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CONSTANLY ERODING: LOOKING AT THE GOVERNMENTS INDIAN TERMINATION POLICY

Presented By Russell Diabo March 8, 2013

Origin of Canada
Canada

bases its territorial integrity and assertion of sovereignty over Indigenous (First) Nations by continuing to rely on the racist and outdated notions of Terra Nullius and the Doctrine of Discovery.

ROYAL PROCLAMATION OF 1763

Upper Canada: 1791-1841

Robinson Huron Treaty 1850

INDIAN ACT

Indian Act
The

Indian Act has conflicting and parallel objectives: the protection of Indians and their lands on the one hand, and the control, assimilation and civilization of Indian peoples on the other.

Indian Act

The key concerns raised by Indian leadership - selfgovernment, the treaties, the land question were ignored or dismissed by officials. Efforts were made to ensure that future consultations would be under firmer government control. In 1951, a revised Indian Act was adopted by Parliament. In most respects it was the same as the 1876 Act. The protective obligations of the Crown were seen only as a temporary duty which would disappear once complete assimilation had been achieved.

Indian Act

Between 1968 and 1969, Canada once again took another look at Indian policy, in light of Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeaus vision of individual equality for all Canadians and the dismantling of collective rights. As in the 1940's and 50's, extensive consultations were carried out, which were duly ignored by officials. The result was the release of the White Paper in 1969.

Chrtien and Trudeau

1969 WHITE PAPER ON INDIAN POLICY

1969 White Paper Objectives


Assimilation of First Nations. Remove legislative recognition. Neutralize constitutional status. Impose taxation. Encourage provincial encroachment. Eliminate Reserve lands & extinguish Aboriginal Title. Economic underdevelopment of communities. Dismantle Treaties.

CONSTITUTION ACT 1982

Constitution Act 1982


On April 17, 1982, the Constitution Act 1982 became law. Section 35 of the new constitution recognizes and affirms the existing aboriginal and treaty rights of aboriginal peoples. A series of First Ministers Conferences were held in 1983, 1984, 1985 and 1987, to identify & define the scope and content of sec. 35, but these constitutional conferences ended in failure.

END OF MEECH LAKE ACCORD 1990

1990 ARMY IN KAHNAWAKE

Supreme Court of Canada: The Judges

Haida at Supreme Court of Canada

CROWN-FIRST NATIONS GATHERING

CFNG OUTCOMES

1. RENEWED RELATIONSHIP:
1.Working Group to movet toward a single, multi-year Government of Canada financial arrangement for First Nations with high-performing governance systems 2.Improved accountability provisions for all parties 3.Financial self-sufficiency of First Nations as the endgoal

CFNG OUTCOMES

2. REMOVING BARRIERS TO FIRST NATIONS GOVERNANCE:


The Government of Canada and First Nations will work to develop solutions to remove barriers that hinder First Nations governance. The Indian Act cannot be replaced overnight, but through the use of existing tools and the development of new mechanisms, both parties can create the conditions to enable sustainable and successful First Nations.

CFNG OUTCOMES

3. ADVANCING CLAIMS RESOLUTION and TREATY IMPLEMENTATION:


The Government of Canada and First Nations commit to respect and honour our treaty relationship and advance approaches to find common ground on Treaty implementation. The parties also commit to ensuring federal negotiation policies reflect the principles of recognition and affirmation mandated by Section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982 and advance certainty, expeditious resolution, and self-sufficiency.

CFNG OUTCOMES

4. EDUCATION REFORM:
The Joint Action Plan launched a collaborative engagement process to make recommendations on quality K-12 education for First Nation children living on reserve. Upon mutual review of the National Panels report, First Nations and the Government of Canada will work to implement agreed-upon recommendations as quickly as practicable and establish a process to work constructively through any areas of disagreement.

CFNG OUTCOMES

5. CAPITALIZING ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT:


Within three months, Canada and First Nations will launch an economic task force as set out in the Joint Action Plan that will report back with recommendations to further unlock the economic potential of First Nations. This work will be completed in a timely fashion. Work has already been underway to define the scope of this task force.

Harpers Termination Plan

On September 4th the Harper government clearly signaled its intention to: 1) Focus all its efforts to assimilate First Nations into the existing federal and provincial orders of government of Canada; 2) Terminate the constitutionally protected and internationally recognized Inherent, Aboriginal and Treaty rights of First Nations.

Harpers Termination Plan

Termination in this context means the ending of First Nations pre-existing sovereign status through federal coercion of First Nations into Land Claims and Self-Government Final Agreements that convert First Nations into municipalities, their reserves into fee simple lands and extinguishment of their Inherent, Aboriginal and Treaty Rights.

MODERN TREATY AREAS

Harpers Termination Plan

A results based approach to negotiating Modern Treaties and Self-Government Agreements. This is an assessment process of 93 negotiation tables across Canada to determine who will and who wont agree to terminate Inherent, Aboriginal and Treaty rights under the terms of Canadas Comprehensive Claims and SelfGovernment policies. For those tables who wont agree, negotiations will end as the federal government withdraws from the table and takes funding with them.

