Lecture 05 Notes

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16 Feb 2011

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Lecture Four
Aboriginal Politics
To understand the legal and political mechanisms of the colonization of Aboriginal Peoples in
To understand the organization, goals and collective action of Aboriginal Nationalist and
Sovereignty Movements in processes of decolonization
The campaign of No Olympics on Stolen Land” Aboriginal history is a large part of Canadian
Aboriginal Nationalist Movements
Primary Goals:
oSelf-determination (cultural boundaries) who has the right to be considered Native
American (Indian Act does not allow them to do)
oSovereignty (Political Power) Central mechanism through inter-state negotiated Treaty
Settlements; they want to govern themselves
Secondary Goals:
oEnd economic marginalization and symptoms of oppression
oGain and enforce resource and territorial rights
Most goals are attempted to be resolved via inter-state negotiated Treaty Settlements rather than
violent protests
Treaties and Treaty Rights
oA negotiated agreement, between an Aboriginal community and the Crown, which is
intended to create mutually binding obligations
Treaty Rights:
oSpecific rights of Aboriginal peoples embodied in the treaties they entered into with, first,
the British government and then, after Confederation, Canada. These rights often address
the creation of reserves and the rights of Aboriginal communities to hunt, fish and trap on
provincial Crown lands.
oThey might also include self-governing responsibilities, including education, justice
administration, community services, political authority
Forms of Organizing
Aboriginal Reserve Governance Systems (Acts as Advocacy Groups in Policymaking)
National and Provincial Political Organizations
Social Movement Activism
Political Party (Aboriginal Peoples Party of Canada – 2005) & (First Peoples Party of Canada
First Nations are less likely, in the Canadian case, to organize and protest
oFederalism allows Quebec to have a province to mobilize and create a collective identity
around that province Aboriginal people dont have that
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oThe goals of Aboriginal people involves self-government in the political system; as
nations state
Aboriginal Political Organizations
There are several national and regional political organizations
Methods of Influence
Types of activities Native Americans engage in include:
oAttempting Clientele Relationships (with Ministries and Departments within the
government; at times they form close relationships and other times not as effective)
oRoyal Commission
oForming a Party/Electoral Politics
oThe Courts holding existing legal documents accountable
oPublic Education Campaigns
oProtest & Demonstration
Definition: The extension of political and economic control over an area by a state whose
nationals have occupied the area. It may consist simply in a migration of nationals to the territory,
or it may be the formal assumption of control over the territory by military or civil representatives
of the dominant power
For colonization to be effected; the indigenous population must be subdued and assimilated or
converted to the culture of the colonists; otherwise, a modus vivendi must be established by the
imposition of a treaty or an alliance
Definition: The process by which colonized peoples struggle for their self-determination to
decide about the future status of their homeland” (United Nations)
Largest obstacle is that we still occupy their land and thus Aboriginals cannot simply
Pre-Confederation to the Indian Act: From Nations to “Children
The Haudenosaunee Confederacy
oOperated by five councils
oRespected each other’s rights but also wanted to collaborate to helping Aboriginal people
oSounds a lot like federalism in Canada and Confederation in Canada
oThis idea was borrowed by Canada and the United States (such is imperialism)
oDesire to have constituent units to form a larger country
Royal Commission to Sieur de Monts 1603 relationship between Abs. & the French Monarchy
British Royal Proclamation relationship between Abs. & the British Crown
Treaties, Reservations, Broken Promises and Theft Land can only be sold/negotiated via
treaties; Aboriginal people agreed that they would work in a nation-to-nation cooperation
oMany of treaties are broken, forged, not obeyed/honoured
oThey were designed to steal land from the Aboriginal people
oThey were given exchange tracts of land (reservations) + other benefits such as hunting,
agricultural equipment, cattle, etc.
oThe reserves were small, remote and lacking in resources (at the time)
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