Minutes of Proceedings and Evidence of the Special Committee on Indian Self-Government, 32nd Parl, 1st Sess, No 1 (22 December 1982)
By: Canada (Parliament)
Citation: Canada, Parliament, Minutes of Proceedings and Evidence of the Special Committee on Indian Self-Government, 32nd Parl, 1st Sess, No 1 (22 December 1983).
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HOUSE OF COMMONS
Issue No. 1
Wednesday, December 22, 1982
Sunday, January 16, 1983
Monday, January 17, 1983
Chairman: Mr. Keith Penner
Minutes of Proceedings and Evidence
of the Special Committee on
The status, development and responsibilities of Band
governments on Indian reserves, as well as the financial
relationships between the Government of Canada and
(See back cover)
First Session of the
Thirty-second Parliament, 1980-81-82-83
SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON
Chairman: Mr. Keith Penner
Vice-Chairmen: Mr. Stan Schellenberger
Clerk of the Special Committee
ORDER OF REFERENCE
Wednesday, December 22, 1982
ORDERED,—That a Special Committee of the House of Commons, to be composed of Mr. Penner, Mr. Allmand, Mr. Chenier, Mr. Tousignant, Mr. Oberle, Mr. Schellenberger and Mr. Manly, be appointed to act as a Parliamentary Task Force on Indian Self-Government to review all legal and related institutional factors affecting the status, development and responsibilities of Band Governments in Indian reserves, including, without limiting the generality of the foregoing:
(a) the legal status of Band Governments;
(b) the accountability of band councils to band members;
(c) the powers of the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development in relation to reserve land, band monies and the exercise of band powers;
(d) the financial transfer, control and accounting mechanisms in place between bands and the Government of Canada;
(e) the legislative powers of bands and their relationship to the powers of other jurisdictions;
(f) the accountability to Parliament of the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development for the monies expended by or on behalf of Indian bands;
(g) all items referred to in section “H” of the report of the Sub-committee on Indian Women and the Indian Act;
and make recommendations in relation to the above questions in regard particularly to possible provisions of new legislation and improve administrative arrangements to apply to some or all Band Governments on reserves, taking into account the various social, economic, administrative, political and demographic situations of Indian bands, and the views of Indian bands in regard to administrative or legal change.
That the Committee, in carrying out its review, take into account:
(a) the jurisdiction of the Federal Government under section 91(24) of the Constitution Act, 1867;
(b) the recognition and affirmation of existing aboriginal and treaty rights of the aboriginal peoples in section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982;
(c) the current economic restraint program of the Government;
(d) the fact that a First Ministers’ Conference will be held for the purpose of identifying rights of the aboriginal peoples.
That the Committee have all of the powers given Standing Committees by section (8) of Standing Order 65;
That the Committee have the power to retain the services of expert, professional, technical and clerical staff as may be deemed necessary;
That the Committee have the power to adjourn or travel from place to place in Canada and the United States;
That, notwithstanding the usual practices of this House, if the House is not sitting when an interim or final report of the Committee is completed, the Committee may make the said report public before it is laid before the House, but that, in any case the Committee shall report to the House finally no later than the first Monday following Labour Day;
That all the evidence adduced by both the Sub-committee on Indian Women and the Indian Act, and the Sub-committee on Indian Self-Government during the first session of this Parliament, be referred to the Committee;
Provided that alternates appointed pursuant to temporary Standing Orders be named later.
The Clerk of the House of Commons
MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 22, 1982
The Special Committee on Indian Self-Government met in camera at 3:55 o’clock p.m., this day, for the purpose of organization.
Members of the Committee present: Messrs. Allmand, Chenier, Oberle, Penner and Schellenberger.
The Clerk of the Committee presided over the election of a Chairman.
Mr. Allmand moved, —That Mr. Penner do take the Chair of this Committee as Chairman.
The question being put on the motion, it was agreed to.
The Chairman took the Chair.
It was agreed that the Order of Reference be deemed to have been read.
Mr. Oberle moved, —That Mr. Schellenberger be elected as Vice-Chairman of this Committee.
The question being put on the motion, it was agreed to.
Mr. Chenier moved, —That a representative from the Assembly of First Nations be attached to the Committee as ex-officio member and be allowed to question the witnesses appering before the Committee and to participate in the drafting of the Committee’s report.
The question being put on the motion, it was agreed to.
Mr. Chenier moved, —That a representative from the Native Women’s Association of Canada and from the Native Council of Canada be attached to the Committee as liaison members and be allowed to monitor all the Committee’s hearings, to question witnesses from time to time at the discretion of the Chair, and to participate in the drafting of the Committee’s report.
The question being put on the motion, it was agreed to.
Mr. Chenier moved, —That the ex-officio member and the liaison members accompany the Committee in its travels and its adjournments from place to place.
The question being put on the motion, it was agreed to.
Mr. Chenier moved, —That the Committee print 2,000 copies of its Minutes of Proceedings and Evidence and that a copy of each issue be circulated to all the bands in the country.
The question being put on the motion, it was agreed to.
Mr. Chenier moved, —That researchers from the Library of Parliament be attached to the Committee.
The question being put on the motion, it was agreed to.
Mr. Chenier moved,—That the Parliamentary Centre be hired by the Committee as policy co-ordinator.
The question being put on the motion, it was agreed to.
Mr. Chenier moved,—That at the discretion of the Chairman after the usual consultations, reasonable travelling and
living expenses be paid to witnesses invited to appear before the Committee and that for such payment of expenses, a limit of three (3) representatives per organization be established.
The question being put on the motion, it was agreed to.
Mr. Chenier moved, —That the Chairman be authorized to hold meetings to receive and authorize the printing of evidence when a quorum is not present provided that one member representing the government and one member representing the official opposition are present.
The question’ being put on the motion, it was agreed to.
Mr. Chenier moved, —That David L. Humphreys and Associates be hired by the Committee as press attaché.
The question being put on the motion, it was agreed to.
Mr. Chenier moved,—That the necessary staff, as authorized by the Chairman, do accompany the Committee in its travels and its adjournments from place to place.
The question being put on the motion, it was agreed to.
Mr. Chenier moved,-That the draft itinerary prepared by the staff for the Committee’s trip to Northwestern Ontario and Southern Manitoba from January 16 to January 21, 1983 be adopted.
The question being put on the motion, it was agreed to.
Mr. Chenier moved,—That the press release prepared by the staff be circulated.
The question being put on the motion, it was agreed to.
Mr. Chenier moved,-That the terms of reference for the advance person prepared by the staff be adopted.
The question being put on the motion, it was agreed to.
Mr. Chenier moved,—That Mr. Daniel J. Brant be approached and made familiar with the terms of reference for the position of advance person, and that if he accepts, he be engaged by the Committee as advance person on terms to be approved by the Chairman.
The question being put on the motion, it was agreed to.
Mr. Chenier moved,—That the Committee travel to the United States during the first week of February 1983.
The question being put on the motion, it was agreed to.
Mr. Chenier moved,—That the schedule for the Committee’s work program up to the first week of March be adopted.
The question being put on the motion, it was agreed to.
At 4:00 o’clock p.m., the Committee adjourned to the call of the Chair.
SUNDAY, JANUARY 16, 1983
The Special Committee on Indian Self-Government met in camera in Winnipeg, Manitoba at 7:12 o’clock p.m., this day, the Chairman, Mr. Penner, presiding.
Members of the Committee present: Messrs. Manly, Oberle, Penner, Schellenberger and Tousignant.
Ex-officio member present: *iFrom the Assembly of First Nations: Ms. Roberta Jamieson.
Liaison members present: From the Native Women’s Association of Canada: Ms. Marlyn Kane. From the Native Council of Canada: Mr. Clem Chartier.
In attendance: From the Research Branch of the Library of Parliament: Mrs. Barbara Reynolds and Mrs. Katharine Dunk ley, Research Officers. From the Parliamentary Centre for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade: Mr. P.C. Dobell, Policy Co-ordinator.
The Committee resumed consideration of its Order of Reference dated Wednesday, December 22, 1982 (See Minutes of Proceedings, Wednesday, December 22, 1982, Issue No. 1.)
The Committee proceeded to consider its future business.
It was agreed that the memorandum entitled “Objectives for Travel to Washington and to the yet to be determined reservation(s)” be approved.
It was agreed that for the visit to the United States the seven (7) Members of the Committee be accompanied by the following:
—the Ex-officio member
—the two (2) Liaison members
—the Policy Co-ordinator
—A researcher from the Library of Parliament
—A researcher from the Assembly of First Nations.