Harpers Termination Plan

First Nation regional and national political organizations will have their core funding cut and capped. For regional First Nation political organizations the core funding will be capped at $500,000 annually. For some regional organizations this will result in a funding cut of $1 million or more annually. This will restrict the ability of Chiefs and Executives of Provincial Territorial Organizations to organize and/or advocate for First Nations rights and interests.

Harpers Termination Plan

First Nation Band and Tribal Council funding for advisory services will be eliminated over the next two years further crippling the ability of Chiefs and Councils and Tribal Council executives to analyze and assess the impacts of federal and provincial policies and legislation on Inherent, Aboriginal and Treaty rights. Meanwhile AANDC spent $110 million in legal costs in the 2011-2012 f/y.

IDLE NO MORE FOUNDERS

IDLE NO MORE

Idle No More is a social and political movement started by four women who held a teach-in in Sakatchewan last November. The teach-in was about the Harper governments suite of proposed legislation (10 Bills) some passed and some still in Parliament that negatively impact of the rights of First Nations and Canadians as well. The movement has swept across Canada and become an international phenomenon with Idle No More demonstrations and flash mobs in the United States, New Zealand, Australia and elsewhere.

CHIEF THERESA SPENCE

AFN-PM MEETING
January 11, 2013

AFN 8 POINT POSITION

1. Commitment to an immediate high level working process with Treaty Nation leadership for establishing frameworks with necessary mandates for the implementation and enforcement of Treaties on a Treaty by Treaty basis, between the Treaty parties Nation-to-Nation. 2. Facilitating fair, expeditious resolution of land claims through reforming the comprehensive claims policy based on recognition and affirmation of inherent rights rather than extinguishment.

AFN 8 POINT POSITION

3. Resource Equity, Benefit and Revenue Sharing building on treaty implementation and enforcement and comprehensive claims resolution there must be a framework that addresses shared governance of resource development and the fair sharing of all forms of revenues and benefits generated from resource development.

AFN 8 POINT POSITION

4. All legislation must be unquestionably consistent with s.35 of the Canadian Constitution and the UNDRIP. Legislation and provisions of legislation as in C-38 and C-45 that contravene our Treaty and inherent rights must be reconsidered and implementation of these provisions be put to a halt. We must have an environmental regulatory regime in this country that respects our rights. Legislation that tinkers around the edges of the Indian Act must stop and be replaced with support for First Nation government and nation re-building including a mechanism for our Nations to push away from the Indian Act as they determine. To fulfill the original relationship, Canada must put in place an ongoing process that all new bills and policies of the federal government must be in full compliance with section 35 and consistent with international human rights standards.

AFN 8 POINT POSITION

5. Fundamentally transformed fiscal relationship guaranteeing fairness and sustainability and removing all arbitrary caps and burdens on the current inefficient, ineffective and unfair funding relationship for First Nation programs and services. 6. Immediate Commitment to the establishment of a National Public Commission of Inquiry on Violence Against Indigenous Women and Girls, including special focus on murdered and missing Indigenous women, and the broader factors that lead to increased vulnerability among Indigenous peoples.

AFN 8 POINT POSITION

7. A guarantee, as in Shannens Dream, of First Nation schools in every First Nation that each and every First Nations parent and child can be proud of, that fully reflects our languages and cultures and provides a safe and supportive place to learn. 8. In order to be effective, progress on these areas will require fundamental change in the machinery of government including direct political oversight, a dedicated Cabinet Committee with a secretariat within the Privy Council Office with specific responsibility for the First Nation-Crown relationship to oversee implementation.

AFN-CANADA HIGH LEVEL PROCESS

AFN met with federal officials on February 5th and February 11th to discuss high level process. There are two Senior Oversight Committees (SOCs) coming out of the January 2013 meeting with the Prime Minister: one on Treaty Implementation and one on Comprehensive Claims (Modern Treaties).

AFN-CANADA HIGH LEVEL PROCESS

Federal SOC people are the same for both tables (Treaty Implementation & Comprehensive Claims). Jean-Francois Tremblay, Assistant Deputy Minister for Treaties & Aboriginal Governance, AANDC, was elected to be the federal Co-Chair of the SOCs along with Perry Bellegarde & Jody Wilson-Raybauld as AFN Co-Chairs.

HARPER AGENDA

Remove Aboriginal Peoples as a federal priority. Ignore 2005 Kelowna Accord. Focus on Individual rights over Collective rights. Cap and/or off-load spending. Use existing federal policies of Land Claims and Self-Government to limit/empty out section 35 of any significant meaning. Maintain Indian Act & impose amendments.

CONCLUSION

Canadas war on First Nation rights is heating up as First Nations are forced to respond politically/legally to aggressive development of lands/resources sponsored by the federal and provincial governments. For the first time in 30 years or so, First Nations & their organizations will have to reorganize due to major federal funding cuts & caps. First Nation Peoples will have to engage with their leaders to redefine their struggle for Aboriginal/Treaty rights. Idle No More & Defenders of the Land have formed alliance and national campaign direct action/education.

WHERE TO FROM HERE?


IDLE NO MORE January 28, 2013