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Aboriginal Self-Government

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Bella White

on 12 February 2016

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Transcript of Aboriginal Self-Government

Aboriginal Self-Government
"Aboriginal self-governments are governments designed, established, and administered by Native people."
What is it exactly?
Aboriginal Self-Government is a seemgly simple concept.
However, a concrete definition has yet to be found.
They usually take the form of neotiated arrangements (treaties/agreements)
Recognizes Indigenous control over local affairs in areas such as health care, child welfare, education, housing, and economic development
The Royal Proclamations of 1761 and 1763
King George III issued a Royal Proclamation in 1761 declaring that it would no longer be permissible to obtain land grants or to interfere with Indigenous populations and that settlers found on Native land would be removed.
In order to combat inconsistancies a second Proclamation was made in 1763, declaring all lands west of the Appalachians were to be reserved for Aboriginal peoples' use.
With the passing of the Gradual Enfranchisement Act (1869) and the Indian Act (1876), Ottawa imposed a band council model on Native communities, which is still currently in place.
An Inherited Right:
From a Native perspective, "self-government is refered to as an inherited right."
Responsibilities given to them by the Creator and of a spiritual connection to the land.
Aboriginal peoples wish to have Canadians recognize that Aboriginal governments existed long before the arrivial of Europeans and to establish the conditions that would permit the revival of their governments.
Prior to the first European contact, there were complex systems of political, economic, social and cultural systems already in place in North America.
Balance was a main goal, one that led many people to place community before self-interest.
leaders were chosen for a particular tasks based on their experiences.
In a political enviroment charaterized by ongoing social and political interactions, adaptability was arguably the hallmark of self-governing nations.
Ingienous political and economic ways were seen as being at odds with Europeans norms.
Historic Setting
Band Councils
Defining Aboriginal Self-Government
The Penner Report, 1983
A Brief History
Legislation passed in 1869 took aim at community based self-government, long viewed by federal officers as an obstacle to assimilation.
The act restricted the jurisdiction of band councils, and all interal decisions concerning band matters would be "subject to conformation by the Govenor in council."
Band councils lack independant administrative authority, therefore not true self-governing bodies.
In 1977 the Federation of Saskatchewan Indians were the first to record the fundamental principles of Aboriginal self-government;
Indian nations are historically self-governing
Federal government cannot regulate interal affairs
Indian government powers have been supressed
Indian government is underestimated and cannot be delegated
The treaties reserve a complete set of rights, without federal interference
Treaties take precedence over provincial and federal laws
The truest relationship imposes fiduciary obligations on the trustee
Indians have inalienable rights (inherent sovereignty)

The 1983 Parliamentary Task Force on Indian Self-Government was a turning point in the debate over Aboriginal self-government.
the report had 3 key findings;
Aboriginal government was invisioned as a "distinct order" of government within Canada
Recommended that the right of Aboriginal self-government be constitutionally entrenched
It defines areas of authority for Aboriginal governments
Cree-Naskapi Act (1984)
described as the first Aboriginal self-government legislation in Canada, replacing the Indian Act.

Sechelt Indian Band Self-Government Act (1986)
this legislation enables the Sechelt Indian Band, to exercise powers of governance related to contracts and agreements.

Yukon First Nations Self-Government Act (1993)
an Umbrella Final Agreement that established the basis for negotiating land-claim settlements and self-government agreements with the 14 Yukon First Nations.

Nisga's Treaty (1996)
British Columbia's first modern treaty
purpose was to resolve the Nisga's Nation's land claim

Community-Based Self-Government & the Inherent Rights Policy
Meant to provide practical examples of self-government, demonstrating its potential.
Under this policy, communities could negotiate self-government agreements to replace outdated Indian Act provisions.
Creating a new relationship between the Crown and Native peoples.
Native leaders continued to pressure Ottawa to recognize the inherent right of self-government. several events raised the public's awareness of Native issues
Self-Government Debate Themes
the idea of self-government has broadened considerably over the past three decades.
the scope of people affected by the topic has grown exponentially.
Aboriginal self-government is recognized as an inherent right that is rooted in history and treaties.
the authority and jurisdiction for self-government has also expanded.
Now about HOW rather than WHY
Activity
Manitoba to displace parents instead of children in new approach on foster care

divide into two groups
discuss Pros/Cons of this idea
learn to collaberate creativly in a self-government style
Colin Simcoe and Isabella White
Full transcript