POLI 222 Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: Concurrent Jurisdiction, Green Paper, Wampum

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The Aboriginal Challenge:
Central/fundamental debate within aboriginal politics:
How aboriginal communities in Canadian territory, what is the proper and
appropriate relationship between those people and the Canadian state?
Talking about different opinions on what a proper relationship is- what
“ought” to be/ an ideal- justified on the basis of some moral ideal or
understanding.
How aboriginal people should relate to the Canadian state-fundamental
disagreement across aboriginals and non-aboriginals
Different positions
No one single position that is held across the aboriginal spectrum, very
strong positions adopted by the Canadian government
Through time, there has been shifts and movements in Canadian gov. but
we will always find supporters or detracters for each position.
This is the central difficulties from which every other difficulty flows.
Central ideas in aboriginal politics:
1. citizenship
citizenry- political community, they have something in common. They have
as part of being a political community, norms on how one makes rules that
apply to that community. There is the power to make rules, and a big part of
that power, is to define who you are. Fundamental content to being self-
determinate, it is to determine who you are.
A package of rights- what rights do these people/citizenry hold. What is the
content of citizenry found through legal processes. What do they hold in the
community visa-vi each other, or visa-vi there political community as
understood.
How does Canada define who it’s citizenry is? Under what terms and
conditions?
The reverse is- What do aboriginals who consider themselves to be self-
determining and inherent political communities w/right to self-government,
what is the basis on which they will accept outsiders(Canadians among
them) or how will they accept a proper relationship with the Canadian state
Canada looking inward and out and same for aboriginals.
2.Fundamental questions that citizenship raises when addressing aboriginal
politics
is aboriginal citizenship within Canadian borders appropriate? What are the
terms that Canada accepts aboriginals to be citizens within Canada
should an aboriginal right to sovereignty coexist with but be equal to or be
accommodated within Canada
how do you square two claims that are the same thing- we have right to
define ourselves and make decisions, as well as aboriginals- what happens if
both claims conflict?
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Aboriginal challenge to claim by Canadian government that says that queen
is sovereign- the supreme authority over territory.
The counter-claim: Canada/queen is not sovereign or supreme. Maybe, is
not even an authority within Canadian government
Aboriginal challenge is to challenge the assertion of supremacy, and
counter/challenge the assertion of authority.
Spectrum of positions:
-how is it that competing communities react
polls: extreme opposite positions on how communities should relate
1)sovereingtist/separatist poll
2)assimilationist poll
-the extremes
Different positions in the middle: “mushy middle
-Assertion: we have moved currently under our constitutional structure,
somewhere under the mushy middle. In terms of the Canadian government,
we have an assimilationist position, and there are some in society who
believe this to be the proper relationship.
Sovereignist/separate citizenship pole:
Fundamentally separate citizens- constitute/should constitute separate
political communities.
Means that the laws of one do not affect the laws of the other and that each
will respect and recognize the ability of the other to manage themselves
internally in the way that they see fit.
The separation gives visual understanding to a principle of non-
understanding
Aboriginal people are members of self-determining political communities, not
considered Canadians
The Canadian citizenship for aboriginals is an imposition, it is an example of
colonialism. Citizenship is not appropriate, by doing that you do not respect
their separateness. It is a breach of the principle of non-interference
Object to Canadian constitution and charter applying to you, as a aboriginal
person you may have restrictions on you, be member of communities of law,
but the laws that bind you and those you respect are those of your people
not of Canada.
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This view- is strongly held by Mohawk, iroqua people- where there is an
understanding of what is the proper relationship is strongly felt
Central motivating idea in some political thought
Not a description of what it is, but of what the political ideal should be
Equal autonomy/non-interference
The iroqua- the two row wampum(kaswentha): authoratitively depicted.
Shell of animal, beads are made from the shell- using purple and white
Constructed into a belt
Shows two rows of purple on a background of white
Depiction of principle of non-interference, political separateness within a
shared space of equal and co-existing authority but never overlapping.
Respect for equal autonomy in a shared space
Understand it as being a fundamental constitution, and expressing
fundamental constitutional principles in the same way we understand
constitutional principles in text/writing.
Diplomatic, authoratiative and durable statement
Fundamental
Representation of proper relationship
The use of wampum, shells in this way- indicates that it is authoritative.
Purple beads- power/white beads-peace
Ideal to motivate our politics and understanding of what is good/bad.
Assimilationist/Equal citizenship:
-trudeau white paper(1969)
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