Thursday, September 18, 2014
Text Size

SIX NATIONS: Constitution ‘empty words,’ says Hill

By Michael-Allan Marion, Brantford Expositor

It's time to call Canada to account for its poor treatment of claims concerning aboriginal land rights and its continued suppression of the right of First Nations to self-governance.

Those were the themes of a landmark presentation by Six Nations elected Chief Ava Hill to the 13th session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York.

“Canada's policies, when dealing with land rights, treaty recognition and implementation and self-government, all have the effect of subjugating First Nations and keeping indigenous peoples as second-class citizens, living in Third World conditions,” she said.

Last week’s appearance was the fourth time that Six Nations has participated in the forum but the first time that one of its leaders made it onto the presentations agenda.

Hill, who was elected chief last December, delivered her presentation accompanied by Six Nations Coun. B. Darryl Hill.

The chief called upon the United Nations to pressure Canada to:

- Support land, resource and revenue-sharing agreements with Six nations;

- Immediately abandon its specific claims policies;

- Require free prior and informed consent before passing legislation affecting the territory;

- And to create truly neutral dispute resolution tribunals.

The chief fold the forum that Section 35 of Canada's Constitution recognizes and affirms the aboriginal right to be self-governing.

“This is a principle upon which Canada was given its nationhood,” she said.

“Yet, Canada deprives us of this right. Canada continues to practise colonialism toward the indigenous peoples in Canada through its words and actions.”

She added that, given that record, Section 35 of Canada's Constitution are “empty words” for Six Nations, which is without adequate resources.

Where self-governance is concerned, Hill argued that longstanding fundamental assumptions must be overturned so decision-makers can begin to address any implementation of self-government in a meaningful way.

“With the Iroquoian peoples our title, or ownership to the lands, were never passed to the Crown,” Hill said.

“Indigenous or aboriginal title must be recognized as being superior to the British concept of fee simple. It is more than a right of occupancy dependent on the goodwill of the sovereign or the Crown.

“Once these fundamental assumptions are overturned, then the process of determining how the Six Nations are to share and benefit from their traditional lands and resources can begin.”

Hill said that in the past three years the Canadian government has employed stalling tactics to deal with Six Nations grievances.

“And while all these tactics delay and deny the Six Nations people justice, Canada, Ontario and even municipalities are issuing permits, licences and zoning approvals enabling developments to advance on our treaty lands without free, prior and informed consent.”

The Crown's aim is to eliminate a fair chance for Canada's native peoples to participate in the economy.”

Hill said Canada's land claims policies are “proven failures” because they provide financial compensation as the only option.

“Canada alone determines if they mismanaged our lands and assets. The return of land is not even considered,” she said.

“The only form for restitution is based on the extinguishment of our children's continued right to the lands and resources at issue.”

Whatever Trevor

Dis is Trevor.

Education & Training

Blast from the past: FP archive

When is Consultation, Consultation?

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

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 picture

ANALYSIS - Bill Gallagher

gallagher picture

Under the Northern Sky by Xavier Kataquapit

Under the Northern Sky by Xavier Kataquapit


First Nations Cultural Interpreter PM – 02 Riding Mountain National Park Seasonal Indeterminate

(May to October) From $54,543 to $58,764

Closing Sept. 19, 2014

Read More

Regional Media Officer– Temp (Until Nov 2015) –F/T Position

Office of the Leader of the Official Opposition / NDP Research Office

Location:131 Queen Street, Suite 10-02, Ottawa, ON


Communicate regularly with regional media outlets (community newspapers, radio stations, student media, ethnic media, etc.) to propose ideas for interviews and opinion content Read more...

Canadian Chamber of Commerce Aboriginal Workforce Report

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce released a report that highlights initiatives to improve the workforce participation of Aboriginal peoples. 

Opportunity Found: Improving the Participation of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada’s Workforce (December 2013)  

click image to download report

Tue Sep 23 @ 3:00PM - 04:15PM
FNHMA National Conference 2014
Sun Oct 05 @ 9:00AM - 05:00PM
INIHKD & Manitoba NEAHR Conference 2014


September 2014
31 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 1 2 3 4

Current Video

RIP Percy Tuesday


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