiate the Trusts WAI56 claim for land loss and mismanagement of Maori land in Nelson, Motueka and Golden Bay.

In a media release Grand Chief Phillip pointed out similarities between New Zealands and Canadas Governments in their continued injustices against indigenous people.

He said ongoing injustices such as woefully inadequate land reserves or Crown mismanagement of Te K?hui Ngahuru or the many outstanding specific claims in Canada, add to the severe economic, cultural and social suffering of our Indigenous communities.

Te Kahui Ngahuru Trust Chairman James Wheeler said both Maori and American Indian peoples had a similar heritage and needed redress for past injustices.

Grand Chief Phillip is so right when he says as Indigenous Peoples, our fight is the same the world over. Our Title and Rights are being ignored, trivialised and dismissed. Maori are totally disillusioned by the Crowns flawed claims settlement process.

“It is high time the Office of Treaty Settlements began to understand that our claim is about the original owners of the Nelson Tenths Reserves who have suffered hardship for over a century, says Mr Wheeler.

The support from the Canadian Indian group follows recent criticism by the United Nations Human Rights Committee of the New Zealand Governments approach to Te Kahui Ngahuri Trust.

Mr Wheeler said one of the Governments most pressing tasks was to create genuine, durable and principled settlements, yet it was seen internationally as failing to ensure the views expressed by Maori in the context of the historical Treaty claims process were duly taken into account.

He said Te Kahui Ngahuru would continue to fight for justice and was obviously gaining significant international recognition for its cause.

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