It was agreed that the draft letter to Chiefs and Councils along with the list of possible questions, prepared by the staff, be adopted and mailed to all Chiefs and Councils and native organizations as soon as possible.
At 9:18 o’clock p.m., the Committee adjourned to the call of the Chair.
MONDAY, JANUARY 17, 1983
The Special Committee on Indian Self-Government met in Kenora, Ontario at 11:04 o’clock a.m., this day, the Chairman, Mr. Penner, presiding.
Members of the Committee present: Messrs. Allmand, Manly, Oberle, Penner, Schellenberger and Tousignant.
Ex-officio member present: From the Assembly of First Nations: Ms. Roberta Jamieson.
Liaison members present: From the Native Women’s Association of Canada: Ms. Marlyn Kane. From the Native Council of Canada: Mr. Clem Chartier.
In attendance: From the Research Branch of the Library of Parliament: Mrs. Barbara Reynolds and Mrs. Katharine Dunkley, Research Officers. From the Parliamentary Centre for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade: Mr. P.C. Dobell, Policy Co-ordinator.
Witnesses: From the Rainy Lake Regional Tribal Chiefs, Incorporated: Mr. Alex Skead, Chief Willie Wilson, Mr. Peter
Kelly, Chief Don Jones and Mr. Rudy Morrisseau, General Manager.
The Committee resumed consideration of its Order of Reference dated Wednesday, December Minutes of Proceedings, 22, 1982. (See Wednesday, December 22, 1982, Issue No. 1.)
Mr. Alex Skead, Elder, Rat Portage Band, made a statement and opened the hearings with a prayer.
The Chairman made opening remarks.
Chief Willie Wilson and Mr. Peter Kelly made a statement and, with the other witnesses, answered questions.
At 1:38 o’clock p.m., the Committee adjourned until 2:15 o’clock p.m., this afternoon.
The Special Committee on Indian Self-Government met in Kenora, Ontario at 2:40 o’clock p.m., the Chairman, Mr. Penner, presiding.
Members of the Committee present: Messrs. Allmand, Manly, Oberle, Penner, Schellenberger and Tousignant.
Ex-officio member present: From the Assembly of First Nations: Ms. Roberta Jamieson.
Liaison members present: From the Native Women’s Association of Canada: Ms. Marlyn Kane. From the Native Council of Canada: Mr. Clem Chartier.
In attendance: From the Research Branch of the Library of Parliament: Mrs. Barbara Reynolds and Mrs. Katharine Dunkley, Research Officers. From the Parliamentary Centre for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade: Mr. P.C. Dobell, Policy Co-ordinator.
Witnesses: From the Rainy Lake Regional Tribal Chiefs Incorporated: Chief Willie Wilson, Mr. Moses Tom—Big Grassy Band, Mr. Delbert Horton—Rainy River Band, Mr. Peter Kelly and Mr. Rudy Morrisseau, General Manager. From the Dryden Tribal Area Bands: Tribal Area Chief Arnold Gardner. From the Rat Portage Band: Chief George Kakeway, Mrs. Madeline Skead, Band Member and Councillor Doug Skead. From the Shoal Lake Band No. 39: Chief Robin Greene. From the Grand Council of Treaty No. 3: Grand Chief John P. Kelly.
The Committee resumed consideration of its Order of Reference dated Wednesday, December 22, 1982. (See Minutes of Proceedings, Wednesday, December 22, 1982, Issue No. 1.)
Chief Wilson, Messrs. Tom, Horton and Kelly each made a statement and with the other witnesses from the Rainy Lake Regional Tribal Chiefs, Incorporated, answered questions.
At 3:30 o’clock p.m., the sitting was suspended.
At 3:40 o’clock p.m., the sitting resumed.
Tribal Chief Gardner from the Dryden Tribal Area Bands made a statement and answered questions.
At 4:16 o’clock p.m., the sitting was suspended.
At 4:21 o’clock p.m., the sitting resumed.
Chief Kakeway, Councillor Skead and Mrs. Skead from the Rat Portage Band each made a statement and answered questions.
Chief Greene, from the Shoal Lake Band No. 39, made a statement and answered questions.
Grand Chief Kelly, from the Grand Council of Treaty No. 3, made a statement.
It was agreed that the document entitled “Presentation to: House of Commons Sub-committee meeting regarding the Indian Act by Lake of the Woods Ojibway Cultural Centre” be appended to this day’s Minutes of Proceedings and Evidence. (See Appendix “SEND-1”)
Mr. Peter Kelly, from the Rainy Lake Regional Tribal Chiefs Incorporated, made a statement.
Mr. Alex Skead, Elder, Rat Portage Band made a statement and closed the hearings with a prayer.
At 6:30 o’clock p.m., the Committee adjourned to the call of the Chair.
Clerk of the Committee
(Recorded by Electronic Apparatus)
Monday, January 17, 1983
The Chairman: The Special Committee on Indian Self- Government of the Parliament of Canada is called to order.
I am advised that our meeting this morning will be formally by Mr. Alex Skead, opened Band. I would call an elder from the Rat Portage upon Mr. Skead to open this morning’s proceedings.
Mr. Alex Skead (Elder, Rat Portage Band): Good morning, everybody. I would like to explain, first of all, why I have this peace pipe. Some of your people maybe do not understand the Indian way of starting off a meeting like this. Indian people are very natural: when we start off something like this, any kind of meeting or any kind of recreation, we always start off with the peace pipe, because we believe this . . . we have to go back to the way the Creator started this world. As you all know, in the old days people had to go into the mountains to pray. . .years ago. People nowadays are starting to forget those kinds of things, what happened—like myself, in the fall or in the spring I go out to fast and pray for the people. This is the reason why I have this pipe, because I asked the Creator to help me.
The job I do is looking after people on the streets, as a street patrol, people who have problems, or directing people who are lost to where they want to go. This is one thing I asked the Creator when I was in the mountain. The first day I went up there I was really scared, because the weather was very bad, it was raining, it was snowing part of the time. I stuck with it because I wanted to know something about the spiritual way, how to be a spiritual leader. Gradually I began to learn things, what nature does. I began to see the animals, what they have to put up with from the weather, and the birds, why they get up early in the morning. I hear them singing and I start praying very hard with my pipe—I was holding it like this. I used to hear the elders talking about the pipe and when the creation started.
God is up there. He put spirits all around us; everybody knows what the spirits are, we do not see them, but they are spirits. In any religion, in any church you go to, they say you have spirits. This is the reason why we point this peace pipe in every direction, asking the Great Spirits to come down and help us. First, number one, it is God, he is the Creator. Every one of us who is here is here for a purpose in this world. Those are the things I learn when I am up there. Even the bugs—the mosquitoes are maybe a nuisance, but they are here for a purpose. God put them there. And animals, this is our medicine for everybody: we eat those animals, they give their lives to us so we can live, this is the medicine. They give us trees, we use them for medicines. This is why Indian people very strongly believe in nature, because this is our medicine—water. And we respect all these things. This is the reason why we Indian people believe in nature. We pray; we ask, give us a hand. Anything, even a rock: you can talk and swear at the
rock, he will be listening; he will not move, he will not say a word, but all of a sudden maybe you will be travelling and that rock will fall right in front of you and kill you or cripple you, or something. These are the things that we believe in nature. Anything can happen. Even a tree: you can swear at the tree and misuse it and after awhile, maybe, the punishment will come. You never know what can happen. That is a strong belief we have in nature.
This pipe comes from the ground, every one of us is walking on this. This is our church, these are our prayers. This is the reason why we point this in every direction asking the Creator, the spirits, to help us. This is why I wanted to say a prayer in my own language that was given to me when I was born. I was nothing the very first day I was born, I was naked when I came out from my mother’s body. This is why I am praying through this mother … In the stem of this is the tree, in the forests the birds; to those things we pray, we ask them. It is identical for every kind of religion we have. We have different languages, all of us, we have different features; our faces are so small, but not everybody has the same—maybe they are a very little bit identical, but you cannot find another person having exactly the same looks.
