“Canada is a test case for a grand notion – the notion that dissimilar peoples can share lands, resources, power and dreams while respecting and sustaining their differences. The story of Canada is the story of many such peoples, trying and failing and trying again, to live together in peace and harmony.
But there cannot be peace or harmony unless there is justice. It was to help restore justice to the relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in Canada, and to propose practical solutions to stubborn problems, that the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples was established.” - page ix, A Word From Commissioners
The quote above comes from a publication that is 150 pages in length, and in my opinion should be read by every single Canadian. This publication is called “People to People, Nation to Nation: Highlights from the Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples“. If you never manage to wade through the five volumes of findings and recommendations published by the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP), please at least make your way through the Highlights. (If you want something even less dense, there is a 51 page document [PDF] that does a bang up job of summarising the report and its main recommendations. Included at the end is a nice breakdown of financial estimates for implementation of these recommendations.)
Backing up a little…the RCAP was established in 1991 and engaged in 178 days of public hearings, visiting 96 communities, commissioning research and consulting with experts. In 1996, the RCAP released a five volume report of findings and recommendations.Read more
Harper Launches Major First Nations Termination Plan: As Negotiating Tables Legitimize Canada’s Colonialism
On September 4th the Harper government clearly signaled its intention to:
1) Focus all its efforts to assimilate First Nations into the existing federal and provincial orders of government of Canada;
2) Terminate the constitutionally protected and internationally recognized Inherent, Aboriginal and Treaty rights of First Nations.
Termination in this context means the ending of First Nations pre-existing sovereign status through federal coercion of First Nations into Land Claims and Self-Government Final Agreements that convert First Nations into municipalities, their reserves into fee simple lands and extinguishment of their Inherent, Aboriginal and Treaty Rights.
To do this the Harper government announced three new policy measures:Read more