Iranian officials have approached a group of Manitoba First Nations Leaders, proposing they make a trek to Tehran where they will address the Iranian Parliament. Former Roseau River First Nation chief Terry Nelson, along with two Dakota chiefs and an adviser, met with Kambiz Sheikh-Hassani, the charge d’affaires at Iran’s Ottawa embassy, for about an hour Monday afternoon. Afterward, Nelson said, "They were pretty clear on the message. They are working very hard to get us the invitation to Iran and they are taking us very seriously,They are going to work with us to make sure that the stories of what happened to our people will get out.”
If Nelson really believes that the Iranian regime, with its terrible record for trampling all over the rights of its citizens, is motivated by any type of altruistic desire to help, then I have got some amazing real estate to sell him.
After the meeting, Canupawakpa Dakota Nation Chief Frank Brown declared, “They understand what Aboriginals are going through. They also said they are demonized and I can understand that too. Everyone says Iran is a warring country. We all face the same things from a stronger country that wants to demonize smaller people.”
Let's talk a wee bit about "demonizing" shall we?
Human rights campaigners say that Iran has one of the highest execution rates in the world, and when one recalls that one form of execution by torture favoured there - death by stoning - is used for such "crimes" as adultery, well ... Iran is being demonized, is it? Could it be the regime itself that is responsible for this demonizing?
It is very important, as well, to remember that Iranian law allows a huge loophole through which Iran's general disregard for human rights can easily slip. "Judge's knowledge" is the loophole that allows for subjective judicial rulings where no conclusive evidence is present. Any country that retains a judicial code into which they have built such total disregard for justice is surely not a country that gives a good goddamn about what happens to the aboriginal people of Canada.
I am completely in support of the First Nations of Canada in their quest for better treatment here in their own country. I have expressed my support of them before, for instance, to do with the genocide attempted in the residential schools. I have decried the reprehensible inaction of Canada's government on issues faced by the First Nations of Canada, but I do not believe that the Iranian government is out to help the native peoples of Canada better their lot in any way. They are out to use them solely for the purpose of deflecting attention away from their reprehensible actions in perpetrating injustices against their own people. Truly, they know all about perpetrating injustice.
I sincerely hope the proposed trip to Tehran never takes place. I hope those like Terry Nelson and Frank Brown come to realize that Tehran is indeed a monster in disguise, seeking to lull the First Nations into an alliance that will do nothing, absolutely nothing to further the very real cause of Canada's native peoples. If anything, it may do very real harm to their worthy cause for the First Nations to ally themselves in any way with the ogre that is Iran.