I am going to say these prayers, in my language, to open this conference, so that everyone may have a good clear mind, a good relationship, and love and respect one another. This is my feeling about people: I respect everyone of you. It does not make any difference what colour you are, what kind of person you are, you are all my friends. This is the reason why I am working here as a street control supervisor; I respect everybody, I like to help everybody. A man who is drunk and is lying on the ground has the same feelings as I have. That is the reason why I feel very much for a person who is lying . having problems, as well as everybody who is on top, with a lot of education. Sure, we are heading that way, some of us are not very fortunate. That is the reason why I feel we should all work together and get some understanding. The only way we can get this understanding is by asking the Great Spirit who put us in this world. Ask him, and pray in whichever way you learned to pray. We will all have a prayer and talk to our Creator, that is the same spirit to whom we all talk.
I would like to thank you for your time and for giving me this opportunity to say these few words.
This is the pipe. I am going to say a prayer . . . and I am talking to it—so that we can have a good success. Let us pray.
[Mr. Skead’s prayer in his native language—editor]
The Chairman: On behalf of the Sub-Committee on Indian Self-Government, I would like to thank Mr. Alex Skead for formally opening our hearings in Kenora with the traditional ceremony.
This is the first meeting of the Sub-Committee on Indian Self-Government this year, and I might just take a moment
before calling on the Rainy Lake Region Tribal Chiefs, Inc., who are our first witnesses this morning, to explain how the committee came to this point and what is the task we are undertaking.
During the spring of last year, the Standing Committee on Indian Affairs and Northern Development, in its fifth report, asked Parliament for a special reference to examine the financial and all other relations between the Indian people of Canada and the Government of Canada. Following this request to Parliament, we detected a certain degree of reluctance from the Ottawa powers to grant us this reference. As best we can determine, the reason was that it was thought perhaps the committee in some way would interfere with or disturb the constitutional process, which was being given such a very high priority.
After some effort on the part of the members of the committee, this concern seemed to be laid aside. But I do want to say that members of the committee regard the constitutional process as being of paramount importance. We think our task is parallel to it but in no way in competition or in conflict with it.
As well, I should point out, there are other important negotiations going on. For example, land claim negotiations are going on, some of them comprehensive, particularly those north of 60°, and some of them are specific within the provinces and within various regions of the provinces. Then, of course, there are a variety of agreements: a recent child welfare agreement signed in the Province of Manitoba and then a fishing agreement in the Province of Ontario which is current at the moment and exceedingly controversial .. so we are led to believe by reports from the news media.
I want to point out that none of these are directly in our flight path. We are interested, of course; but they are not of direct concern with respect to the terms of reference that Parliament has given us. We are a special committee of Parliament, authorized to look into the question of Indian self-government at whatever level: be it the band level, tribal council, provincial associations, or the national level. I repeat, we are a committee of Parliament; we are not a government task force. We are a committee of Parliament; we are not a ministerial or departmental inquiry.
Since we started our work we have encountered at various times a certain degree of suspicion about what we are undertaking; and that comes as no surprise. After all, there is a long history of unsatisfactory relations between those in government or associated with government and the Indian people of this country. We have gone to some pains to emphasize that we are not engaged in some kind of a front, conducting consultations on an already prepared plan of action that is waiting to be implemented. That is not our intention. That is not our goal or aim.
Of course the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs does have studies on the development of Indian band government. They probably have some legislation that we have not seen, that has not been tabled with us. But those are not necessarily our recommendations. We will look at them; we will study them; but they are not necessarily ours.
The members of this committee, in their work standing committee either in the or in the special committee, have over a fairly long period of time established what I consider to be a very acceptable degree of confidence and goodwill in the committee’s workings with the Indian people. I think we established that in dealing with the Cree of James Bay, with the Conne River Band in their difficulties, and in a large number of other particular cases I could mention that have come to our attention.
I wish to stress we are an all-party committee. We have Liberal members of Parliament, Progressive Conservative members of Parliament and a member from the New Democratic Party. The vice-chairman of our committee is Mr. Stan Schellenberger from the Official Opposition, the Progressive Conservative MP from Wetaskiwin.
When we started our work, we wanted to be sure we entered into a difficult task with as much help and assistance as we could possibly get. So all along the way, we have had consultations and discussions with the Assembly of First Nations.
It was agreed at the time we were seeking our reference, should we succeed in getting it from Parliament, we would consider doing something innovative; that is, having from the Assembly of First Nations an ex officio member. We do have such a person. Ms Roberta Jamieson is the ex officio member who sits on the committee along with the MPs.
In addition to that, we have two liaison members: one from the Native Council of Canada in the person of Mr. Clem Chartier; and from the Native Women’s Association of Canada, Marlyn Kane.
I also want to report to you, in the closing days of Parliament before the Christmas recess, we received an upgrading from Parliament. Previously, we had been a subcommittee of the Standing Committee on Indian Affairs and Northern Development. We are now a special committee.
The terms of reference did not change, because they were very carefully worked out with agreement among the political parties and with the associations at the national level. So they have not changed. But being a special committee means we can now report directly to Parliament when we complete our work, and it also means we have at our disposal something more in the way of resources to help us do the job we believe is expected of us.
We have an extensive travel program across Canada, from one end of the country to the other, which we hope to complete some time in May. We hope to report to Parliament during the month of September this year.
When we do report to Parliament, we want to include in our report recommendations we hope will go a considerable way in reducing the current high level of frustration experienced. So much of the decision-making and planning for the lives of
Indian people rests with someone else. The priorities, the guidelines and the goals, rather than being those of Indian people, are often those of perhaps well-meaning bureaucrats, people who are planning in some far-off situation what they deem to be in the best interest of those living in one part of Canada or another, be it northern Ontario or coastal British Columbia or the coast of James Bay, wherever it may be.
With the assistance of the advice we are receiving by way of briefs and presentations, we want to discover how it is possible to give effect to the principle of framework of the Canadian self-determination within the confederation, and concurrent with that, in what ways we could suggest to Parliament the more effective use of funds to achieve the legitimate aspirations of Indian people.
If I may take one moment to illustrate, when we were in the province of Alberta, there was a very telling testimony given to us by the President of the Alberta Indian Association, Mr. Charles Wood, a very dynamic and effective person. He described to the committee how, on one occasion, an agreement was signed between a particular band in the province of Alberta and the Department of Indian Affairs to transfer to that band the social assistance funds. The band decided to engage someone of competence to run the program for them; and Mr. Wood, who was giving the testimony, was the person selected at that time.
Not long after the agreement was signed, a meeting took place between Mr. Wood, the chief and the council as steps should be taken now that these social assistance funds had been transferred to the band. What should they do; what should be their plan of action?
Very quickly, the chief and council decided they would put an end to hand-outs except for those who were ill and in need. There was much work to be done in the community, and those who received money from the social assistance fund would do something in the community. It was argued that attendance at school would probably increase, because the fathers would be working in the community; and therefore, the children would feel they, too, wanted to be out of the home during the day and doing something.
So with the able assistance of Mr. Wood, this experimental approach was put into effect; and in a very short time, the quality of life in the community improved markedly. Attendance at school went up; there was a high degree of morale in the community, and the chief and council were pleased with their endeavours. They met to monitor and assess the situation, and they reported among themselves that what they had wanted to achieve was certainly working very well.
Then the government became involved. The government heard what was going on and sent someone in to investigate the situation. They advised the chief and council they were misusing social assistance funds. Those funds were not meant for work projects, for economic development on the reserve; they were meant to be hand-outs, and they had better get back to the guidelines established by the Treasury Board or they would be in trouble.
The chief and council met and decided, if that was the case, they had better cancel the agreement, give the money back to the Department of Indian Affairs and let them run the program. Subsequently, that was done; and officials in the department said: There you have proof you cannot transfer programs to Indian bands, because when you do, it does not work. It is a failure; it collapses, and there is the proof.
Now, that testimony of Charles Wood, which I am repeating from memory, is on the record in our minutes and proceedings for anyone to read. I just draw that out as one illustration that particularly struck me.
Thank you very much for listening to those opening remarks. You are not here to listen to the chairman or other members; we are here to listen to you. But at our meeting last night, the members of the committee did ask me to introduce today’s meeting with a few opening remarks.
Having done so, I now want to call upon the Rainy Lake Region Tribal Chiefs, Inc. A number of chiefs are present with us today, and I believe they are led by Chief Willie Wilson. I am going to ask Chief Wilson if he will introduce those who are with him and then make our presentation.
By the way, you may have noticed I did not introduce all the members of Parliament. I thought I would do that later, when we come to questioning. I will just tell you who they are and from what parts of the country they come.
Chief Wilson, please.
