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POL305Y1 (56)
Lecture 9

Lecture 9 (Mar. 12).doc

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Political Science
Rauna Kuokkanen

Lecture 9 (March 12) - opposition to inclusion of word existing in section 35 of constitution 1982 - used to FN advantage, specifically with self-government right - never gave up right to self-government through treaties - significance of s.35 - Aboriginal and treaty rights can no longer be unilaterally extinguished by the Crown - has not stopped encroachment on Aboriginal territories and resources or infringement of Aboriginal title - different views can be divided into 3 categories: - 1) want to give some scope and meaning to section 35, believe hasn’t yet been effec- tively used - 2) transform s.35 that will acknowledge Aboriginals as nations, etc. - 3) moving beyond s.35, deny its significance, no solution there, want nation to nation relationship - Constitutional Conferences: - sec.37: a constitutional conference to identify and define those Aboriginal rights - 1983 Conference: self-government as key issue - a middle ground between sovereignty and assimilation - “distinct and special meaning” - full autonomy and self-determination within Canada and the Canadian Constitution - frustration with conceptual differences and the refusal of governments to listen to Abo- riginal discourse - conference marks turning point where Aboriginal thought of as citizens plus to a nation - but no agreement was achieved, so no Aboriginal self-government included in Consti- tution - lack of consensus re: source of Aboriginal self-government - inherent and unextinguished Aboriginal sovereignty and treaty and Aboriginal rights - delegated from federal and provincial governments - by 1987, after 4 constitutional conferences, disappointment - Meech Lake Accord, 1987 - governments considered this Quebec agreement, ignored Aboriginal and treaty rights - bus said Quebec was “distinct society” - not opposed by Aboriginal groups, but upset that Quebec and not Aboriginals received recognition - down to Manitoba’s vote for ratification, needed unanimous vote - Oji-Cree Manitoba Elijah Harper said no - also failed to pass in Newfoundland - result received poorly in Quebec - Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples - 1991-1996 - find ways to rebuild relationships between Aboriginals and non-Aboriginal communities - 8 people involved - final report 5 volumes, 4000 pages, 440 recommendations based on research - recommended major changes to relationships - set out 20 year agenda for changes - recognized autonomy unrealistic yet - Charlottetown Accord, 1992 - many provisions related to Aboriginal people - most important one recognized inherent right to Aboriginal self-government - “one of three orders of government” - referendum nationally was defeated - strongest Aboriginal opposition from the Native Women’s Association of Canada - concern about constitutional entrenchment of Aboriginal self-government would disre- gard Aboriginal women’s gender equality rights - Aboriginal components of accord remain significant - 1995 Inherent Right Policy - Aboriginal people have constitutional right to govern themselves in relation to matters internal to their communities, integral to own culture, language, identity, etc., respect re- lationship to land and resources - self-government agreements can be negotiated as previously had to be negotiated separately - conceptions of sovereignty and self-determination - the right to self-determination of peoples is a fundamental principal of international law - article 3 in UN Declaration on the rights of Indigenous people: - misconception that in its fullest sense, self-determination implies a right to independent statehood - often reinforced by reference to decolonization - criticism
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