POL305Y1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: Iroquois, Constitution Act, 1982, George Manuel

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25 Apr 2012
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Lecture 8 (March 5)
-after White Paper withdrawn, government created phrase “search for common ground”
-returned to previous Hawthorn report recommendations
-WP marked turning point for Aboriginal-state relations
-marked end to assimilation
-Calder case, 1973, led to recognition of FN title
-led to government land claims policy
-Aboriginal groups turned to explicitly political framework
-from “citizen plus” terminology in 1970’s to “nationhood” and “self-determination”
-stronger collective sense of identity as historical Aboriginal nations
-special rights as citizens of their own nations
-first major statement of nationhood: Declaration of the Dene of Northwest Territories
(1975)
-Aboriginal issues not prioritized by the government
-Constitution became key issue for Aboriginal groups
-National Indian Brotherhood identified Constitutional reform as Aboriginal issue
-inclusion as a way to reclaim political status on their own terms
-early 1980’s:
-a roller coaster ride for Aboriginals
-Trudeau government: unilateral resolution to patriate and reform the Constitution, 1980
-minimal mention of Aboriginal peoples, opposed main Aboriginal organizations
-goal: self-governing nation within Canadian Confederation
-desire to maintain relationship with British Crown
-concerned that patriation would sever links to British sovereign (treaty relationship)
-petitions to British government, lawsuits in UK courts
-Constitutional Express, 1980
-goals to delay expatriation in order to fully negotiate with government, and create
awareness
-government constitution concern at time had to do with Quebec
-Trudeau and Chretien felt compelled to reconsider, added Aboriginal clause to Consti-
tution
-November 1981: draft accord agreed by federal and provincial governments
-section on Aboriginal treaty rights dropped
-prior to November, constitution included such section, but resistance from provincial
governments (concern over provincial court action)
-by end of November, the clause restored with addition of the word “existing”
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