2 Background information #1 Think about this For any culture to survive, it needs two things;an economic basis from which the basic needs of its people can be metSome ability to make decisions that will help that culture survive and thrive- some form of self government
3 Background information #2 Here’s how it works in canada Every country has some form of a constitutionWhat’s a constitution?The constitution of a nation is the set of rules that govern how a government can exercise public power. A constitution identifies who or what institutions should exercise power and how they should do it. The government is usually the most powerful coercive force within a country, so the rules about how a government should exercise power are very important. They put checks and balances on the government’s powers.From:
4 Who does what?The Canadian constitution also known as the British North America Act (with the addition of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms) divides the powers and responsibilities of the different levels of government.In Canada the federal (national) government is responsible for First Nations, Metis and Inuit while the provincial governments control the resources within their provinces
5 Two Types of Land Claims 1. Comprehensive ClaimsArise in areas where no treaties have ever been made, where Aboriginal land rights have not been dealt withThere modern treaties are negotiated between the Aboriginal group, Canada and the province or territoryWhile unique, usually they include issues like land ownership, money, land, resource, water, wildlife and environmental managementAlso usually provide for economic development, protection of Aboriginal culture, and Aboriginal self-government
6 Specific ClaimsDeal with greviances of First Nations where Canada has failed to honour its obligations under historic treaties or to protect and properly manage a First Nation’s lands, funds or other assets (which under law the Canadian government is obligated to do)To date over 800 specific claims have been resolved and 500 more remain unresolved
7 1. Royal Proclamation, 1763A document that set out the guidelines for European settlement in North AmericaIt was created after the British had defeated the French in North America and taken possession of the whole continentIt was proclaimed by King George III to officially take control of the lands they had conquered-aftermath of the 7 years war and the fall of Quebec-some fear on part of British of revolution in American colonies-still needed First Nations help in warfare, so a measure of protection was granted in this proclamation
8 -King George III, The Royal Proclamation, 1763 "It is just and reasonable and essential to our interest and security of our colonies that the several nations or tribes of Indians with whom we are connected and who live under our protection, should not be molested or disturbed in the possession of such parts of our dominions and territories which, not having been ceded to or purchased by us, are reserved to them or any of them as their hunting grounds."-King George III, The Royal Proclamation, 1763
10 When the Royal Proclamation was signed in 1763, the relationship between First Nations and the British was one of alliesThe Royal Proclamation laid out 2 important concepts related to native people;That Aboriginal people lives as nations and had a claim or title to their traditional landsOnly the government could buy Aboriginal lands or sign treaties for those lands and that they must be treated fairly in those negotiations
11 2. The British North America Act The British North America Act is legislation passed by Britain to create the country of CanadaIt is the Canadian constitution and marks the point when the Canadian government was formed and its relationship with native people began-conflict of interest- Canadian government given responsibility to protect the interests of Aboriginal people and to make treaties with them in the Royal Proclamation but also wanted to clear the west for settlement-modern negotiations complicated by the constitutional responsibilities of the federal (Indians) and provincial government (resources)
12 “It shall be lawful for the Queen, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate and House of Commons, to make laws for the Peace, Order, and good Government of Canada…, the exclusive Legislative Authority of the Parliament of Canada extends to all Matters coming within the Classes of Subjects… enumerated; that is to say, … 24. Indians, and Lands reserved for the Indians. “ –British North America Act, 1867.
13 The British North America Act 1867 The Canadian Constitution
14 What’s a ConstitutionA constitution is the regulations and principles that are established when a country is formed
15 The British North America Act The British North America Act is the act that formed the country known as CanadaThe Act was signed in 1867 by Queen VictoriaThe Act gave Canada the government and justice system that we have today
16 QuestionsThe British North American Act clearly states that a legal duty to protect the interests of Natives and be the only authority to sell their land to.This would contradict their the responsibility to fairly negotiate land division as the government just threw out the Aboriginals from the West
17 Questions (continued) The problem with this system is the Native people now have to go through two different governments to get access to the resources within their land as they have to negotiate with the provincial government to determine the right to the resource and then the federal government about the land
18 3. The Numbered Treaties-note the outline of NunavutWhat parts of Canada were not covered by historic treaty?
