Thursday, July 31, 2014
Text Size

Nipissing First Nation passes first Ontario Aboriginal constitution

CBC News

The Nipissing First Nation has passed a constitution that’s believed to be the only First Nations constitution in Ontario.

But there are questions about what this document actually does for the community.

The constitution was passed by the Nipissing First Nation with a vote of 319 to 56.

Chief Marianna Couchie said the vote count was “empowering.”

“It took more than 10 years to create this law,” she said.

“It's a major step towards self-government."

Despite Couchie's optimism, it's not entirely clear what power this constitution will have.

She said the Nipissing constitution gives them the right to determine members and set up laws.

According to Darren O'Toole at the University of Ottawa, there is legal debate about whether the Canadian constitution gives First Nations the right to do something like this.

"It's up in the air right now, but some claim it allows for a form of self-government,” O’Toole said.

O'Toole said this issue is bound to come up a lot in the next few months.

Many other Ontario First Nations, such as Atikameksheng and Wanapitae, are expected to be writing their own constitutions as well.

"I know there's a lot of them that are working on them,” O’Toole said.

“I know every single one of those communities will adopt a constitution to replace the Indian Act. Right now, they are governed by the Indian Act."

Couchie said the document will give more authority to laws passed by Nipissing members.

But O’Toole said it is likely these documents will spark legal battles, if they come into conflict with the Indian Act or other Canadian laws.

“It would be a very interesting court case, to be honest."

Whatever Trevor

Dis is Trevor.

Blast from the past: FP archive

When is Consultation, Consultation?

Write comment (10 Comments)

Ovide Mercredi

National Chief – AFN

During a Treaty Roundtable meeting of the Alberta Chiefs, I took note of a federal government document outlining their strategy to define and ultimately impose their own form of self-government. Read more...

Letting go of residential schools

Write comment (7 Comments)

by Gilbert Oskaboose, Nov 1993 First Perspective

There is a lot of "unfinished business" in Indian Country. Garbage that we as a people have never really dealt with. Chief among them is the whole issue of those infamous residential schools and their impact on people. Read more...

OBIDIAH

obidiah picture

ANALYSIS - Bill Gallagher

gallagher picture

Under the Northern Sky by Xavier Kataquapit

Under the Northern Sky by Xavier Kataquapit

EVENTS

July 2014
S M T W T F S
29 30 1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31 1 2
Wed Jul 23 @ 9:00AM - 05:00PM
Asinabka Film Media Arts Festival
Sun Jul 27 @12:00AM
World Indigenous Business Forum 2014
imageimageimageimageimage
cartoonscartoonscartoonscartoonscartoons

Current Video

RIP Percy Tuesday

Write comment (1 Comment)

 

Thanks to Althea Guiboche for allowing The First Perspective to share her video taken at the Manitowapow book launch at McNally Robinson. 

Percey sings Freddy Fender's "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights" and people join in to harmonize. 

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO): The Washington Redskins

Write comment (0 Comments)