Historic day? Some are optimistic, while others remain sceptical.More than 70 Aboriginal leaders spent the day with almost as many senior government officials on April 19 at the Government of Canada The Government of Canada is the federal government of Canada. The powers and structure of the federal government are set out in the Constitution of Canada.
In modern Canadian use, the term "government" (or "federal government") refers broadly to the cabinet of the day and Conference Centre in Ottawa. The all-day "Canada-Aboriginal Roundtable" saw the leaders of the major national Aboriginal organizations sit down with more than 20 Cabinet ministers and their staff at the invitation of Prime Minister Paul Martin.
At a press conference at the end of the day, the Prime Minister called it "a truly extraordinary event."
"Today confirmed our collective commitment to making tangible progress, to making changes that could be measured concretely in terms of education, health care, housing, living conditions living conditions npl → condiciones fpl de vida
living conditions npl → conditions fpl de vie
living conditions living on reserve, employment, economic development, the special plight of urban Aboriginals and the unique needs of Aboriginal women and youth," Martin said.
Martin committed on four next steps. His officials will produce a "what we heard report" and the prime minister "will convene CONVENE, civil law. This is a technical term, signifying to bring an action. as soon as possible a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Aboriginal Affairs with Aboriginal leaders to bring further detail to our plan of action."
He will also ask "individual ministers to conduct a series of policy roundtables in partnership with Aboriginal peoples on key elements of the plan."
Perhaps still stinging from Auditor General Auditor general may refer to,
"The report card will be an important tool to use in keeping us focused. It will tell us and all Canadians how we're doing, what progress we're making and where we simply have to do better if we're to deliver our objective of closing the gap in living conditions for Aboriginal Canadians," he said.
The theme of the day was that Martin would provide leadership, while working in partnership with Aboriginal leaders, to "transform" the way government deals with Aboriginal issues. Martin admitted it would not be an easy task.
"That being said, let's not Let's Not is a science fiction short story by Isaac Asimov. It was first published in Boston University Graduate Journal in December 1954. It was written for no payment as a favour to the journal, and later appeared in the collection Buy Jupiter. underestimate how much work we have to do, but let's not shrink back Verb 1. shrink back - pull away from a source of disgust or fear
cringe, flinch, funk, quail, recoil, wince, shrink, squinch - draw back, as with fear or pain; "she flinched when they showed the slaughtering of the calf" from it," he said. "Our efforts may encounter doubt because people are used to too little. Well, let's turn this doubt to our purpose. Let it become our motivation. It's time It's Time was a successful political campaign run by the Australian Labor Party (ALP) under Gough Whitlam at the 1972 election in Australia. Campaigning on the perceived need for change after 23 years of conservative (Liberal Party of Australia) government, Labor put forward a to show people who think the challenges that we face are insurmountable that they're wrong. Let's commit to move forward at a pace that will surprise."
The Aboriginal leaders received a number of key commitments and seemed generally optimistic op·ti·mist
1. One who usually expects a favorable outcome.
2. A believer in philosophical optimism.
op that Martin would follow through.
"This has certainly been much more than a photo op," the national chief of the Assembly of First Nations said. "This has been a good day and we're extremely pleased with the opportunity that was afforded us today to engage in real and serious discussions with the government. Thank you, prime minister," said Phil Fontaine Larry Phillip (Phil) Fontaine, OM, (born September 20, 1944) is an Aboriginal Canadian leader. He is currently serving his third term as National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations. .
While previous national chiefs have sat outside the rooms where key decisions affecting First Nations' people were being made, Fontaine said he believed Martin was serious about including First Nations' people from now on.
