There is a prevailing myth that Canada's more than 600 First Nations and native communities live off of money -- subsidies --from the Canadian government. This myth, though it is loudly proclaimed and widely believed, is remarkable for its boldness; widely accessible, verifiable facts show that the opposite is true. Indigenous people have been subsidizing Canada for a very long time.... It's true that Canada's federal government controls large portions of the cash flow First Nations depend on. Much of the money used by First Nations to provide services does come from the federal budget. But the accuracy of the myth ends there. On the whole, the money that First Nations receive is a small fraction of the value of the resources, and the government revenue that comes out office their territories. Let's look at a few examples. (Cont'd via title link...)
Tuesday, January 08, 2013
It is a fact that Aboriginal sovereignty of Indigenous Nations existed before British North America and Canada. Where did it go? Sovereignty cannot be taken from nations: It can only be given up by them. In Canada, Indigenous Nations never gave up sovereignty, never ceded, surrendered. Indeed, the treaties that define Canada were negotiated with sovereign Indigenous Nations, and Canada's sovereignty, thus, relies on Aboriginal sovereignty.Reconciling Sovereignties: Aboriginal Nations and Canada by Felix Hoehn
Reconciling pre-existing Aboriginal sovereignty with de facto Crown sovereignty will not threaten the territory of Canada, nor will it result in a legal vacuum. Rather, it will facilitate the self-determination of Aboriginal peoples within Canada and strengthen Canada’s claim to territorial integrity in the eyes of international law.
In Reconciling Sovereignties, Felix Hoehn presents a persuasive case that the once unquestioned and uncritical acceptance of the Crown’s assertion of sovereignty over Aboriginal peoples and their territories is now being replaced by an emerging paradigm that recognizes the equality of Aboriginal and settler peoples and requires these peoples to negotiate how they will share sovereignty in Canada.
Hoehn concludes that the Supreme Court of Canada has taken us to the threshold of a new paradigm for Aboriginal law that (a) rejects the doctrines of discovery and terra nullius, (b) accepts that Aboriginal sovereignty continues, and (c) holds that only treaties can elevate the Crown from de facto sovereignty to a de jure sovereignty that is shared with Aboriginal peoples. The sovereignty paradigm will provide needed answers to the pressing moral and practical crises that plague the old paradigm, and it holds the greatest promise for reconciliation. The text is current to William v. British Columbia (BCCA), June 27, 2012.
Monday, January 07, 2013
April 13, 2058 Toronto, East Michigan A group of thirty Canadians gathered outside the Supreme Court of the United States in Washington yesterday to issue a long list of grievances. The complaints stem from the now 43 year-old Supreme Court case that dealt with the question of whether the Oregon Treaty of 1846 and the Treaty of 1818 were still valid. The treaties originally established the 49th parallel as the border separating Canada and the United States. In a controversial move, the court had declined to pronounce on whether the treaties were still in effect or whether the land-title of Canadians had been extinguished by the assertion of US sovereignty over Canadian territory, yet the court. admitted that Canadians did indeed possess certain undefined cultural rights. “The goal moving forward,” wrote the Chief Justice in his decision, “is to establish how the rights of Canadians can be reconciled with the reality of US sovereignty over the territory.” Canadian activists disagree. Said one protestor: “They have no right to unilaterally assert sovereignty over Canada ...
Consider this ... I AM CANADIAN! (Because of treaties with Indigenous Nations)
the obligations we have to others. Take our relationship to the United States and to Americans, for example. I acknowledge that Canada has no right to impose any territorial, political or cultural arrangement upon them. Likewise, they have no right to impose theirs upon us. Why? Because of treaties and agreements, some old and some new. Specifically, because of the 1814 Treaty of Ghent, the Convention of 1818, the Webster-Ashburton Treaty of 1842, and the Oregon Treaty of 1846, which established the territories and borders of Canada. Within this context, Canada was constituted as a nation through various acts and declarations, e.g., The Royal Proclamation of 1763, the British North America Act of 1867, and the Constitution Act of 1982. These treaties and constitutional events reflect historical compacts between peoples – agreements that established our right to exist autonomously as Canadians rather than as British subjects or Americans. ... I came to see that a ... ridiculous and transparent disregard for official treaties and more informal conventions is reflected in our dealings with Indigenous nations, whom we once acknowledged as organized and autonomous political nations. Understanding the present means coming to terms with the fact that we stand today in violation of these original agreements, in violation of the 1763 Royal Proclamation/1764 Treaty at Niagara; in violation of international agreements such as 2007 UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and in violation of our own 1982 Constitution Act sec. 35(1). I was struck by the realization that you and I are involved in a criminal neglect of the very treaty obligations undertaken in the course of identifying ourselves as a people; if we ignore them we only exist on this land as illegitimate occupiers
Without first nations’ willing participation, however,it’s extremely unlikely to succeed. That’s not a bad thing. First nations are deeply concerned about environmental risks; their engagement will help ensure the highest standards of safety,security and emergency responsiveness. They also know only too well that properly managed resource developments, including pipelines,offer the best solution to the employment and governance challenges they face. First nations have a judicially and politically recognized voice now in resource development,and they’re using it with increasing effectiveness.
Saturday, January 05, 2013
Cheers erupted at an Oakville Idle No More protest as news came of the prime minister’s meeting with native leaders next week,but organizers stressed the need for continued action. “Promises have been broken —so stay here so we as First Nations,aboriginal people, Indians,status,non-status are here to stand up for our constitutional right to have a say in the use of our lands and teritories,” said Earl Lambert,a Cree motivational speaker and one of the key figures at Friday’s protest. About 100 people temporarily blocked the road near the intersection of Ford Dr. and South Service Rd. E. in Oakville,one of two entrances to the Ford assembly plant grounds where Prime Minister Stephen Harper was scheduled to speak."