Aboriginal Self Government

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Assignment: 1
Aboriginal Self Government

Aboriginal self-government is a long standing issue that continues to be a struggle for the First Nations People. To truly understand the scope of Aboriginal self-government within First Nations communities, more effort is needed to understand the legislative system that runs Canada. This issue of self-governance has been very destructive in First Nations communities. After signing the Treaties, First Nations People was stripped of their livelihood and from that point on to abide by the Dominion of Canadas legislative policies. One current issue that would be a perfect example is the Nisga People in British Columbia who is no longer under the protection of the Indian Act. The Nisga People are on self-government ideologies however their government still needs to follow foreign rules and regulations not of their own making. It is not my intention to be on the other side of the fence for what they have fought so hard for but when looking closely I would be not in favour of Aboriginal self-government because First Nations People can not truly gain self-government due to the federal and provincial laws that keep them from being a true democracy.

First Nations People have been divided and subdued to a foreign form of governance that has trapped them to live by foreign rules and regulations. The systematic destruction of Aboriginal customs has been hammered out by the making of the Royal Proclamation of 1763. First Nations People have been forced to adapt to the policies and cultural customs that have slowly stripped them from their own traditional form of governance. First Nations People had to deal with policies known as the Numbered Treaties dating from 1871 to 1876[1], which forced them to surrender their traditional lands and adapt to European political customs. This form of treaty making can be seen as the final chapter on assimilating First Nations People. It was within these Treaties that First Nations People had lost traditional lifestyle they have lived for decades what was worse they lost their identity as they were seen as the “white man’s burden”[2]. The Dominion of Canada had the power to enforce crucial implements of European customs that abolished political First Nation influence they carried for each other as they were subdued to live on little parcels of land that at times were far to small for a tribe. The First Nations people had lost their right to practice spiritual traditions that enabled them to govern their people before confederation. These regulated that were set out by the federal and provincial government stem from the former Acts that have created Canada. A major influential aspect of the change was created from the outcome of the Constitution Act of 1867. The Dominion of Canada enshrined the Treaties and acknowledged that First Nations affairs would be federal responsibility. Not only did First Nations have no say in where their reserve creation but were not given a say to where their reserves were allocated. First Nation People were to remain under federal jurisdiction while Canada grew stronger as a country leaving them to live by “Chief Commissioner Sir Charles Bagot (1781-1843)”[3], who directed administration regarding First Nation affairs. Through these foreign rules, First Nations People have lost their way of being part of Chiefdoms by the inability of self-government. As Dickason explains the power and control many of these Chiefs carried having multiple leaders within one tribe each having their own quality of a certain area such as a hunter, peace maker or one to speak on behave of the group as an equalitarian society. This idea of Chiefdoms would be the final view of true Aboriginal self-government that a nation could achieve, since signing of the Numbered Treaties is the last of actual Chiefdoms in action. This way of political thinking has long changed. Today looking back on these policies...
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