Chief Willie Wilson (Rainy Lake Region Tribal Chiefs, Inc.): Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Our first recommendation would be that we should have a table set aside for our elders. Our whole presentation and our self-government here is based on our elders’ being present as our advisers. If the committee would see fit to have a special table here for our elders …
The Chairman: Thank you very much. We will make some arrangements for that, immediately. Thank you.
Chief Wilson: In the meantime, we would like to welcome the Native Women’s Association for being here, the Assembly of First Nations, the Native Council of Canada, and the liaison members of the committee.
At the same time, I would like to introduce you to my group here. To my far left is Rudy Morrisseau, who is Executive Director of the Rainy Lake Region Tribal Council; Peter Kelly, a member of the Sabaskong Band—incidentally, Peter Kelly is also the Vice-President of the Assembly of First Nations. To my extreme right is Mr. Jones, who is chief of the Nickickousemenecaning Band and Vice-President of Treaty 3; Archie Potson, who is the chief of the Seine River Band;
myself, chief of the Manitou Reserve; and Francis Kavanaugh, who is a support worker of the Rainy Lake Tribal Council.
Once the table is set up and our elders have taken their seats, I would like to make our presentation.
The Chairman: We have made arrangements, Chief Wilson, so they could take their seats at this table. Is that arrangement satisfactory?
Mr. Allmand: I was going to suggest that maybe the press and the staff could move to those tables and let their elders sit right behind them, if that is what they would prefer.
Chief Wilson: Yes, that certainly would help us.
Mr. Chairman, if I could get your attention, I would like to call on Peter Kelly to introduce our elders and give the reasoning behind the request we have made.
Mr. Peter Kelly (Representative, Rainy Lake Regional Tribal Chiefs, Inc.): Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
The purpose behind this recommendation is that the elders are the keepers of the language, the culture, and the religion. The presentation we are going to be making now, and which you probably will hear throughout the province, will always have reference to religion, to land, and to culture. We make the recommendation that there should always be a place for elders throughout the hearings in Ontario. Without the elders, we feel that any presentation we make on Indian self-government would be a sham. It falls back on the elders.
So in doing that, I would like to introduce Alex Skead, who is from the Rat Portage Band—the gentleman who made the opening prayer. I would like to specially introduce Don Morrison; he is a non-status Indian, but very much an Indian, in that he has the traditions, the religion, and the language, and he has suffered throughout his life—as his brothers have—from the problems of the Indian Act. Various efforts have been made to reinstate him. I make this point to illustrate a further fact. Don Morrison not only is an elder, but also a survivor of World War II. He fought so that you could be here listening to the presentations today; he fought so the Indian people could be making presentations today. It is ironic that he would be one of the very few people who would be suffering from the inadequacies of the English law system, English war-making machine, and the English system in Canada. So, I want to particularly introduce Don Morrison. In doing that, we would like to have this request honoured throughout the hearings in Ontario.
The Chairman: Thank you, Mr. Kelly.
Chief Wilson: Thank you, Peter.
Welcome, and thank you for travelling to Kenora to listen to our views. We wish to explain to you today the basis of Indian self-government in our area and the need for your work to continue beyond these preliminary hearings.
We, the Anishinawbe/Ojibway-speaking peoples of the Boundary Waters area, continue to speak our own language, practise our own religion, work under our own economy, and hold our own form of government. Despite the repressive system imposed by governments and missionaries, our people have continued to hold true to our traditions. Our language and religion continue, while our economy has been destroyed. We are well aware that our trading economy once flourished, as is evidenced by the much-valued megis shells, which were traded from as far away as Florida and the West Indies. Most importantly, although our forms of government have been undermined by successive Indian acts and departmental agents, we have never surrendered our sovereignty. We use this word “sovereignty” deliberately, with all its connotations of nationhood and our inherent right to self-government.
Indian government has always existed. We wish to give you the insight to understand that Indian religion and spirituality underlay Indian government, and at its base is what you term “aboriginal rights”. That phrase was coined, it seems, by English courts in their dealings with the colonies and was later grabbed by lawyers and other consultants working for Indians as a catch-all for our rights. We, however, listen to our elders speak of “Kan-gi-i-zhi-me-ne-go-e-zid Anishinabe”. This is a philosophical concept that refers to all those things the Great Spirit gave us so we could live in harmony. Unless you understand this, you will ask questions pertaining to your mandate and your culture that will not elicit what we are speaking about when we discuss concepts and models of Indian government.
Our government was based on the patrilineal system, by which family affiliation was traced through the father’s side.
Totems denoting the soulmate of the Ojibway person in an animal world also followed the patrilineal system. These laws are fundamental and immutable. Coexistent within an hereditary chief system is the recognition of ability, which allows leadership roles to be obtained according to one’s
outstanding attributes. Apprenticeships were strong and secular in religious life.
From an early age, we learned the ways of our people. We have been told by anthropologists that we Anishinawbe/Ojibways had no written language. Consider for a moment the birchbark scrolls and the famed rock paintings; a study of these would convince anyone that our communication was written. For example, the rock paintings which were made by Indians of long ago were honoured by our ancestors as setting out the boundaries of hunting areas. These areas were respected as belonging to certain families for certain species of the animals, birds, and fish. Thus it was that the people of the swamp lynx could coexist with those of the river lynx and the lake lynx. Methods of hunting were adopted from studying the habits of one’s animal totem. So it was that our laws were practised.
Our traditions in reaching a certain state become laws. These are Indians laws, which underline the powers of Indian government. At certain times during the year, it has been our tradition for a Council of Fires to assemble. These headmen of our area would meet to discuss and arrange issues of prominence. Today, these councils have evolved into what we call tribal councils.
Our Rainy Lake Tribal Council was founded in 1981 to foster the development of Indian self-government by utilizing the spiritual and cultural traditions of our Ojibway nations. Evolving from our traditional roots, this structure seemed to be natural—a chief’s council to meet and decide how best to serve our people. Thus it is that we plan social and economic development programs for our bands and carry them out. Our 10 member bands include: Big Grassy, Big Island, and 0-Ne- Ga-Ming on Lake of the Woods; the Rainy River Band, Naicatchewenin, Stangecoming, Couchiching, Nicickousemenecaning, and Seine River on Rainy Lake, and Lac La Croix.
The tribal council is an Indian concept and model of Indian government. The insidious move of the Department of Indian Affairs to subvert this movement towards self-government by issuing circulars and co-opting our language cannot eliminate the true nature of these councils. These tribal councils exists across the country, not in similar form or name, but derive from the cultural traditions of the people of that area. You will hear presentations from tribal councils on the west coast, where they practise the potlatch. In these boundary waters, we too hold feasts of thanksgiving, such as the one in early fall. We send out our young men to pick wild rice from the stem; no stick is used, because we are reaching this gift directingly from the hand of the Great Spirit. These grains are put together in a community basket, then cured, parched, and finished for eating. This is how we begin our traditional harvest of wild rice.
It is all these practices of our traditions, the unspoken acknowledgement that our family ties extend through totem system not merely through our our blood lines, that establishes the community in the Anishinahbe/Ojibway society. Perhaps that is why you have always been told that Indian government does not exist. Anthropologists, missionaries, and bureaucrats have not been able to comprehend it, yet our traditions—such as Wekwundiwun just explained to you—have been carried on for generations, for centuries.
What convinced us to formalize the structure of the tribal council was the continuing failure of the Department of Indian Affairs to assist our communities. Indian Affairs interferes with and impedes the decisions of our band councils in numerous ways. Often our band council resolutions have disappeared or have been lost, misplaced, or simply disallowed. Financial regulations and contribution arrangements, circulars and forms, incompetent or finagling bureaucrats all contribute to this problem.
The Department of Indian Affairs has different priorities than do our band councils. Their instinct is to perpetuate their employment. Our purpose is the development of our communities. For example, in the development of our resources, the department will demand a surrender, while the band may prefer a permit. The department has often worked deals on the side that undervalue our leases and are not known to our councils. This system must end. The establishment of the tribal council is a step in the right direction.
Band councils must have control of our own lands and resources. There needs to be a direct relationship between the federal government and the band councils regarding financing of Indian government. We do not need to route funds through a department which consumes a lot for its own administration. What we need is a direct link with Treasury Board so that we can neogitiate our own multi-year block funding. In this way, we would be able to set our own priorities and act on them, instead of having budgets cut arbitrarily or conditions imposed whereby we cannot shift funds according to our needs and plans.
