In a recent posting, Joe Campagna referred to CASNP's response to the Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. Since I haven't seen it posted yet, I thought I'd do it, with apologies for any typos, which are mine, not CASNP's. Addresses for CASNP and for the various government officials they ask us to write are included at the end of this posting.
CASNP Members, Friends and Supporters:
We think you should be informed about the Royal Commission report. Any small reimbursement to help printing and mailing would be greatly appreciated. As you know we are non-funded.
After reading this analysis, if you feel that this is unjust, please circulate this document. Also, write to the Minister of Indian Affairs, Prime Minister, Governor General of Canada, the Queen of England, newspapers and your own leadership from you communities of your concerns. Help us to inform your government appointees, the media, teachers and your neighbours.
14-Dec-96. The Royal Commission on Aboriginal People recently brought out its $58 million report, which was set up after a 78 day armed standoff over a Mohawk burial and ceremonial site at Kanesatake/Oka Quebec.
THREE MAIN RECOMMENDATION. (1) to do away with the Royal Proclamation of 1763 enacted by Great Britain which affirmed Aboriginal nationhood, sovereignty and ownership of North America, and to replace it with a new treaty under Canadian laws with the Aboriginal nations; (2) to set up a United States model of Aboriginal "nations within a nation" or "domestic nations" rather than affirm internationally recognized separate nations; and (3) establish super band councils which will control everything, including holding Aboriginal land and resources so they can be more easily taken by resource hungry transnational companies and banks.
NEW INDIAN ACT. Two weeks after the release of the report Canada introduced a new Indian Act to go along with the old one. There was no consultation with the Aboriginal people. Its prime goal is to give more control to these corrupt government band councils over Aboriginal lands and resources. More divide and rule tactics on the horizon. Aboriginal people who complain about corruption and oppression by there band councils are told to "address their questions to the band council". There should be a lobby against this.
CONTRADICTIONS. The Commission report states, "Recognition of Aboriginal nationhood poses no threat to Canada or its political and territorial integrity. ...What they seek from Canada now is their rightful place as partners in the Canadian federation". This recommendation is contradictory. The Royal Proclamation of 1763, a British statute which was never repealed, confirms Aboriginal sovereignty, nationhood and title to North America. At that time Canada was a subordinate colonial government without powers of its own except that given by Britain, and no right to interfere with the Aboriginal nations' preexisting power to govern themselves. Up to 1947 Canadians were still British subjects. In other words, aboriginal governments supersede that of Canada. As well, the Aboriginal power of self-government is and existing power recognized and affirmed by section 35 of the Constitution Act of 1982, which Canada refuses to apply. So a new treaty would be a step down for Aboriginal nations and a step up for Canada. The new treaty would narrow down rights affirmed by the Royal Proclamation and is to be negotiated between the colonial federal, provincial and territorial governments and their neo-colonial organizations and band councils. Any negotiations should be with the true traditional governments with whom the treaties are made and who hold the inherent power of self-government. Band council collaborators cannot legally build independent nations.
THE ALL NATIONS PARLIAMENT is window dressing as it will be strictly advisory without legislative powers. Aboriginal Nations should firstly be affirmed by their own people, who can then make laws and work out a true nation to nation negotiation process with Canada. Canada, a foreign nation, should not set out the process and criteria. Canada illegally restricts Aboriginal jurisdiction to those already provided in the Indian Act. Aboriginal nations should have jurisdiction over everything including such areas as passports, currency, immigration, national and international relations, foreign policy, economics and banking. As for taxation, Aboriginal people have always been the biggest taxpayers in all history. The treaty should be a new lease on how the Aboriginal resource and landowners will share their possessions with the "visitors", not the other way around.
WHY A NEW TREATY? Why not just relive and reenact the old ones? Aboriginal nations never gave up North America, only shared it. Under these Imperial statutes which have never been repealed, Aboriginal nations have affirmed land and self-government rights and would win in court. In other words, Indigenous people don't need to beg colonial Canada or anybody to be given self-government which they have had since time immemorial. Treaties did not give up lands and powers but allowed Europeans to settle on Aboriginal lands. Today, almost all of Canada is unceded Aboriginal land for which agreements must still be made.