"Today's meeting showed the value of the prime minister's statement about, and I quote, 'Ensuring a full seat at the table.' We take this to mean full involvement at all processes, including first ministers' conferences In Canada, a First Ministers' conference is a meeting of the provincial and territorial premiers and the Prime Minister. These events are held at the call of the prime minister and, since 1950, have typically been held annually. They are usually held in Ottawa. and other processes," he said, as he stood next to Martin at the press conference. "It is important we be fully represented at these very important discussions. Aboriginal peoples include First Nations, Metis Metis (mē`tĭs), in astronomy, one of the 39 known moons, or natural satellites, of Jupiter.
goddess of caution and discretion. [Rom. Myth.: Wheeler, 242]
See : Prudence and the Inuit. We have some common values and some common processes, but we are not seeking a common pan-Aboriginal agenda. Our diversity must be respected and reflected."
Not everyone who wanted to be at the roundtable was able to get in. Fontaine posted a letter on the Assembly of First Nations Web site saying "It is a government of Canada meeting, not a First Nations or an AFN AFN Assembly of First Nations
AFN American Forces Network
AFN Ancestral File Number (FamilySearch genealogy records)
AFN Alesco Financial Inc (stock symbol)
AFN Alaska Federation of Natives meeting. Therefore, the attendance at this meeting is limited to the people who have been invited by the prime minister. First Nations representatives will include the national chief and the AFN executive committee."
Six Nations Chief Roberta Jamieson, one of the national chief's most vocal opponents, was not invited, nor was Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs The Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs is a First Nations political organization founded in 1969. See also
Most Aboriginal leaders were cautiously optimistic about the day's events, but Phillip worried about the lack of details and the fact that Martin is preparing for an election and might be using Aboriginal leaders to help his party's chances of winning.
"From what I've seen from the Prime Minister and our national chief, I have to say that I am personally not satisfied nor the least bit impressed. Our people deserve more specifics about the Martin government's plans for First Nations. While the prime minister was holding his 'summit' his government continues to press forward with Bill C-23, legislation that was rejected by a majority of First Nations across Canada Across Canada was an afternoon program that formerly aired on The Weather Network. The segment ran from early 1999 until mid 2002. The show ran from 3:00PM ET until 7:00 PM ET. time and time again," he said.
"As well, the prime minister continues with his unilateral program spending review. First Nations want concrete changes to the federal government's 1995 Aboriginal self-government policy and their comprehensive land claims policy. We didn't hear the prime minister say he was changing those immoral and illegal policies to at least reflect the current case law. What the prime minister seemed to suggest was that his government is going to ignore the direction set our by recent Supreme Court of Canada The Supreme Court of Canada (French: Cour suprême du Canada) is the highest court of Canada and is the final court of appeal in the Canadian justice system. in the Delgamuukw and Haida cases, because the 'courts do not define relationships--people do.' Paul Martin is going to continue to keep the B.C. treaty process alive using outdated land claims policy which our members have categorically rejected at its outset."
Phil Fontaine's political enemies in British Columbia British Columbia, province (2001 pop. 3,907,738), 366,255 sq mi (948,600 sq km), including 6,976 sq mi (18,068 sq km) of water surface, W Canada. Geography
are a little upset that Fontaine represented them at the summit without first seeking their input.
"National Chief Fontaine said today that AFN wants to get rid of the Indian Act The Indian Act ("An Act respecting Indians"), R.S., 1985, c. I-5, is Canadian statute that concerns registered Indians (that is, First Nations peoples of Canada), their bands, and the system of Indian reserves. and the Department of Indian Affairs. In principle we agree with his statement of that as a goal. But unless the Assembly of First Nations starts acting properly and involving our organization and our membership in the process before they make proposals or 'plans' to the federal government we will not allow the AFN to say they speak for us in federal 'summits' or otherwise," Stewart Phillip said.
"[Deputy Prime] Minister [Anne] McLellan asked us 'Do we want to get rid of the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs?' For the Assembly of First Nations the answer is yes," Fontaine said. "There can be no single timeline established to do this but if we can create the momentum to build our own institutions, to renew our government-to-government relationship, then we will establish the pace by which we can achieve this change. As previous national chief George Erasmus pointed out during our discussion, [the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP) was a royal commission established in 1991 to address many issues of Aboriginal status that had come to light with recent events such as the Oka Crisis and the Meech Lake Accord. report] identified the tools for renewing that relationship through specific legislative instruments that include recognition, power sharing and capacity building. And clearly, as First Nations peoples The following is a list of First Nations peoples organized by Indigenous geographic area. This list does not include Metis or Canadian Inuit groups. The areas used here are in accordance to those used by the Canadian Museum of Civilization  we are pressing to re-establish our land base and just access to resources in our traditional territories to generate the wealth to sustain our communities."