In the long term, we agree with the recommendation of the Assembly of First Nations and others that revenue for Indian governments be derived from transfer payments from the federal government and from resource royalties. We note that this will not be a popular notion, particularly when the House of Commons has asked you to consider this time of economic restraint. We ask you, however, to consider the justice of our situation. In signing treaties, we have never surrendered our sovereignty or our resources. If we had controlled or even shared in the resource development of our area, we would not be in our present position today.
The Rainy Lake Region Tribal Council chiefs have reviewed the mandate and preliminary work of the Manitoba Chiefs’ Budget Committee, and we support this orderly approach to
the development of a budget process. We believe that as an interim measure toward a direct relationship with Treasury Board, we could immediately embark upon joint planning and management with the Department of Indian Affairs, on the condition that Parliament sets a deadline or sunset clause upon this interim step. It should be noted also that such a joint venture would require the co-operation of the department-an attitude so far unseen by us.
An example of Department of Indian Affairs recalcitrance regarding planning and budgeting is the operational plan dencounced by every chiefs’ organization in Ontario and other regions across Canada. Once, the Minister of Indian Affairs himself even repudiated the plan, only to have it reinstated by senior bureaucrats. In Ontario, the Ontario Regional Liaison Council (ORLC), our representative advising regional office of DIAND, was told by the department that we are “locked into” this plan and that there are no funds to involve band councils in the planning and decision-making.
The departmental maxim seemed clear: if we cannot control Indian people by paperwork, then tie up the purse strings. Evidence of this is the absence of any funding for tribal councils in next year’s regional budget. Circular D-2 purports to support the development of tribal councils. In actual fact, this is another of the departmental Through the issuance controlling mechanisms. of circulars, the imposition of terms and conditions, and the development of legislative proposals that co-opt our language, the department seeks to maintain its vise. The most infamous example is Munro’s so-called “Indian government bill”, which offers the option of opting in or out; that is, either being an Indian Act council or a directly-under- the-thumb “Indian government” council. Neither is palatable to our leaders, because DIAND is not talking about true Indian government, even though they use our words.
Time and time again we have seen that the moment Indian people begin developing according to the dictates of our culture, the department steps in and government introduces its own legislation or policies to to make it sound as though this was their idea. This kind of interference is serious. It leads to a psychological condition termed “anomie”. People feel rootless, have no feeling of selfworth. This leads to suicide, depression, alcoholism. This is serious.
We wonder why these bureaucrats do not make an honest living competing in the world instead of making a living from the misery of our people. We see their imposition as an act of violence against us. The suffering of our people is being controlled by an ever-present, yet always absent, force. It is obvious for anyone to see. All we seek is to be left alone.
Indian people have a long view of history. We recognize the inevitability of Indian told you, we self-government because, as we have have never surrendered our sovereignty. We
recognize that the establishment of our tribal council is a necessary first step in the direction of asserting our nationhood and our inherent right to self-government.
While we have incorporated our tribal council in the acknowledgement of the business world, we do it without prejudice to our sovereignty. This is one issue which your subcommittee and Parliament should address and come to terms on with us.
The House of Commons has posed a number of questions to us in your mandate. In your questions to witnesses before this committee to date, you have asked for models of Indian government. We are utilizing the form of government where each band council lends or extends sovereignty to the whole … done either by Indian veto or by consent required for any change of our special status, and for the recognition and enactment of our right to self-government, We support this stand as our bottom line.
We recommend to this subcommittee that you be aware of our cultural traditions and the inevitability of Indian self-government. We will then be able to work together to ensure that it is enacted.
Excuse me; I will go back to the bottom of page 7 of our brief, because I see there has been a technical error in printing. You see, already we are being manipulated by your machines here! I will continue from the statement regarding our utilization of the form of government whereby each band council lends or extends sovereignty to the whole. Whether done by elective process or a traditional form of selection, the chief is endowed by the people with their sovereignty. Chiefs express the collective will of the people. Our sovereignty does not end at the boundary of each reserve. We recognize that it extends throughout Rainy Lake, throughout Lake of the Woods. The Councils of Chiefs of Rainy Lake, Lake of the Woods, the English River and Lake Superior all extend our sovereignty and share it. This is a mutual process by which we are strengthened.
The basis of this extension of sovereignty lies in our traditions-the totem system which we have explained to you. We are related to each other in our own form of tradition and have established laws to govern our relationships. The structures which evolve are our Indian government structures. It is the totem system which is still maintained today, and is unhampered by the imposition of the reserve system, which is the main instrument of separation used by the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs to divide our people and our nations.
Therefore, is it really necessary for us to come up with government models for a system which we already have? We believe that the tribal councils, by whatever name—these councils of chiefs-are the traditional way of our people. That is why we reorganized the National Indian Brotherhood last spring into the Assembly of First Nations, expressive of the collective will of the chiefs of this land.
You ask in your mandate that we keep in mind the constitutional conference called by the Prime Minister for mid-March to discuss aboriginal rights. We continually keep this conference in mind and recognize that it cannot be a two-day blitz on our rights and then disappear. Our leaders will be arguing for a continuing constitutional process, for the entrenchment of our rights with an Indian veto or consent required on any change to our special status, and for the recognition and enactment of our right to self-government. We support this stand as our bottom line.
As I have said, we recommend to this subcommittee that you be aware of our cultural traditions and the inevitability of Indian self-government. We will then be able to work together to ensure that it is enacted.
In this vein, we are here today to issue a warning to your subcommittee. If you merely continue with this process of hearings and table your report with recommendations to the House of Commons, then you will have fulfilled your part of the formalized structure and process of the federal Government of Canada, but you will have let down the Indian first nations of this country. What we seek is this: to be an integral part of the process of drafting recommendations, pursuing proposals and negotiating changes in making this third level of government in Canada a reality.
It is not enough for our people to speak at these hearings and perhaps at a later stage, once legislation has been drafted, introduced, and then sent for second reading and committee hearings. No. Your present review will have been a waste of time and money—yours, ours and that of the famed taxpayer—if you do not implement an ongoing process for involving Indian people. There must be a mechanism empowered by Parliament whereby ongoing discussions and negotiations will continue after this subcommittee has adjourned.
We must be part of a process of ensuring that Indian government as we know it, and the supportive structures we need, become a reality. We need the resources to participate in such discussions. We must make this present government process our own and solicit your help in doing so. The real labour begins in making this government effective, so that we can make Indian government work.
Meegwetch! Thank you.
The Chairman: Chief Wilson, this is certainly a very thoughtful document and it is clear to the members of the special committee that a good deal of effort has gone into its preparation. It is our practice to call upon members of the subcommittee to put questions to you yourself and those who are with you. Before we do that, are there other members of your delegation who wish to make some comments in relation to the document?
Chief Wilson: We have members of individual bands who wish to make presentations following the questioning on this document.
The Chairman: You want to proceed now with questioning on this document, then?
Chief Wilson: Yes.
The Chairman: Mr. Peter Kelly.
Mr. P. Kelly: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I refer to the third paragraph on page 5, where it makes reference to the treaties. I believe that one of the themes you will be hearing about throughout the province is the updating and the modernizing of the terms of the treaties. That is why that reference is included in there. I just wanted to bring that to your attention.
The Chairman: Thank you, Mr. Kelly.
Any further comments? If not, then I will begin with the questioning. First will be Mr. Frank Oberle, Member of Parliament from Prince George—Peace River with the Progressive Conservative Party in the House of Commons. Mr. Oberle has a long association with the Standing Committee on Indian Affairs and Northern Development and in fact is one of its former chairmen. We are delighted that he is on this special committee, because of his interest, dedication and knowledge, so I will ask Mr. Oberle to start off with the questioning.
Mr. Oberle: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Good morning. I have just a couple of very specific questions. This is a very good brief. The witnesses will forgive us if we do not respond in detail to some of the comments the brief makes about the bureaucracy. We are painfully aware of your relationship to the bureaucracy, and at times we commiserate with you because we too have our problems with it.
What we are looking for in our travels is some indication and ideas as to how the Indian Act can be rewritten, and how Indian people can achieve a higher degree of autonomy, selfworth and, of course, self-government. You have given us in your brief some indication of the fact that self-government, in your terms, already exists in the band councils; that you have a degree of sovereignty.
Would you give me an indication of your definition of the word “sovereignty”?
