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Report of the AFN Confederacy May 27 14

Report of the AFN Confederacy May 27 14

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Published by Russell Diabo
Presented by Chief Isadore Day on actions to resume the Confederacy of Nations body within AFN for oversight of AFN Executive Committee & National Chief when elected.
Presented by Chief Isadore Day on actions to resume the Confederacy of Nations body within AFN for oversight of AFN Executive Committee & National Chief when elected.

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Categories:Types, Presentations
Published by: Russell Diabo on May 29, 2014
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved


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 Confederacy of Nations La Confédération des Nations
May 27, 2014It has not been even one month since many of you heard about something called the “Confederacyof Nations” for the very first time. Others who have been around for a bit remembered it, but hadnot thought about it for many years. We must begin, therefore, by explaining why for the first time in ten years, this Assembly of FirstNations is hearing a report from the Confederacy of Nations. Forty-five years ago, 1969, the Government of Canada tabled a “White Paper” which said it wasgoing to do away with Indian s. There would be no more Indian reserves. There would be no more Indian rights. There would beno more treaties. And there would be no more Indians in Canada. The word “Indian” would beerased out of Canadian law. It was like legal genocide.Our grandfathers reacted immediately and decisively. With the strong leadership of GeorgeManuel from British Columbia, they organized provincial and territorial organizations, theyunited those organizations into a “National Indian Brotherhood”, they gained the support ofchurches, labour unions, university students. They held rallies, protests, marches. And three years later, the government admitted defeat and said it would bury the White Paper. In 1978, the Government of Canada announced it was patriating the Constitution. It was cuttingitself free from Britain. Again the Chiefs – our grandfathers – mobilized – who would beresponsible for the treaty promises and guarantees? What would happen to our title to our landsand resources – the lands we had agreed to share for immigration and settlement?
The Formation of the Assembly of First Nations
In this mobilization, in 1978, the Chiefs from across Canada were called by the then-president ofthe National Indian Brotherhood, Noel Starblanket, to come to Montreal for an “All-ChiefsAssembly on Self-Government”. And it was there that the Chiefs were going to form an organization which would be led by theFirst Nations – not by the PTOs, not by a group of individual leaders, but an organization thatwould be the “one and only voice of the Indian People of Canada.” And they called it “theAssembly of First Nations. It took four years, until 1982, for the first meeting of the organization to take place. During thattime, the Chiefs worked on a Charter – a constitution – the law for their new organization. The Charter they wrote provided that the power at the top would be exercised by the FirstNations in Assembly – an Assembly just like this one. Any Chief in Canada could come here and be heard.But there had to be something which would make sure the Chiefs decisions were implementedafter everyone went home. There was also a need to be sure that all regions of Canada would beheard – so they created a Confederacy of Nations. The Confederacy is chaired by the National Chief. The regional chiefs sit on the Confederacy. Eachregion has a delegation consisting of one delegate plus additional delegates for each 10,000 FirstNation members in the region.The Confederacy was given strong powers of oversight. The right to give directions. To Instruct.Control of the Budget. Control over the National Chief and the Executive Council — it was giventhis control so the Chiefs could be sure the Chiefs’ decisions were implemented.Under the Confederacy, there was an Executive Council and a National Chief to do the work. All of this is in our Charter.
Fast-Forward to the Current Situation
But let’s fast-forward now to the current situation we face as First Nations. We are in a ragingnational crisis. A health crisis. A poverty crisis. An incarceration crisis. Crisis from the trauma andeffect of residential schools. Run-away development is proceeding without taking our rights andinterests into account. There is a housing crisis. The Treaties are being ignored and trampled on bygovernments. Our resources are being exploited without our consent and with others enjoying the benefits.
And the organizations we have created to defend us against these violations and to advance ourinterests are being strangled. And most of all, what is happening to our children. The inferior education which they arereceiving in inferior under-funded schools. We have been complaining for years across Canada about the unacceptable substandarddiscriminatory funding which our schools receive for the education of our children. So when the Government of Canada announced it was going to do something about it, we werehappy – but experience has taught us to be suspicious, so we asked for details. We demanded to be involved in what was going on. Then last summer, there came a “Blueprint” from the Minister, with an announcement that theBlueprint had been negotiated with the Assembly of First Nations, that the First Nations had beenconsulted, and the Blueprint was exactly what we had asked for. First Nations across Canada replied by saying they had not been consulted, that the Blueprint wasnot acceptable.Then last October, the Minister released something that looked like a Bill, and again he said thiswas exactly what the Assembly of First Nations wanted – and again, there were more outcries andprotests. The Quebec/Labrador region announced it was going to take legal action against the Bill. So in December, there was a Special Assembly of First Nations held in Gatineau, and a resolutionwas passed about the Government’s legislation. The Chiefs had made a decision, passed almostunanimously. It set five conditions which the Government’s legislation had to meet. (We will come back to thoseconditions in a few minutes.)So we all said our Holiday Greetings and went home from Gatineau.
The Kana’i Command Performance
Then out of the blue in February, there came an announcement on a Wednesday that everyonehad to get to Kana’i in Treaty 7 for Friday, two days later, because the Prime Minister was going to

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