Who Are Canada's Aboriginal Peoples?: Recognition, Definition, and Jurisdiction
Paul L. A. H. Chartrand
Purich Publishing Company (CN), 2002 - Political Science - 319 pages
The 1982 amendments to the Canadian Constitution recognize and affirm "the existing aboriginal and treaty rights of the aboriginal peoples...", specifically the Indian, Inuit and Métis. This book is about the legal and policy issues that must be confronted if this constitutional commitment is to be honoured. In 1996, the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples laid out a process to recognize and define Canada's Aboriginal peoples. But the federal government continues to maintain and develop the Indian Act, the legislation created for the administration of 19th century policies of colonial control over Indian reserves and their residents. Further, the federal government maintains the political stance that it has no jurisdiction in respect to the Métis. This situation is exacerbated by the divergence of opinion as to the identity of Métis people. In this book, authors in the field canvass a range of issues, including: whether courts have a role to play in determining who is Aboriginal; possible interpretations of s.91(24) of the Constitution, which assigns responsibility for "Indians and lands reserved for the Indians" to the federal government; and the examination and analysis of the international concept of recognition as applied to American Indian tribes.
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