You have given us in your brief some indication of the fact that self-government in your terms already exists with the band council; that you have a degree of sovereignty. I would like you to give me an indication of your definition of the word “sovereignty” and what that would include in terms of the laws that you would have to make at the band level to protect that sovereignty and achieve a higher degree of automony. You then say in your brief that starting with that route you envisage a model of self-government to evolve in terms of
powers you will be passing up to a tribal council and from there to a national assembly.
I will ask all my questions now and then I will not say any more but will listen to your answers.
I would like you, first of all, to explain to me what powers you think the band councils should have; what powers you see to be passed up to a tribal council. I also read in your brief that you are in strong support of a national assembly of first nations and obviously I would like to know, eventually, what powers that assembly would attain. What concerns me more than anything, however, or what I am interested in more than anything, is how you see this assembly of first nations will be integrated-it is a bad word but I will use it anyway—with the present government structure.
There are two ways of doing it. You can have the members of the Assembly of First Nations sit as members of the House of Commons and in Parliament and in the Senate—in other words, they could become members of our present institutions—or else we could have a third level of government; they could become a government like the provincial governments: a government with very special powers and a very special jurisdiction of a very special nature, reflecting, of course, your culture, your religion and, more importantly, the fact that your government will be one of a collective nature rather than the liberal-democratic nature of the white man’s institutions.
So with these questions I would like any of the witnesses who care to to respond.
Chief Wilson: Thank you. I am going to ask Mr. Peter Kelly to respond to that, but I want to give every opportunity to my colleagues here to respond in their own manner, if they wish. I will let Peter handle this one now.
Mr. P. Kelly: Thank you very much.
The 10 chiefs listed in the presentation are the signers of that declaration of principles. Are you familiar with the declaration of principles?
Mr. Oberle: Yes.
Mr. P. Kelly: The implementation, the time and the resources needed to implement the principles will probably have to take place at a national forum, at national chiefs’ meetings. This will likely be the mandate in the years to come of how this is going to be.
On the question of sovereignty, we have a concern. Our problem has to do with the enforcement of laws. The Criminal Code of Canada is applicable in Canada. The highway traffic act is applicable on Indian reserves. The OPP in Ontario will enforce these laws and, in certain cases, the RCMP will step in. The special constable at our reserves does not have the power to enforce these laws. Our problem as far as sovereignty comes into this area is if, for instance, we find someone poaching in our areas where we are picking rice, there is no
way that the special constable can apprehend that person who is poaching in our area. Also, the Ontario Provinvial Police, because of the weakness of a wild rice harvesting act, cannot apprehend that offender.
What we have are clear-cut reserve boundaries, but then there is the extension of these boundaries where we have been picking rice, traditionally, where we have been fishing for years, and where we have been picking blueberries for years. It is in those outside areas that we must maintain these traditions. This is the extension beyond the reserve boundaries of our sovereignty.
If, for instance, the Big Grassy Reserve and the reserve in my area pick berries in one area and they meet there, that becomes known as a traditional blueberry picking area for the two bands, and this is how a number of reserves .. . For instance, you might find the reserve—Seine River … having the same areas where they will by mutual agreement agree to pick wild rice. They will not see the other reserve members coming to poach, necessarily, but if an outsider comes in, then we have a problem with sovereignty.
That is one area we would like to have considered: the extension of that sovereignty—giving that sovereignty from our reserve to another reserve mutually to enforce these things. We do not have that point of law.
As far as the third level of government to which you refer is concerned, we believe that would be better elaborated on at a national forum.
I do not know if I have covered all the areas.
Chief Wilson: I would like to ask the rest of my colleagues here if they wish to make comments on your questions.
In the preparation of this brief, one of the chiefs went to the band members and came out with specific recommendations on the Indian Act, and that is that the general membership should be decided by that particular reserve. That is a position probably adopted by most of the Rainy Lake Tribal Council area; that the Indian Act changes should be done by the people on the reserves.
Mr. Oberle: So citizenship would not be decided by the tribal council or the assembly, but by the band; that is one jurisdiction you would retain at the roots.
Mr. P. Kelly: That is right.
Mr. Oberle: Do you see in your reference to criminal law the need to provide Indian first nations with the right to have a separate criminal code and a set of separate civil laws, apart from those the white man has arranged for himself?
Mr. P. Kelly: When we talk about our culture, we understand that there are certain laws which do not require any written form; maybe codification. There are certain acts which if they were allowed to be committed would wipe out generally
the population of the world. I do not think those require any elaboration at all.
We believe that there are certain laws which we do not have to codify. The implementation of the Criminal Code, you see, I think may be a mistake, because we believe that the non- Indian people of this country have access to laws which we do not have. When we talk about Indian land claims, the laws of expropriation are available to non-Indians. When we talk about land claims mechanism, when we say we have people inhabiting illegally our land and patents have been issued to those lands, the federal government and provincial governments will not expropriate those people, will not move those people.
We believe that as long as this kind of inadequacy exists the Canadian charter, the Canadian Bill of Rights, is a sham. I think we want to make that point quite emphatically, because there are principles in the land claims mechanism which deny due process to Indian people; and as long as due process is denied to any one individual, never mind a group, then I do not think you have a very systematic, comprehensive law in Canada. There is one law for the white people and there is a different law for Indian people. That law for Indian people is used to manipulate and to control Indian people. We think that should be removed.
Mr. Oberle: I will finish with this question, Mr. Chairman.
I wonder if you could tell me specifically whether you think the white man’s civil and criminal code could be changed and maintained in such a way that it would respect and could be properly and fairly and equitably applied to Indian people as well. We all know of certain discriminatory aspects in our laws concerning Indian people now. Do you think our laws could be changed and upheld in such a way that they would respect and be fair and equitable to Indian people, or do you think Indian people will have to have the right to make their own laws?
Chief Wilson: Yes, if given the resources and understanding. One side of the fence has to understand what the other side of the fence is doing too, to understand and recognize the laws that lie within those nations. If we are considered as a nation, which we consider ourselves, in order to protect the sovereignty of our nations you have to recognize the laws that we recommend or we can collectively agree to. But the same laws have to apply to both sides of the fence.
Mr. Oberle: You do not see a separate law, but a fairer law?
Chief Wilson: Yes.
The Chairman: Thank you, Mr. Oberle.
I will call next upon Mr. Jim Manly, who is the member of Parliament representing the constituency of Cowichan—Malahat—The Islands in the Province of British Columbia.
Mr. Manly sits with the New Democratic Party in the House of Commons.
Mr. Manly: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I would like to thank Chief Wilson for his presentation.
On page 2 you talk about a concept that refers to all those things that the Great Spirit gave so that you could live in harmony. I am not even going to try to pronounce the name of that concept, but I wonder if you or if one of your elders could elaborate on that and give us a better idea of what is involved in it.
Chief Wilson: If I may ask one of the elders … The beginning of the opening of the speech, I think, elaborates a bit on it.
If I may ask Peter Kelly in the meantime, while we are explaining to the elder the total question behind it … if Mr. Kelly could elaborate the point here to bring the elder into the perspective of the question.
Mr. P. Kelly: Thank you, Chief Wilson.
That word is Kan-gi-i-zhi-me-ne-go-e-zid Anishinabe. At the time the Anishinabe was placed in this world to live with the animal world, to live with all the creatures of this world, he was given certain tools; he was given certain equipment to live in harmony with nature. Living in that particular environment that he chose for himself, he developed a way of surviving with the environment. He developed a way of surviving with the people around him, and all those laws which he practised became immutable, and these are what we call the traditions today.
We put that word Kan-gi-i-zhi-me-ne-go-e-zid Anishinabe in there for one clear purpose. I think it is an accepted practice-it is also a very sophisticated practice-to allow certain German words to be included in the English language. It is very sophisticated to include certain Hebrew words in the English language for which there cannot be a clear, explainable concept. We include that Kan-gi-i-zhi-me-ne-go-e-zid Anishinabe because we feel that it is about time that the Supreme Court judges attempt to comprehend what this concept means, rather than us trying to define what aboriginal rights mean. We feel that it is equally important for the Indian lawyers, the Indian consultants and anybody who works with Indian people to comprehend what we mean by this concept. It is a very elusive concept. Also, it is very elusive for us to try to understand what “aboriginal rights” mean. But we know that when we say Kan-gi-i-zhi-me-ne-go-e-zid Anishinabe we know exactly what we are talking about. It is firmly rooted according to the explanation given by the elder in the invocation prayer.
Everything that we talk about goes back to the prayers, goes back to the religion, goes back to the psyche, the mental template of the Indian people to communicate what they feel
they ought to be doing at that particular time. So that word is very important.
