No teeth, no action, charge First Nations (Indian Claims Commission lacks authority in land claims issues).First Nations are growing impatient with the Indian Claims Commission and its lack of authority and scope in regards to deciding land claim issues.
"Right now the government is the judge, the jury and the whole thing. They've got all the power," said Grand Chief Perry Bellegarde of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations. "That is not proper. That is not right. So we've got to look at revamping to have an independent claims tribunal with some authority and power. Right now they are just a recommendatory body and the government decides in what manner to use their finished reports."
James Prentice, ICC ICC
See: International Chamber of Commerce co-chair, said the powers of an independent claims body are subject to negotiation between Canada and the Assembly of First Nations.
"Generally speaking, the difficulty that this commission has is that it doesn't have the authority to make binding decisions," said Prentice. "It can only make recommendations and the commission was set up on that basis."
The Walpole Island Walpole Island is an island and the name of a community in southwestern Ontario, Canada, on the border between Ontario and Michigan in the United States. It is located in the mouth of the St. Clair River on Lake St. First Nation concluded working with the ICC last May on their specific land claim of Boblo Island. The First Nation is pleased with the final report but is still waiting for a response from the government.
"The commission reviewed and verified our research and validated our interest in Boblo Island, which has never been extinguished ex·tin·guish
tr.v. ex·tin·guished, ex·tin·guish·ing, ex·tin·guish·es
1. To put out (a fire, for example); quench.
2. To put an end to (hopes, for example); destroy. See Synonyms at abolish.
3. ," said Dr. Dean Jacobs, director of research for Walpole Island First Nation. "We were pleased with the process. The issue now is they [the government] are saying `don't call us, we will call you,' and we haven't heard from anyone yet."
Once the ICC releases a finished report to the government, the commission no longer retains any authority in regard to how or if the report is considered, explained Prentice.
"The government, as a courtesy, advises the commission of their position, but then that is the end of it," said Prentice. "We agree it has no teeth and we have been one of the loudest voices in saying that that needs to change. But I wouldn't agree that it serves no purpose, because we have many, many First Nations that come to the commission."
The commission has finished more than 50 inquiry reports for First Nations since its work began in 1991. The ICC's 1998-1999 annual report accounted for three settlements and 21 accepted reports, out of the inquiry reports it presented to the government. Cases relating to relating to relate prep → concernant
relating to relate prep → bezüglich +gen, mit Bezug auf +acc fiduciary duty Noun 1. fiduciary duty - the legal duty of a fiduciary to act in the best interests of the beneficiary
legal duty - acts which the law requires be done or forborne , treaty land entitlement, and prairie land surrender are the main areas in which it operates.
"Those are really the three predominant areas that our work comes from; so in two of the three areas, I think the commission has been very successful," said Prentice. "The government disagrees with the fiduciary duty issue."
"In Saskatchewan alone we have over 500 specific claims," countered Bellegarde. "There is a backlog to our claims here that are not being dealt with adequately. A more appropriate independent, arms-length, mechanism has to be established to be put in place 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. and they have got to get behind that."
The ICC has most recently disappointed members of Carry The Kettle First Nation. Since 1997 the First Nation has been working closely with the ICC, researching the band's claim that the Cypress Hills Cypress Hills has many uses: Places
noncontroversial, uncontroversial - not likely to arouse controversy in the signing of Treaty 4 in 1877.
When the Assiniboine people agreed to sign the treaty, they were given the chance to select the land on which to reside. They selected their traditional land of the Cypress Hills. The Crown was in agreement with the selection and a "meeting of the minds" between the two parties was, in the Assinboine people's viewpoint, established.
"The land was surveyed as the agreed selection. A farm instructor was sent to teach the Assiniboine people agriculture, and they were given treaty payment as residing in that selected area," said Elsie Koochicum, treaty land settlement/specific claims co-ordinator of the First Nation.
In 1880, the government forcibly forc·i·ble
1. Effected against resistance through the use of force: The police used forcible restraint in order to subdue the assailant.
2. Characterized by force; powerful. relocated the Assiniboine by cutting their food rations. They feared the people would join the Louis Riel For the opera, see .
Louis Riel (October 22, 1844 – November 16, 1885) was a Canadian politician, a founder of the province of Manitoba, and leader of the Métis people of the Canadian prairies. rebellion that was going on nearby at the time.
"Big Bear and Sitting Bull were in the area as well. There were around 6,000 Indian people," said Koochicum. "So the government figured that there would be a major rebellion starting up and I believe they had only 55 mounted police Mounted police are police who patrol on horseback. They continue to serve in remote areas and in metropolitan areas where their day-to-day function may be largely picturesque or ceremonial, but they are also employed in crowd control. in the area."
Although the Assiniboine made efforts between 1881 and 1882 to return to their traditional homeland where they faced starvation starvation, condition in which deprivation of food has forced the body to feed on itself. Causes are famine, fasting, malnutrition, or abnormalities of the mucosal lining of the digestive system. , they eventually had no choice but to relocate to the area in which the First Nation is located today.
The ICC concluded their inquiry by stating that the band does not have a reserve in the Cypress Hills and that under Canadian law a reserve is not a reserve unless both the First Nation and the government recognize it as such.
"We asked them to hold off on their report and not to send it, but to come and explain their decision to the community in person," said Koochikum. "It becomes frustrating frus·trate
tr.v. frus·trat·ed, frus·trat·ing, frus·trates
a. To prevent from accomplishing a purpose or fulfilling a desire; thwart: because our Elders partook par·took
Past tense of partake.
the past tense of partake in the inquiry for the last three years and for them at the end just to walk away and not even see them, I don't think that is very respectful."
"The report reflects the best job that the commission can do in terms of its thinking, and its all kind of set out in the report," said Prentice. "I have heard that they are disappointed and I can understand that."
The commission has never traveled to a community and got into a dialogue about its report after the report has been issued, said Prentice. Interpreting the finished report or commenting upon it with others would not be appropriate for the commission to partake in Verb 1. partake in - be active in
participate, take part - share in something
2. partake in - have, give, or receive a share of; "We shared the cake"
partake, share , he explained.
"Our authority is to conduct an inquiry and make a recommendation and once a recommendation is released to the parties, we really don't have any authority."
Bellegarde is disappointed with the recent report that the ICC concluded for Carry The Kettle First Nation.
"Now with the ICC ruling that they don't have a claim, we will be assisting them (Carry The Kettle) to look at other options," said Bellegarde.
"Within the community, our Elders, they are the ones who are heart-broken," said chief of Carry The Kettle First Nation, Kurt Adams. "That is the way they feel because as far as we're concerned, we are trying to get justice done here. We're reaching out for justice but nothing was done."
Carry The Kettle has approached National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, Matthew Coon Come Matthew Coon Come (born1956) is a Canadian politician and activist of Cree descent. He was National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations from 2000 to 2003.
Born near Mistissini, Quebec, Coon Come was first educated in a residential school. , in the hopes that he will take their case to the international forum of the United Nations.