19 Rupert’s Land was the area of Canada given to the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1670 by King Charles II It covers 15% of North America and includes all the land that drains into Hudson BayIn 1869, the Canadian government bought Rupert’s Land from the Hudson Bay CompanyThe Canadian government hoped to open this area up to settlement
20 “…did not know in the White people’s language what surrender meant- they did not talk about giving anything up…The White people [government] had placed this term in the treaty but the Natives did not know or where not aware of it, and thus did not talk about giving up anything.” – Stoney Nation Elder
21 The Numbered TreatiesAll of Canada was covered with the exception of New-Founland and Labrador, Quebec, P-E-I, Yukon, Nunavut, B-C except Vancouver Island.Government officials feared that the area was open to an American takeover. Prime minister John A. Macdonald was determined to fill the area with settler and secure Canada’s claim.Why? Because in the United States, the conflicts between Aboriginal nations and settlers had been bloody and also because the government wanted to secure Canada’s claim with the agreement of the Aboriginal nation and not by force.Aboriginal leaders such as Chief Crowfoot of the Siksika (blokfoot) recognized that with the destruction of the buffalo herds, their way of life was collapsing.They eeded assurances for their future and new, means of livelihood when they could no longer follow their traditional economies. Because the Chief knew that in the future, a lot of changes would happen and they wanted to ensure their future with the helpdof Canadians.The Aboriginal people might disagree with the government over the interpretation of the treaties becauseat the time, the intentions of the treaties were not explained properly to the Aboriginals.“The natives had no idea what was happening, they didn’t speak the settlers language so they did’t understand what they were surrendering.” –Stoney Nation Elder
22 4. The Indian Act, 1876An act passed by the Canadian government that defined the relationship between the Canadian government and the 633 First Nations living in what became Canada passed in 1876Has been amended many times
23 “I want to get rid of the Indian problem “I want to get rid of the Indian problem. I do not think as a matter of fact, that the country ought to continuously protect a class of people who are able to stand alone… Our objective is to continue until there is not a single Indian in Canada that has not been absorbed into the body politic and there is no Indian question, and no Indian Department, that is the whole object of this Bill.” - Dr. Duncan Campbell Scott, Deputy Superintendant of Canada’s Dept. of Indian Affairs, 1920
24 The Indian Act Amendments By: Tasha, Hayden, and AbiThe Indian Act was the law that defined what made someone an Indian and dictated what they could and couldn’t do. Many amendments were put into place to give the government more control. The government slowly made the Act worse and worse. They took away The Aboriginal’s culture and rights to give themselves more power.The AmendmentsAmendment: several traditional Aboriginal ceremonies were banned.Ex: PotlatchesAmendment: Power was given to the government to take Aboriginals from their reserves if they lived near towns and had no more than 8,000 people.1927 Amendment: To solicit funds for Aboriginal legal claims, you had to have a license from the Superintendent General. This meant that it was very hard for Aboriginals to pursue land claims because the government had control over these.1951 AmendmentMost Damaging?1951 Amendment: This amendment made life easier on Natives because the more restricting parts of the Act were amended and removed. Natives could practice customs and culture, could appear off-reserve, they could hire legal counsel, and Indian women were now allowed to vote in band councils.The 1885 amendment was the most damaging because it took away the Aboriginal's culture, which they believed strongly in. It doesn’t seem like the government’s place to be telling Natives that they couldn’t do the things that made them who they were.Quote: The quote is saying that the native Indians don’t force the white people to follow their culture, but the white man is trying to take away the culture of the natives.
26 “The treatment of children in Indian Residential Schools is a sad chapter in our history…To the approximately 80,000 living former students, and all family members and communities, the Government of Canada now recognizes that it was wrong to forcibly remove children from their homes and we apologize for having done this. We now recognize that it was wrong to separate children from rich and vibrant cultures and traditions that it created a void in many lives and communities, and we apologize for having done this. “–Stephen Harper to the Canadian Parliament, 2008.
27 Residential SchoolsResidential schools were schools where the government kidnapped aboriginal children aged 6-16 to prepare them for life in English culture.The government established residential schools to get rid of the ``Indian Problem`` and erase aboriginal culture and people.A lot of First nations culture was destroyed or heavily impacted by residential schools. Also, many children were abused by the preachers at these establishments causing great depression and in 3000 extreme cases death.Residential schools were a dark chapter in Canadian history where the Canadian government was committing serious genocide against the indigenous people.
28 6. Indian Act Amendments, 1885, 1905, 1927, 1951
29 “We will dance when our laws command us to dance, we will feast when our hearts desire to feast. Do we ask the white man, ‘do as the Indian does’? No we do not. Why then do you ask us, ‘do as the white man does’? It is a strict law that bids us dance. It is a strict law that bids us distribute our property among our friends and neighbours. It is a good law. Let the white man observe his law, we shall observe ours.” – 1896, Kwakwa ka’wakw chief.