Chief Wilson: If I may now ask the elder to speak, as the question was directed to the elder … Thank you very much, sir.
Mr. Skead: The word Kan-gi-i-zhi-me-ne-go-e-zid Anishinabe means the time way before the white man came to this country. The Indian people were given something to live within this world, in this country here, Canada. I do not know how I could-I am a little bit hard in trying to use this English language. Using the Indian language I could explain to you a lot more clearly, but I will try to explain why Indian people respect nature, the animals, the birds and all those things. This is our medicine. I said before the opening prayer that we respect these things. We usually have feasts before we start using the food.
I have travelled across Canada and I have seen a lot of Indian people. When I kill an animal, that animal gives its life for an Indian person to live. When an animal is killed, like a moose in the bush, the Indian people share. Everybody gets a piece of that meat as a medicine. We pray; we thank the Great Spirit for giving us these wild animals. The Indian people never had a tame animal; they are all wild, fish, moose, deer. All these animals that we eat are specially given to the Indian people, who use them for food, not for sport. We do not go out there to kill a moose just for sport. We use it for our own use as medicine. This is the reason why we pray.
We have special prayers we use when we have these ceremonies. The first day of wild rice, we ask the Great Spirit to give us good weather so we can harvest the rice properly. It is the same with blueberries and the same with animals. And that is the reason I said we are all here for a purpose in this world, even the mosquitoes and the bugs.
I explained this this morning when I opened with prayers. I fasted. I did not eat for the first two days and I did not drink water. I had to put up with this hardship just to gain and learn how to help the people. All the time I was there, I got messages. I had dreams. I thought I was going to suffer over there, but I did not. But I knew. A lot of things came to my mind when I sat there, thinking about the people, what they were doing all over the world, killing one another.
Some people are greedy. They want to take everything from everybody, from poor people. These are the things that you learn when you are out there praying. We are not different today from the people in the old days, when they were on the mountains praying. We do not put suits on or neckties to go and pray in the mountains. We have to put up with it. This is why I am trying to explain why we want to keep these animals to ourselves. We are not trying to take away from everybody. We want to use it because . . .
Great Spirit, we want more to grow because we cannot challenge the Creator.
As I said, when I pointed the pipe all around us, there is a purpose for every direction. We do not make forest fires—the Great Spirit does it. He has lightning and great thunder. He lights the fire in order to make fresh berries and fresh trees. When it is time for the fire to be out, the Great Spirit sends in the great thunderbirds to put the fire out and that fire is out. In four years you have all kinds of blueberries, all kinds of berries, new trees, and they grow a lot faster than what they plant in these areas. I know there are some trees they have planted on our reservation; they are still only about five or six feet tall. When it is not a man-made forest fire the trees come up so fast in four years you cannot even see where you are. All those fresh new trees come up again.
It is the same thing with wild rice. If you misuse the wild rice, the Great Spirit will come around there and wipe everything out and nobody gets it. That is the reason why spiritual people have special prayers for those things. That is why we want to hold these things for ourselves—not only for ourselves but for everybody, so that things will come naturally. This country is natural. Man-made things do not work very well. Sometimes they work, but it is up to us to obey the Great Spirit and that is why we have to sit down and think about the past . . . what our grandfathers used to teach us.
I know we like these modern things. I like to go on a jet plane. But I have to remember that a lot of these things are very bad. If I am lucky enough, if the plane crashes, I will know how to survive in the bush. There were porcupines created so that anybody can kill them, or snow rabbits. If a person does not want to learn those things he will die. He will starve; he will freeze to death. But the person who has a little bit of knowledge from away back—if you look back sometimes those things could be valuable; you can use them. That is why I always look into those things. You think about those things when you are out there in the wilderness praying. You start feeling those things, the people who are suffering over there, those who have nothing to live on. You have to think about those things.
When you are living in a hotel in modern life, you do not think about those things; you do not feel the pain. But if you go up there and pray in the bush, put up with a little bit of sacrifice, then you will start to think: what are these purposes for? Why are those Indian people trying to hold on to these aboriginal rights? We are not trying to take control. We are not trying to take everything away. We want to share. We want to work together.
These animals gave their lives for us to live, in order to keep things going. It is nice to see the animals. You hardly see animals any more. They just kill them off. They do not even say thanks to the Great Spirit who put these things in this world.
Thank you very much.
Mr. Manly: Perhaps I could follow up with a question to Mr. Kelly.
On page 1 of the brief it says that destroyed. How has our economy has been the economy been destroyed? How does this affect this concept that looks at the total unity of your life, in relationship to the gifts of the Creator and in relationship to all of nature, when a good deal of the economy and the environment has been destroyed? Could you indicate how that would fit in with self-government and Indian government in the 1980s and in the years ahead?
Mr. P. Kelly: One of the problems that we encounter, living at the reserve—my whole three reserve is very typical of the reserves in the areas, particularly the Rainy Lake—Lake of the Woods area in which we live. A reserve is set aside which is four by four square miles, and theoretically there are certain laws which exist within that community. There are treaty rights of hunting, trapping, gathering and fishing, which are protected under that given geographical area of four by four square miles. We are required to hunt and fish and gather wild rice and blueberries within that tract of land.
Then you go outside of that reserve and then the Ontario fish regulations apply. The Boise Cascade Corporation receives a licence and a permit to cut and remove the timbers surrounding our land. In reality, then, when there is no forest and the rivers are polluted and there is no way that one can practice the traditional economy, in that sense the economy has been destroyed, because the forest is cleared away and in the middle you have a four by four square mile tract of land, in which all the treaty guarantees are guaranteed to you but beyond that, outside of that, how many moose, how many deer can travel across that land from which your band members, say 500 people, can exist? It is just not possible.
What we are saying is that as part of the fishing regulations, which are so controversial, with the governments negotiations should be taking place to allow Indian people to practise the traditional method of fishing. Incidentally, in making passing reference to that fishing regulation, the very fact that the fishing regulations in this territory have become a very racist controversy—and we just sit back and we see this—if somebody attacks me for my fishing rights because of my race, that to me has guaranteed to me the concept of sovereignty. The only way you want to practise sovereignty on other people is to wipe them out; wipe out six million of them. Then you have practised genocide. By recognizing genocide, racism, you have recognized sovereignty; and I think this is one of the reasons a lot of people have sat back and watched this thing.
To get back to the economy, as explained by the elder … to seek guidance from the Great Spirit, but in a very practical sense to be able to sit down with governments and work out a pragmatic workable solution, as was pointed out by Chief Willie Wilson, we need resources for this. We need time. We need the goodwill so that we can get on with the discussions.
Mr. Manly: Does this …
The Chairman: That was your final question.
Mr. Manly: Yes, just a supplementary, Mr. Chairman.
Does this concept depend upon being able to regain a traditional economy, or is it possible for that to fit in with the modern technological economy that is pushing in more and more into your part of the world?
Mr. Kelly: One of the reasons why we insisted that the elders participate with us is fundamental to the presentation. When we say “traditional”, we mean traditional in the sense that our traditions are included; not traditional in the sense that it was something that happened in the past, but based on our own culture, based on our own way of life, based on the way we see things . . . traditions emanating from what we are and who we are, living in harmony with nature. Then we should be able to live in the context of 1983, living with our traditions.
Mr. Manly: Do you carry that forward into the future?
Mr. P. Kelly: The ability to modernize treaties, as we pointed out.
Mr. Manly: I find that helpful.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The Chairman: The next questioner is Roberta Jamieson, who is a member of our committee from the Assembly of First Nations.
Miss Jamieson: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
First of all, I would like to commend our witnesses on an excellent brief. They have given us a great deal to think about and they have given us some very concrete recommendations.
There are two technical questions that I would like to ask before we get into perhaps a larger question. You have been very critical of Mr. Munro’s Indian government legislation and the operational plan, both nationally, I understand, and within the Ontario region. It is my understanding that in order to establish an enabling system for so-called Indian self-government, the Ontario region is this fiscal year spending $1.6 million. Could you tell me if you know about that, and have you benefited from that?
Chief Wilson: If I may just have a moment here . . . I am not trying to pass the buck. Prior to our coming here, we wanted to give every one of us, every one of my colleagues here, a chance to be able to give answers to some of the questions. I was hoping that Rudy would respond to that.
