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NATIVE RIGHTS: Examples of Issues & Controversies in recent years.

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Presentation on theme: "NATIVE RIGHTS: Examples of Issues & Controversies in recent years."— Presentation transcript:

1 NATIVE RIGHTS: Examples of Issues & Controversies in recent years



4 These treaties deal with Land Claims, logging, fishing, hunting, taxation, etc.. There are still many in North America which are not settled. Rumour has it Manhattan Island has a Land Claim on it. It was purchased for less than 1000 bucks

5 Most of these issues deal with Treaty Rights signed many years ago in peace treaties with First Nations groups by Canada and, before Confederation, Britain. In Nova Scotia, October 1 st is Treaty Day. This day marks interacial friendship. Now, that’s more like it! Now, for the negative…

6 The ideology of Eurocentricism The ideology of Eurocentricism had a major role in the destruction, oppression, and suppression of Aboriginal civilizations. Eurocentricism stems from the belief that Europeans are politically and culturally superior to all other people in the world. The image of the uncivilized Native originated long ago; Europeans held the belief that indigenous societies were barbaric, subhuman, and savage for centuries

7 After Confederation in 1867, the Indian Act (1876) was brought in. It reduced “Indians” to an oppressed people that were wards of the state administered by white Indian Agents. It set up the Reservation System and denied them full Cdn. Citizen status (e.g. voting rights). Women who married non-Natives lost all status, as did their children.

8 Residential Schools

9 The history of Indian Residential Schools began with the infamous Davin Report. In 1879 Regina MP Nicholas Flood Davin was commissioned by Sir John A. Macdonald to study and report on the internal workings of the American Indian industrial boarding schools, and advise on the feasibility of establishing similar schools in Canada.

10 Davin's Report recommended these American-type schools. This marked the beginning of the Indian residential school system in Canada. Davin firmly believed, as did other politicians, that "if anything is to be done with the Indian, we must catch him very young“ Essentially, get rid of the “Indian” traits that these children had.

11 Aboriginal children were removed from their reservations and sent to schools far away from home (There was one in Shubenacadie). School life was modeled after military life: children were issued uniforms learned drill practices marched to and from classes and the dining hall for meals School structure operated on academics for half a day and trades the other half Children were not allowed to speak their native tongue The school operated a printing and newspaper program (to supplement its small source of funding received from the federal government)

12 The only difference between American and Canadian residential schools was Canadian residential schools were operated by Christian churches at the request of the government. "Thus the interests of church and state merged in a marriage of convenience…the churches could harvest souls at government-funded schools while meeting the shared mandate to eradicate all that was Indian in the children“ THUS, THE GOAL WAS ASSIMILATION.

13 Years later, reports of physical, psychological and sexual abuse surfaced. The school were shut down IN THE 1970s AND 1980s and legal compensation settlements are ongoing between the government and the victimized former students. The money was given out in 2007 and PM Stephen Harper apologized formally in 2008.


15 The Oka Crisis 1990 In the summer of 1990 at Oka, a place famous for cheese making monks near western Island of Montreal, a proposed increase of holes to 18 to the nine hole golf course resulted in a 2 1/2 months long armed standoff in which one SQ police officer was killed. The golf course was on sacred Mohawk land. Mohawk warriors came north from the U.S. to fight with their Cdn. brothers and sisters. They shut down bridges to Montreal, disrupting commuters, leading to local non-Natives rioting. PM Brian Mulroney eventually sent in the army to calm things down. The crisis lasted 78 days.





20 est/clips/500/ est/clips/500/ est/clips/512/ est/clips/512/ t/clips/523/ est/clips/581/ est/clips/581/ est/clips/582/ est/clips/582/ est/clips/584/ est/clips/584/

21 Ipperwash, Ontario 1995 The Ipperwash Crisis was an Indigenous land dispute that occurred in Ipperwash Provincial Park, Ontario in 1995. Several members of the Stoney Point Ojibway band occupied the park in order to assert their claim to their land. This led to a violent confrontation between protesters and the Ontario Provincial Police, who killed unarmed protestor Dudley George. The ensuing controversy was a major event in Canadian politics, and a provincial inquiry, was completed in the fall of 2006. The OPP police were found to have overeacted and killed an unarmed man.Ipperwash Provincial ParkOntario1995OjibwayclaimOntario Provincial PoliceDudley GeorgeCanadian politics

22 Dudley George: Killed by the OPP at Ipperwash. Subject of CTV movie ONE DEAD INDIAN

23 Donald Marshall Jr. Donald Marshall Jr., the man at the centre of one of Canada's highest-profile wrongful conviction cases, died in 2009 of complications from his 2003 lung transplant

24 In 1971, Marshall was wrongfully convicted of murdering his friend, Sandy Seale, in Sydney's Wentworth Park. Marshall was just 17 years old when he received a life sentence for the murder that was later determined he had not committed. He was released in 1982 after RCMP reviewed his case and cleared by the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal in 1983 after a witness came forward to say another man had stabbed Seale and several prior witness statements connecting Marshall to the death were recanted. Though the Appeal Court declared him not guilty, Marshall was told he had contributed to his own conviction and that any miscarriage of justice was more apparent than real.