Fontaine proposed another attempt be made to deal with the Indian Act. He said First Nations should be involved at every step.
"[Indian Affairs] Minister [Andy] Mitchell spoke of the Indian Act and said that he wants to re-engage us in the consultative process. Let me be very clear on this: we cannot re-engage because we were never engaged in the first place," said Fontaine. "We do not want to amend the Indian Act. We want to eliminate the Indian Act. We want it repealed," he said. "We are proposing a national dialogue among First Nations on the requirements to facilitate and foster First Nation governments. We can eliminate the Indian Act and move beyond in a new era by building our capacity, our institutions and securing recognition of our government's jurisdiction through a renewed government-to-government relationship."
Fontaine was asked if he expects to be at the table when the prime minister meets with the premiers on health.
"We need to be at every table," he replied. "We need to represent ourselves."
Emphasizing that his government is making all Aboriginal issues a priority, not only First Nation issues, Paul Martin also announced that the government will deal with a matter that is of crucial importance to Metis people.
"There is ... a great deal of interest in our caucus caucus: see convention. to basically have a very tangible recognition of Louis Riel's contribution, not just to the Metis Nation but to Canada as a whole," he said.
Since it appeared that the prime minister was prepared to take another look at the Indian Act even though he came out against the First Nations governance act during his run for the Liberal Party leadership, Martin was asked what would be different this time around.
"The difference is the way in which it began and, in fact, the way in which it was imposed. And what we said is that you cannot do this, you simply cannot do it without full consultation," he said. "And that's the first. The second is that a number of the Aboriginal leaders said also it has to be capacity building and that's why at their suggestion we're setting up the Centre for Good Governance The terms governance and good governance are increasingly being used in development literature. Governance describes the process of decision-making and the process by which decisions are implemented (or not implemented). in order to build up that capacity."
He also said he supported the abolition of the Department of Indian Affairs (DIAND DIAND Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (Government of Canada) ).
"I think it really is the ultimate goal of everybody to see that happen. But again, I think there may well be in the interim amendments to the Indian Act to essentially get us closer and closer to our goal," he said.
It was announced during the day that a new Inuit secretariat within DIAND would be created.
Inuit leader Jose Kusugak Jose Kusugak (2 May, 1950 - ) is an Inuit politician from Repulse Bay, Nunavut, Canada. He moved, along with his family, to Rankin Inlet in 1960.
After attending school in both Chesterfield Inlet and Churchill, Manitoba he went to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan to attend high was delighted by the announcement.
"When we translate the Indian and Northern Affairs in Inuktitut to what it is supposed to be, in our opinion we call it Inuit-specific department of the federal government Noun 1. department of the federal government - a department of the federal government of the United States
federal department, federal office
government department - a department of government ," he said. "And at that we've been lying to our people and there was not a single individual in any part of the bureaucracy that deals specifically with Inuit issues."
He said he'll be able to hold the government accountable more easily now.
Fontaine reminded everyone that moving forward in partnership and respect would require a dramatic break from established Canadian traditions.
"Indian Affairs was designed to eradicate Eradicate
To completely do away with something, eliminate it, end its existence.
Mentioned in: Smallpox any sense of Indian-ness in the country, to eliminate our people. And I don't see one good reason why we should keep things in the Department of Indian Affairs as it is today," he said. "That's not to suggest that we eliminate the legal responsibilities that the federal government has towards First Nations people, the fiduciary responsibility. That's out of the question. As far as the Indian Act, the Indian Act is an archaic, racist piece of federal legislation and we have absolutely no desire to maintain that."
By Paul Barnsley
Windspeaker Staff Writer