Membership issues talk of the town.The federal government refuses to discuss letting First Nations governments decide which people are First Nations and this threatens the continued existence of Native peoples in Canada, said Assembly of First Nations National Chief 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. .
"We've had a number of discussions now with ministers and senior officials. Our big concern there is that while we are making all of these positive inroads inroads
make inroads into to start affecting or reducing: my gambling has made great inroads into my savings
inroads npl to make inroads into [+ in terms of securing our position, there are other initiatives that serve to undermine our success," said Fontaine during a three-day assembly of chiefs held Dec. 7 to 9 in Ottawa.
Although he had been assured by Indian Affairs Minister Andy Scott This article is about the Canadian politician. For the musician, see Sweet (band).
Robert Andrew "Andy" Keith Scott, PC, MP (born March 16, 1955 in Barker's Point, New Brunswick) is a Liberal Member of the Canadian Parliament representing Fredericton, New and deputy Indian Affairs Minister Michael Horgan Michael Horgan was an Irish sportsperson in the 1880s and 1890s who played hurling with Aghabullogue.
Born in Aghabullogue, County Cork he first tasted hurling success in 1890 when he won a senior county championship title with his club. that membership issues will no longer be excluded from self-government tables, Fontaine said there was a catch.
"The issue has become somewhat more complicated because the government is saying it's one thing to talk about status; it's another thing to talk about citizenship," he said. "'Sure we'll talk about membership' and 'yes we'll talk about citizenship' but the ultimate decision over who will be an Indian will Indian Will is a well-known Native American who lived in a former settlement of the Shawnee Indians at the site of prevent day Cumberland, Maryland in the 1700s. This site was abandoned by the Shawnee's prior to the first white settlers arriving in the region, however 'Indian Will' be the federal government's. And it will not work. We will not accept that kind of decision because it's really designed to eradicate ultimately the very real presence of First Nations people in the country."
Fontaine said the membership issue was a ticking time bomb and "Bill C-31 was the fuse." Bill C-31 was an amendment to 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. that was passed in 1985 to re-instate women who had been stripped of their Indian status for marrying non-Native men. Native men who married non-Native women did not lose their status. In fact, non-Native women who married Native men gained Indian status despite having no Native ancestry an·ces·try
n. pl. an·ces·tries
1. Ancestral descent or lineage.
2. Ancestors considered as a group.
[Middle English auncestrie, alteration (influenced by at all. The inequity of the policy became an embarrassment for Canada when Native women took the issue to the United Nations. But the chiefs say that Bill C-31, which seemed on the surface to correct an injustice, allowed federal officials to construct a new and very complex regime that, as Manitoba Regional Chief Francis Flett told the chiefs, will mean "that the last status Indian status Indian
A federally registered member of a band or First Nation, having special status under Canadian law. See Usage Note at First Nation. in Manitoba will be registered sometime around 2050."
Women who regained their status were divided into a number of categories. Some categories allow the women to regain their Indian status but denied status to their children, ending any continued Aboriginal rights for the next and succeeding generations, thereby ending the federal government's legal obligations. A veteran Quebec First Nation politician, Chief Max Gros Louis, called the process "genocide genocide, in international law, the intentional and systematic destruction, wholly or in part, by a government of a national, racial, religious, or ethnic group. ."
Fontaine told the chiefs he met with Justice Minister Irwin Cotler Irwin Cotler, PC , MP , OC , BA , BCL , LL.D , Ph.D (born May 8, 1940) was Canada's Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada from 2003 until the Liberal government of Paul Martin lost power following the 2006 federal election. during the lunch break on the second day of the assembly. He raised the issue with the former law professor and human rights advocate. He said he was "surprised" to discover that Cotler was very knowledgeable about the subject.
"We called on the minister to be our champion in cabinet," Fontaine said.
In an assembly that Fontaine described on the last day "as one of the best" meetings in a long time, the chiefs heeded the call of Elder Elmer Courchene and refrained from bitter, divisive di·vi·sive
Creating dissension or discord.
di·vi comments and were able to address most of the resolutions and agenda items. Fontaine said that would be important in making progress in the membership matter and all issues being discussed with the federal government.
He said that he hoped to persuade Prime Minister Paul Martin to make First Nation issues "the single biggest challenge faced by this government."
He said federal officials have been telling the 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 that the federal budget expected in February might not have much to offer First Nations since the government had other pressing priorities. Fontaine pointed out that the government's fiscal surplus this year was $9 billion and that surpluses in recent years had been in excess of $50 billion and First Nations would no longer accept the excuse that "the cupboard was bare."
He called the continued failure to make First Nations poverty a priority was "a bloody shame" and "despicable." He told the chiefs that Aboriginal leaders would take part in a policy retreat with the federal cabinet in the new year as they prepare for a first ministers meeting on Aboriginal issues in the fall.
By Paul Barnsley
Windspeaker Staff Writer