31 -June 1970, Citizens Plus, the Indian Chiefs of Alberta “To us who are Treaty Indians there is nothing more important than our Treaties, our lands and the well being of our future generation. We have studied carefully the contents of the Government White Paper on Indians and we have concluded that it offers despair instead of hope. Under the guise of land ownership, the government has devised a scheme whereby within a generation or shortly after the proposed Indian Lands Act expires our people would be left with no land and consequently the future generations would be condemned to the despair and ugly spectre of urban poverty in ghettos.”-June 1970, Citizens Plus, the Indian Chiefs of Alberta
33 The Calder Case-Not all regions of Canada received treaties, the Nisqua’a a first nations tribe in B.C. were amongst the tribes not receiving proper land rights-Frank Calder, chief of the Nisqua’a tribe brought his tribe’s case to the Supreme Court-The court decided in the favour of the Nisqua’a and granted them a treaty and land rights-This was one of the first court cases, and lead the way for many other aboriginal groups to claim land rights
34 An legal action brought by Frank Calder and other Nisga’a elders against the government of British Columbia
35 “The fact is that when the settlers came the Indians were there, organized in societies and occupying the land as their forefathers had done for centuries. This is what Indian title means. What they are asserting in this action is that they had a right to continue to live on their lands as their forefathers had lived and that this right has never been lawfully extinguished.” -Mr. Justice Wilfred Judson, Supreme Court Judge commenting on the Calder Case
37 1975 First modern treaty or comprehensive claim Quebec government planned to flood sq kms east of James Bay to create electricity for saleNo consideration for rights of native people and no treaty had ever been signedCourt battle followed, end result was a negotiated treatyCree and Inuit received $232.5 million over 20 years, special economic assistance, ownership of 5500 sq kms of land and veto over mineral resource development
38 “For we must recognize that a close link exists between economics and governance. Without meaningful participation by First Nations in the governance of their traditional lands, they will always be excluded in economic development. And without a share in the economic wealth from the development of resources on traditional lands, First Nation self governance is a hollow phrase. The Cree experience bears this out. One of the pillars of our modern Land Claims Agreement is the creation of Cree governance institutions. We took control of our own governance institutions to improve the lives of our people and respond to their needs. This required building relationships with both Canada and Québec, …” – Grand Chief of the Quebec Cree, Matthew Coon ComeRedresses the need for First Nations to have an economic base and self government
40 “Today marks a turning point in the history of British Columbia “Today marks a turning point in the history of British Columbia. Today, aboriginal and non-aboriginal people are coming together to decide the future of this province. I am talking about the Nisga'a Treaty -- a triumph for all British Columbians -- and a beacon of hope for aboriginal people around the world. A triumph, I believe, which proves to the world that reasonable people can sit down and settle historical wrongs. It proves that a modern society can correct the mistakes of the past. As British Columbians, as Canadians, we should all be very proud…. We will once again govern ourselves by our own institutions, but within the context of Canadian law. It is a triumph because, under the Treaty, we will be allowed to make our own mistakes, to savor our own victories, to stand on our own feet once again. “ –Chief of the Nisga’a, Joseph Gosnell, 1998, Speech to the B.C. Legislature
41 1996 Had been trying to get a treaty negotiated for over 100 years Received 2000 sq kms and some land on the Nass River, comprehensive fishing and other resource entitlements, the right to establish a form of government (more than a municipality, less than a province)
43 “The creation of the territory of Nunavut is a laudable example of both tenacity and understanding, not only of the Inuit, who call Nunavut "our land", but also of those non-Inuit who have worked tirelessly towards this achievement and who continue their commitment to the territory today.” –Paul Okalik, Nunavut’s first premier, 2001.
44 The Creation of Nunavut Why was Nunavut created and why as Canadians should we be proud if its creation?The creation of Nunavut was a huge leap towards building greater bonds with the Natives. It will serve as an example to the whole world that it is possible for Natives to govern their own territory. Letting the Natives govern themselves will also help solve the many problems that native communities have such as high suicide rates, unemployment, and substance abuse problems. It is also hoped that creation of Nunavut will restore native pride in their traditions and customs that have slowly been erased.85% of Nunavut’s population is Inuit. How does their system of government reflect their culture and heritage?Their system of government is most likely supposed restore the Inuit’s traditions and cultures. Non-native governments forced the natives off their traditional hunting grounds and led them into poverty. A native self-government will probably be used to give the Inuit’s back most of what they lost to non-native governments. They will also be able to shape their government in their own unique way by setting their own laws and giving priority to Inuit-owned businesses.
46 “The Crown cannot run roughshod over the land and, while treaty processes are going on, the land should not be spoiled. This provides an interesting dilemma to the BC Government in the past few years delegated tremendous authority to the forest industry. How do they expect to deliver on these obligations when the forest industry practically holds more authority than the Crown?” – Guujaaw, President of the Haida Nation, 2004.
47 Since a treaty was never put in place it was considered crown land. The Haida JudgmentBy Liam & Sebastianproblem:The Haida people have lived on Queen Charlotte Islands for 100s of yearsRecently the B.C. government let Weyerhauser co., an logging company cut down trees on their land.Since a treaty was never put in place it was considered crown land.In 1999 the Haida people went to court with the government arguing that They hadn't given consent to the B.C. government to log on their land.Solution: The court dismissed the petition and allowed the government to continue logging.After an appeal the court overturned the decision saying that both the government and the logging company have a duty to consult with and accommodate the HaidaProduction of resources will be slowed due to less land to export from