• Aboriginal Rights:
  • Collective rights rooted in historic cultural traditions and practices, based on ancestral use of the land.
  • Rights as distinct peoples recognized in law and treaties

  • Collective Rights: Rights held through membership to a group.  All members have same rights.
  • Areas of Concern:
    • Self-government
    • Land ownership
    • Control of natural resources

  • The Royal Proclamation, 1763
  • The document reserved lands for Aboriginal people (“Indians”) and ordered people who had settled on those lands to leave.
  • British Crown alone had the right to trade Aboriginal hunting and fishing grounds, but gave Aboriginals the right to hunt and fish on these acquired lands.
  • The final results of such negotiations were to be recorded in written treaties.

  • Historic Barriers to Equality
  • Racist attitudes held by non natives
  • Government policies and actions denying Native peoples their cultural heritage and collective rights
    • 1871 – 1921: Land agreements used to remove Native peoples from their traditional lands to allow for European settlements
    • Indian Act, 1876: policy of assimilation, banning of traditional practices, replaced Native self-government with elected band councils, rejected native justice and decisions regarding health care, social services and education under federal authority.
    • 1960s:  Residential schools; Cultural Genocide
  • Extreme poverty
  • Failure to provide for the educational needs of Native youth
  • Some Significant Gains
  • Aboriginals were allowed to sue the government over land claims.
  • 1960, right to vote
  • Drybones case 1970 (p. 207 – 208); removed non- drinking clause from the Indian Act.
Canada’s Aboriginal Communities
Mabo Decision (1992): Importance and Aboriginal Rights

  • Landmark Decisions:
  • Lavell Case (1974)
  • Challenged status of Aboriginal women who married non-Aboriginal men.

  • The Calder Case (1973) P. 209
  • Legal claim to ancestral lands never surrendered
  • Accepted concept of “Aboriginal title” as legal
  • Trudeau government introduced process for negotiating land claims settlements as a result.

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