Treaty 2 Territory – Today, Wednesday 30 September 2020 in Moosomin, Treaty 2 Territory we started off a full day of protecting our territory by speaking to Canada regarding Unfinished Treaty Business.
“We acknowledge Canada’s attempt to resolve land claims and issues; however, meaningful improvement in the lives of First Nations peoples has continued to be modest. There is no evidence that current processes will significantly change this. A new vision is required”, Said Grand Chief Eastman in a letter to Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
After 149 years, there actually may be some hope on seeing the treaty implemented or at least respected. This will affect all numbered and western 1-11 treaties. The challenge is, Canada has convinced everyone their colonial laws and policies are the only way and this doesn’t fit First Nations in Treaty 2 Territory laws and process. It doesn’t fit any of our Nations on Central Turtle Island.
“It is fine that Canada on behalf of the Crown is hearing what they call claims, however we have to remember our situation is because of Canada who is assuming the Crown’s obligation is not understanding the treaty and not respecting our ancestral and inherent right to govern ourselves. Their policies and laws do not fit with us”, said Chief Norman Bone, Keeseekoowenin – Internal/External Circle Portfolio.
The Unfinished Treaty Business matters were included in the letter to the Canada in July 2020.
The Proclamation of 1763 of King George III recognized Aboriginal rights and title, including the right to self-determination and governance. It also gave rise to the expression “Honour of the Crown.”
Subsequently, s.91(24) of the British North America Act established the federal government as responsible for original peoples and their lands. The Crown was to be responsible for protecting original peoples and their lands from the encroachment of settlers and from exploitation by colonial governments. The fiduciary duty of Canada was established.
The Constitution Act 1982 further reinforced First Nations’ position in Canada. The 1990 decision of R. v. Sparrow acknowledged that the exclusive federal power to legislate in relation to “Indians, and Lands reserved for the Indians” continued after 1982. The Supreme Court of Canada held that this power “must, however, now be read together with s. 35(1).” This requirement led the Court to acknowledge that s. 35(1) mandates that the power of the federal government pursuant to section 91(24) be reconciled with the federal duty “to act in a fiduciary relationship with respect to aboriginal peoples” that is “trust-like, rather than adversarial.”
The implementation of Treaty 2 over the past 150 years has fallen significantly short on these promises: “The Indians of both parts have a firm belief in the honor and integrity of Her Majesty’s representatives and are fully impressed with the idea that the amelioration of their present condition is one of the objects of Her Majesty in making these treaties.”
The Honorable Adam G. Archibald, the Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba reported that he spoke to the people at the time of Treaty: “First, Our Great Mother, the Queen, wishes to do justice to all her children alike. She will deal fairly with those of the setting sun, as she would with those of the rising sun.”
Last modified: October 3, 2020