SUPER BAND COUNCILS. Canada is setting up a super band council structure which will be called "traditional government" in order to hand over to the government's natives all Aboriginal lands and resources that bankers and resource hungry foreign corporations can more easily grab in the near future. Banks have already been set up on Aboriginal territories to take in the billions of dollars coming from settlements and transfers. This model is hierarchical, controlled from Ottawa, with several native crime bosses on each territory running it, who will do whatever is necessary to stay in power. At the same time, the government will not deal with the traditional natives who won't work against their own people.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST. Furthermore, the commissioners are in a profound conflict of interest, in that the judge, jury and the executioner are all representatives of one side, that is the Euro-Canadian government and its legal establishment. This means the system is stacked against Aboriginal people and amounts to treason, fraud and genocide. While the Commission was holding hearings, governments, lawyers, police and the judicial system led illegal invasions onto unsurrendered territories, such as Gustafsen Lake (British Columbia) and Ipperwash (Ontario) where one man was murdered.
SYMPTOMS ONLY. In effect, the Royal Commission report has been used to describe the symptoms of the genocidal policies of Canada to divert attention from its causes and perpetrators which is the legal establishment. Injustice is the result of the crime of genocide. By repealing the Royal Proclamation, the Canadian establishment is trying to retroactively remove their lies and at the same time get the Aboriginal people to give up their power and have no case against Canada. It is the Royal Proclamation that indicts Canada for treason and fraud and the people behind the Commission plan to do away with this legislation.
GUSTAFSEN LAKE TRIAL. At the Gustafsen Lake trial underway in Surrey, British Columbia, Wolverine is raising the rule of law and the jurisdiction issue even though it is being stonewalled. Did they have a right to stand on unceded Aboriginal territory, [most of] British Columbia being unceded without treaties with Aboriginal nations? The government is concerned about the defendants introducing the "color of right" concept, the protection of the Royal Proclamation of 1763, the third party adjudication procedure established by the Mohegan case of 1704, as well as the constitutional arguments which validate their position. Canadian law can have no jurisdiction unless there is an agreement with Aboriginal nations. According to the 1704 Mohegan case concerning a land dispute between the Mohegans and the settlers, it was found that the colonial government of British North America could not legally adjudicate this dispute. The Mohegans had applied to the Court of Queen Anne and were granted an impartial third party adjudication. In effect, the Canadian legal system has no jurisdiction over Aboriginal people and nations, civilly, criminally or any other way. Enforcing foreign laws on Aboriginal people amounts to treason, fraud and genocide. It is not in the interests of the judicial system for the trial to go to a jury. A victory by the Gustafsen Lake defenders would be a landmark precedent which would validate the Royal Proclamation as it is and contradict the main recommendation of the Commission to do away with the Royal Proclamation. This issue must be raised at the international level, with the Queen of England and the Human Rights Committee under Section 7 to the International Court of Justice in The Hague. Aboriginal nations should be putting the rule of law on trial in both the domestic and international arena to indict Canada for their crime genocide and theft of the Aboriginal land of Canada.
DEPENDENCY. Huge sections of the continent are Aboriginal country and belong to native nations. Rather than Aboriginal people being dependent on Canadians, Canadians are dependent on Aboriginal resources and lands. All Canadian wealth comes from exploitation of Aboriginal possessions. In a new relationship, Aboriginal nations need to get Canadians off their backs. Actually Aboriginal nations need a greater share of their own wealth.
