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Aboriginal Title Implementation Strategy - 2000

Aboriginal Title Implementation Strategy - 2000

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Published by Russell Diabo
Developed by an AFN Committee of Chiefs/Technicians, including me but Matthew Coon Come Killed the process when he became AFN National chief in 2000.
Developed by an AFN Committee of Chiefs/Technicians, including me but Matthew Coon Come Killed the process when he became AFN National chief in 2000.

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Published by: Russell Diabo on Apr 18, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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June 12, 2000
Note to readers: This paper is prepared for discussion purposes only. It is intended for circulation among the technical team for their review and comments, with a view toreaching agreement on a final draft which will be submitted at the next DISC meeting.
For over 250 years, First Nations have been seeking to have their Aboriginal title andrights recognized and affirmed. These efforts pre-date the existing Comprehensive ClaimsPolicy, and in this context,
merely vindicated what the elders had beensaying all along.First Nations’ profound dissatisfaction with Canada’s Comprehensive Claims Policy hasbeen well known for many years. Outside commentators have also acknowledged that thepolicy is increasingly out of step with the legal and political landscape.In 1993, prior to their election, the federal Liberals committed to a complete overhaul of theComprehensive and Specific Claims policies. In fact, Jean Chretien, as leader of thefederal Liberals, made a personal commitment to do this when he announced the Liberal Aboriginal Electoral Platform in Saskatchewan, in October 1993. These commitmentswere also contained in Chapter Seven of the Liberal Party’s
Red Book I 
.In the fall of 1996, RCAP’s final report and recommendations called for fundamental policychange with respect to the Comprehensive Claims policy.However, then-Minister Jane Stewart informed the AFN Chiefs Committee on Claims onDecember 11, 1997, in Ottawa, that Canada was only prepared to enter into a joint reviewprocess with regard to Specific Claims. As an alternative she committed that Canadawould undertake a separate process of review to deal with the CCP.Ironically, on the same day, the SCC’s
ruling undermined the very basis of the Comprehensive Claims policy and process. At the time, it was assumed that this judgement would hasten a fundamental revision to the CCP.In January and February 1998, Canada released the
Gathering Strength
, its generalresponse to the RCAP final report, and the
 Agenda for Action,
a specific programme
 AFN DISC Six-Point Strategy - Discussion paper Draft #3 - June 12, 2000.2
 An Agenda for Action with First Nations
(Ottawa: February 1998): p. 3.
relating to the First Nations. These frameworks provided no substantive response toRCAP’s recommendations regarding fundamental policy change on Aboriginal title andrights. Moreover, they completely ignored the impact of the
decision.In fact, the
 Agenda for Action
formally down-graded previous commitments to policychange by simply indicating that the federal government was prepared to “consider andrespond” to First Nation concerns regarding the Comprehensive Claims, with a focus on
, not the
:The portions of the
 Agenda for Action
which relate to the CCP are as follows:
Comprehensive Claims:
joint federal government-First Nations exploration of theComprehensive Claims Process in order to consider and respond to First Nationconcerns, in part related to the recommendations of RCAP, with the existingprocesses and policies.
joint federal government-First Nations exploration of possible methodsother than surrenders or extinguishments of Aboriginal title to provide clarity,stability and certainty through comprehensive claims settlements and which wouldbe supported by federal and provincial governments, First Nations and the public.
Following this, numerous attempts have been made by the AFN, regional organizations,First Nations, and individual First Nation communities, to have Canada accommodate theimplications of the
ruling in its policies and procedures. These efforts havebeen rejected and/or avoided. The furthest Canada has been prepared to go is to supporta process of study and review (the
Review & Education initiative), which isfocussed neither on changing the CCP nor on implementing
Implementation Strategy Committee (DISC) emerged as a response tothis federal refusal to address the issues raised by
, with a mandate from theChiefs to proceed with measures to obtain implementation of 
and changesto prevailing policy. In January 2000, in Vancouver, a meeting of First Nation leaders fromacross Canada took place, and a six-point strategy was developed towards this end. Thissix-point strategy was considered and adopted by the Confederacy of Nations throughResolution 7/00 in April, 2000, along with a specific work plan.

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