Thursday, July 31, 2014
Text Size

First Nations constitutions won't clash with current laws, chief says

CBC News

Thirty-one First Nations communities are drafting constitutions in Ontario, including a few close to Sudbury, following the lead of the Nipissing First Nation.

That community passed a First Nations constitution earlier this month.

The chief of the Atikameksheng First Nation in Sudbury said his community is planning to vote on a constitution this summer. Steve Miller said he doesn't think it's going to come into conflict with existing Canadian laws.

"We're sending a true statement and a true document of who we are as a people,” he said.

“I see no conflict. I think they can live right along each other."

First Nations see these constitutions as a first step to self-government, but there are still questions about whether these documents will be recognized by the federal government.

Constitutions re-affirm principles

A lawyer with the Union of Ontario Indians said he's been waiting to hear since the Nipissing constitution passed.

"No, I haven't heard anything official from Ontario or Canada,” Fred Bellefeuille said.

“I would expect a congratulations from them. This is not something to fear, it's something to be happy about and to celebrate."

The federal and provincial governments won't comment on the validity of the Nipissing First Nation constitution.

However, in a statement, the federal department of Aboriginal Affairs said these constitutions are part of the work required to reach self-government agreements.

Atikameksheng’s Chief Miller said his community’s document is in its final draft. His community has not consulted with the federal or provincial government about the document.

He said the constitution will re-affirm principles that go back to before Confederation.

"We were here and aboriginal people had their constitution,” he said.

“It may not be written on paper, black and white, but we did have laws of the land."

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)