LEGAL ESTABLISHMENT VULNERABLE. Aboriginal Nations need to focus on the law. Lawyers, judges, police and the legal establishment of Canada who are sworn to uphold the law are now trashing and destroying the rule of law. This is where they are vulnerable. Negotiations are a waste of time until Aboriginal Nations achieve a [level] playing field, with Native nations being affirmed as the dominant original nations. So far the new comers have fixed the game so that Aboriginal people can only lose, which is the structural fraud that the Mohegan case overturned. To stop the fraud, when Aboriginal people and new comers compete, it should not go to the captain of the other team but to an independent impartial third party. anyone who raises the Mohegan argument, an incredibly strong legal position, is demonized to make this message irrelevant. The law is clear. Europeans only asked for the right to make military and trade alliances with Aboriginal nations and for the right to make settlements on Aboriginal lands. Canadian criminal courts have no right to adjudicate native and European disputes. At the Gustafsen Lake trial, Wolverine issued only one demand, which is respect for the principles of third party adjudication. The media has completely suppressed this knowledge and he is being kept in jail as a result.
DIVERSION TACTIC. The Royal Commission report is a diversion to distract from the existing law which affirms already existing sovereignty, self-government powers and land ownership. The Royal Proclamation can be invoked before Canada gets rid of it as it affirms that Indians have a guaranteed right of free and open trade and legal jurisdiction over all aspects of their lives. To counter this, the Commission recommends setting up a stronger all-encompassing neo-colonial structure. The army of ten thousand Aboriginal bureaucrats that are being trained to be Canadian soldiers to maintain cultural concentration camps on Aboriginal territories is an old colonialist strategy. In Native communities 10 % understand what is going on, 90 % do not, 5 % are traditional natives and 5 % are greedy natives who get profits for working against their own people. Over the last 100 years Canada has identified those natives who will work against their own people. They are being conditioned to take control of Indian property to be handed over to the foreign corporations who want what is on Aboriginal territories - clean water, logs, minerals and oil, and also where they can dump nuclear wastes. These few well dressed and well spoken government natives will be the political crime bosses, backed by armed police forces to keep things under control. They can call on outside forces when backup is needed. The rest of the natives will be colourful tourist attractions rather than Aboriginal landlords collecting rent from their European tenants as the original agreements specified.
ABORIGINAL YOUTH. Does Canada fear the ire of the 56 % of Aboriginal people who are presently under 24 years of age who were not consulted, they say, and could have saved Canada $58 million? This generation are not confused by-products of residential schools and the other genocidal colonial strategies to create brain dead puppets. They are clear headed, impatient and know the facts. What will happen when they reach the age of majority?
TERRA NULLIUS. After giving away so much, the Commission realizes "the colonial powers did not win 'rights of conquest' for there was no conquest". Nor was North America terra nullius, uninhabited, free for the taking. The Commission recommends that this basic principle of Canadian law be stricken from the records, which would destroy the foundation of Canadian law. Doesn't this contradict the main recommendations of their report?
CASNP RECOMMENDATION. It is strongly recommended that the Royal Commission report and its three recommendations be shelved for good. It is a costly betrayal. We know that while Canada pretends to shelve the report, one of the commissioners is presently conducting forums with Aboriginal people to try to develop a ground swell of support for these recommendations.
Kahn-Tineta Horn, President CASNP.
Canadian Alliance in Solidarity with the Native Peoples
39 Spadina Road, Toronto, Ontario, M5R 2S9
Telephone (416) 972-1573
Fax (416) 972-6232
Mailing Address P.O. Box 574 Station P, Toronto Ontario, M5S 2T1, Canada
Minister of Indian Affairs
10 Wellington St., Hull, Quebec, Canada K1A 0H4
ph: (819) 997-0002, fax: (819) 953-4941
Prime Minister Jean Chretien
Parliament Buildings, Ottawa, Canada K1A 0A6
ph: (613) 992-4211 Fax: (613) 941-6900
Governor General of Canada
His Excellency the Right Honorable Romeo Le Blanc
Rideau Hall, 1 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, Canada K1A 0A1
ph: (613) 993-9530 fax: (613) 990-7636
Queen Elizabeth II
The Right Honorable Sir Robert Fellowes, KCB, KCVO
Private Secretary to Elizabeth II
Buckingham Palace, London, UK SW1
ph: (613) 993-9530 Fax: (613) 990-7636