Collective Rights

Topics: Canada, First Nations, Rights Pages: 4 (1347 words) Published: June 16, 2013
Collective rights are the rights guaranteed to certain groups in Canadian society for historical and constitutional reasons. In Canada Aboriginal peoples; such as the First Nations, Inuit, and the Métis, the Francophone and the Anglophone populace are recognized as the founding peoples of Canada. The rights belonging to the groups are entrenched in the constitution because they are a part of the collective identity and are the founding peoples of Canada. Rights develop over time; they are not things that happen overnight. The rights of groups can be best reflected in their education system and what is being done to affirm their rights. Canada has put a lot of effort into affirming the collective rights of First Nations, but the attempt so far has been unsuccessful.

Since Europeans first settled in Canada, First Nations have been treated poorly. Starting from 1763 the numbered treaties were put into action between Britain and the First Nations to protect the collective rights of Canadian Aboriginals. The treaties required First Nations to share their land and resources with the British. A variety of topics were covered within the numbered treaties, from reserves, education, annuities and many other matters.( Lychak, P., Gerrits, A. D., Nogue, A., Parsons, J., 2008)However, the numbered treaties put no consideration towards the natural rights of first nations. The treatment of the founding group was extremely disrespectful and unwarranted. Ethnocentric views of the Europeans at the time caused them to make laws for the First nations without the First Nations knowing, they were seen as people that needed proper guidance. The British government thought that by telling the First Nation communities how they should govern themselves they could be better assimilated. As a way of controlling and assimilating the aboriginal, the government made the Indian Act of 1876. The Indian act was also a part of the Royal Proclamation; helping to strengthen trade alliances and...
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