Seminar: The dark side of universality: the indigenous story

Global Governance

In short


9 June 2022


16:00 - 18:00


Kennedy Room OV K.47 & Teams

Taking a closer look at the development of human rights in different parts of the world shows the dark side of the colourful picture of universality and reachability of human rights. Even in Canada, which claims to be a human rights champion, the reality of indigenous peoples is quite the opposite. In this seminar Chief Joe Alphonse tells how the Tŝilhqot’in, one of the Indigenous Nations in Canada, successfully fought to get their rightful aboriginal title over their lands recognized by the highest Canadian Court (Supreme Court of Canada).

Stopping the development of mines

The Tŝilhqot’in have also been successful in stopping the development of one of the largest copper and gold mines proposed by Taseko Mines. A judicial battle which lasted 30 years. To reach this acknowledgement of their rights on their lands, the Tŝilhqot’in Nation had to bring their claims through the Canadian judicial system, a framework alien to their way of lives and governance.

Their story exemplifies first the invisibility of marginalized groups and certainly the lack of universality of fundamental human rights. Yet, it also illustrates that with determination and perseverance, minority groups can make their voices heard and have their universal rights truly recognized.

Picture Indigenous Event


Chief Joe Alphonse from the Tŝilhqot’in Nation. Chief Joe Alphonse has been the Tribal Chairman of the Tŝilhqot’in National Government (TNG) since 2010 and elected Chief of the Tl’etinqox-t’in Government since 2009. He remains the longest elected Chief in the history of Tl’etinqox-t’in. 


Christine Tremblay, LL.M.(adv.)
Szilvia Csevár, LL.M.
Researchers at Centre of Expertise Global Governance

Main Organizer

Centre of Expertise Global Governance

Everybody welcome, no costs

All THUAS employees and students interested can attend this seminar free of costs.

Faith in Human Rights

This event is part of the Faith in Human Rights series

This event can also be followed via Teams:

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