25 Roy Ebsary, an eccentric who bragged about being skilled with knives, was eventually convicted of manslaughter in Seale's death and spent a year in jail. Systemic racism Marshall, a Mi'kmaq, was exonerated by a royal commission in 1990 that determined systemic racism had contributed to his wrongful imprisonment. The seven-volume report pointed the finger at police, judges, Marshall's original defence lawyers, Crown lawyers and bureaucrats. "The criminal justice system failed Donald Marshall Jr. at virtually every turn from his arrest and wrongful conviction for murder in 1971 up to and even beyond his acquittal by the Court of Appeal in 1983," the report said. Marshall was one of 13 children of Caroline and Donald Marshall Sr., once the grand chief of the Mi'kmaq nation. Following his exoneration, he became known as a "reluctant hero" to the First Nation for his role in fighting for native rights.

26 Marshall was also the central figure in a landmark 1999 Supreme Court of Canada ruling that guaranteed aboriginal treaty rights to fish and hunt. He was the primary petitioner in the case after he had been arrested while fishing for eels out of season. The high court ruling also confirmed that Mi'kmaq and Maliseet in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia have the right to earn a moderate livelihood from hunting, fishing and gathering. Chief Lawrence Paul of the Millbrook First Nation near Truro said Marshall’s battle for native rights will be his lasting legacy.

27 It was instrumental. It was a benefit to the economy of the First Nations across Atlantic Canada, and I think right across Canada," Paul said Thursday. "So, his name should go down in history as a sympathetic individual who had the rights of the Mi’kmaq people close to his heart." How the ruling applies to other aboriginals in Canada is still being interpreted. Province marks Treaty Day - NovaScotia - TheChronicleHerald.caProvince marks Treaty Day - NovaScotia -

28 Donald Marshall wins Supreme Court victory - CBC Archives How do we resolve land claims? - CBC ArchivesHow do we resolve land claims? - CBC Archives cs/clips/6866/ cs/clips/6866/

29 Burnt Church, New Brunswick As Indigenous people, Mi'kmaq claim they have the right to catch lobster out of season. The non- Aboriginals claim that that if this is allowed lobster stocks (an important source of income) could be depleted so none would be left!Indigenous peopleMi'kmaqlobster depleted In September 1999, a Supreme Court of Canada ruling, The Marshall Decision, acknowledged that treaties from the 1770s held that a Mi'kmaq man, Donald Marshall, Jr., had the right to fish for eels out of season. The Burnt Church First Nation IN New Brunswick interpreted the judgment as meaning that they could catch lobster out of season and began to put out traps.Supreme Court of CanadaDonald Marshall, Jr.

30 Angry non-Aboriginals damaged and destroyed a number of Mi'kmaq lobster traps in the weeks to come. Local Mi'kmaq retaliated by destroying non-Aboriginal fishing boats and buildings. Government Minister Herb Dhaliwal and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans managed to sign fishing agreements with 29 of 34 Atlantic Coast bands but the Burnt Church First Nation was not convinced. The Canadian Government ordered the Mi'kmaq to reduce the total number of lobster traps used, leaving members of the Burnt Church First Nation with a total of 40 traps for the whole community. Some Mi'kmaq resisted this, claiming that they already have conservation methods in place to ensure the lobster stock would not be depleted off the Atlantic coast.lobster trapsHerb DhaliwalDepartment of Fisheries and Oceansbands Burnt Church First Nation Canadian GovernmentMi'kmaqlobster trapsBurnt Church First NationconservationAtlantic coast

31 In 2000 and 2001, rising conflict led to a series of standoffs between police and Aboriginals, and a number of arrests were made. (famous footage of Coast Guard ramming a small fishing boat made worldwide news).The federal government offered to pay for a two million dollar fishing wharf and five new fishing boats for the Mi'kmaq. The Natives rejected the offer, believing it could be interpreted as a surrender of their legal fishing rights.police Aboriginalsfederal government




35 YouTube - DFO think they own the ocean and fishYouTube - DFO think they own the ocean and fish YouTube - Burnt Church Fishing dispute. YouTube - Burnt Church Fishing dispute 2 004/nova-scotia-band-government-111004/ 004/nova-scotia-band-government-111004/

36 clips/12858/ clips/12858/ cs/clips/6867/ cs/clips/6867/ donald-marshall-wrongful-conviction- dies342.html donald-marshall-wrongful-conviction- dies342.html Inuit rights Haida vs. logging Oil drilling vs. native rights Nisga’a Treaty

37 The Territory of Nunavut : Eastern part of the NWT that was created in 1999 to give Northern Innu and Inuit self government and more input into their own affairs.

38 The capital is Iqaluit on Baffin Island, in the east,. Other major communities include Rankin Inlet and Cambridge Bay. Nunavut also includes Ellesmere Island to the north, as well as the eastern and southern portions of Victoria Island in the west. Nunavut is both the least populated and the largest of the provinces and territorities of Canada. It has a population of only 30,782 spread over an area the size of Western Europe. If Nunavut were a sovereign nation, it would be the least densely populated in the world: Nearby Greenland, for example, has almost the same area and twice the population. Nunavut means 'our land' in Inuktitut, the language of the InuitIqaluitBaffin IslandRankin InletCambridge BayEllesmere IslandVictoria IslandWestern EuropeGreenlandInuktitut Inuit


40 The main united voice for Native people in Canada.

41 ANNA MAE PICTOU-AQUASH CBC News Indepth: Anna Mae Pictou- AquashCBC News Indepth: Anna Mae Pictou- Aquash Gun In Her Mouth - YouTube

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