The legislation Munro has imposed is something that came from the top down. Somebody with a fancy chalk board decided to say, all right, here are marks which you have been taught, and we are learning in our schools also. Again, the understanding of who are the recipients of legislation was not in Munro’s mind. It came from a concept of the country that you live in which is not including the concepts of the people that we have just expressed in the brief.
If given the opportunity to express what Indian control or Indian legislation means in the context of the elders, and going from the grass roots to the legislation we have to live with in this country, then I can only see that for that legislation to be
meaningful, we must have. some cohesion amongst the people within Canada.
I would like to introduce Mr. Don Jones, who is the chief of the Nicickousemenecaning Indian Band, to address that issue as well.
Chief Don Jones (Chief, Nicikousemenecaning Indian Band): Yes, in reference to your question regarding the moneys of $1.6 million, as chief of my band I have not been aware that this money exists. The direct answer is that we have not benefited from this type of money.
Ms Jamieson: Rudy, are you going to comment as well? Any other comments on the operational plan and the difficulties you are having with it would be appreciated.
Chief Wilson: We have heard rumours of the $1.6 million. I do not know if it is there or not. As far as benefits are concerned, no, we have not benefited, because we are not aware of it.
Mr. Rudy Morrisseau (General Manager, Rainy Lake Region Tribal Chiefs, Inc.): That is the first I have heard about the $1.5 million or whatever. As a matter of fact, we have been told by Region that there have been cuts in the funding that was being distributed to the districts—or more specifically, tribal councils. We have been told that for the next fiscal year there would not be any money at all. As far as the operational plan is concerned, we have had no involvement with the five-year operational plan whatsoever. We have been given figures and we have been told to budget and plan according to the budget figures that were presented to us. We have asked to be involved in the five-year operation of the plan but we have not been provided with the human or financial resources to do it. We are too busy trying to survive with what we have.
Ms Jamieson: I was going to ask you, what does that mean for exercising Indian government, when you are not involved in the operational plan, you are not given access to resources, yet this machine, the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs and the federal government, continues to develop and allow Indian people—this is what they say—to exercise self-government.
Mr. Morrisseau: No, no. Region’s involvement with the five- year operational plan is minimal also. They are given an allocation of funds and they are told to budget accordingly and then they in turn pass that down to the districts. The involvement is from the top up.
Chief Wilson: Mr. Kelly would like to address that too.
Mr. P. Kelly: The comment I would like to make in that regard is slightly peripheral, I guess. The very fact that $1.6 million might have been available for consultation, and the very fact that the chiefs are not aware of these moneys, I think have to say something about the structure of Indian Affairs. We have in Ontario a regional director-general. My involvement as chief over the past few years, and my involvement as
the Ontario and various Vice-President in meeting with all of the chiefs this: that the groups throughout the Province of Ontario, tell me with the director-general really is a politician. He meets organizations. He makes political decisions to appease, to pacify the people who could Ontario organizations and some of the create real demands on the bureaucracy.
The chain of command as we understand it … and this came out very clearly in a recent meeting we had with the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs from Region at the Radio Lake Tribal Council office—where we have discovered that the real person in control of Indian Affairs in the Ontario region is the director of operations, as far as the day-to-day operations of the department are concerned. But more insidiously, because of the 6 and 5 rollbacks, the policy of economic restraint in the country, we understand and we surmise that the real control comes from the Auditor General directly to the director of finances in the Province of Ontario. In other words, the director-general of Ontario can make a commitment to the Rainy Lake Tribal chiefs but could be vetoed by the director of operations. As a further safeguard, the director of finances could overrule these two gentlemen. So in fact there is every mechanism to defeat the intentions and the purposes of the chiefs.
So that is one of the reasons why, probably, we have not heard of the $1.6 million.
Ms Jamieson: What kind of an arrangement would be satisfactory and would accommodate Indian government as you wish to practise it in this area? Would it be direct negotiations with—you have alluded to negotiations with—or a relationship with Treasury Board … ? Would it be on a government-to-government basis; transfer payments? Would you relate that to the treaties? Could you comment on those?
Chief Wilson: There have been many first nations proposals to government which give direction on how to be able to act with the resources to be able to make those resources work for the Indian people … and not only for the for the country in general. To Indian people, but constantly arguing go directly to the source we are an example of with, there is such a chain. I can give you what a band council resolution requesting funding from a reserve—the many steps that it goes through before it even gets to where it is going to be recommended. It takes 31 steps before it even gets to where it is being recommended. Once it has taken that step, it also has to come back to the same line; and at any one of those points it can be vetoed.
Again, the power of Indian Affairs lies with the finances. I can give you one example of one situation with wild rice where a proposal is out; and that is to deal with the economy. It does not deal with the traditions or the cultural or religious concepts of it. Yet at the same time, we cannot get to the source of where that document should be—and it is an Ontario docu-
ment which represents the resource, so that it economy, the economics of the resource, so that it can revolve or circulate the dollars within the reservations.
In answering your question, yes, we should be able to get to the source to be able to make those points clear. But if we have to go through ladders of people, then certainly the concept that we are trying to introduce or suggest or recommend is not going to be the same book when you do get resources.
Mr. P. Kelly: I just wanted to make my conclusion to the statements that I made.
The Department of Indian and Northern Affairs is a creation of Parliament, and because it is very much low man, so to speak, on the totem pole, we know very well that the Indian Affairs chain of command is really virtually nonexistent, because other departments can overrule the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs. In this case, when I made that statement about the director of finance within Indian Affairs answering directly to the Minister of Finance, we know that Minister of Finance. We have to talk to the Minister of Finance. But what we have been led to believe is that we are supposed to be talking to the director-general of Ontario, when in fact we should be talking directly to the people in the Department of Finance and not just the financial department of Indian Affairs. We want to make that perfectly clear.
Ms Jamieson: You made earlier a link between the transfer payments and the treaties. Would you talk about that, please?
Mr. P. Kelly: It used to be that according to Treaty No. 3, every individual Indian living and entitled to live on an Indian reserve would receive a payment of $5 per year. In consultation with other groups in Ontario, we feel that this is the way in which the early governments, coming from England, signed by the commissioners, recognized that there should be some method of compensating for the exchange. To update that would mean direct transfer payments to the Indian reserves. It would be a modernizing of that concept of annuity payments.
In doing that, we feel that a lot of people in this country feel victimized, maybe rightly so, for paying taxes, and anybody who does not pay taxes is subjugated or relegated to an inferior position in this country. If you live on an Indian reserve and you do not pay taxes, you are relegated by the people who live around you and surround you as not being a taxpayer—and, not being a taxpayer, you do not have any rights. That provides a lot of ammunition for people who want to overrule, take over what we do, who want to take over our lands, our traditional fishing and hunting grounds. Unless these transfer payments were to be carried out, then I think the laws in this country would be seen as justiciable. That is the only way justice can be done.
Ms Jamieson: Thank you. I have one last comment to make. From my point of view, where I sit, what this committee is about—and you commented on this in your brief—is not so much seeking to look at models and asking Indians to justify models of Indian government. For my part, I know they exist, and I think members of this committee are willing and interested to learn about the nature of those models. But our ultimate responsibility—and it is quite a challenge, from my point of view—is to determine how Canada has to alter its laws and its systems to accommodate Indian government so that it finds its rightful place.
What I am wondering is, do you think that can be done by altering the current institutions, or do we need to create Indian institutions? I think Mr. Oberle commented on this earlier when he asked what you think about guaranteed seats in the House of Commons, or, as some witnesses have suggested to us, a special Indian legislature or an Indian senate. Do you have any views on that?
Mr. P. Kelly: I would like to go back to something that exists today, and that is the band council resolution. The band council resolution is the will of the people, albeit it is in a form developed by Indian Affairs. That is the format. The band council decision is the will of the people. It is sent to the Minister of Indian Affairs, who ratifies it—or some bureaucrat ratifies it on behalf of the recognized as an act of government. However, it is government once it has been recognized.
If you were to study every band council resolution with respect to a particular topic, you would find that a series of principles evolves or emanates from those band council resolutions. In my opinion, this is one of the forms where Indian people have worked together with government to develop and evolve a set of Indian laws. Some law student should be able to undertake this as a project and develop what exists in the archives as having formed the nucleus or the fundamental fact of law which exists in every band council resolution. That is one.
The second point I wish to make, which does not necessarily rest on that first point, is this: I do not think it is necessary to create institutions; I think it is rather a recognition, a formalization, of Indian structures and Indian institutions. A case in point. When an Indian person dies, that Indian person has certain personal property. It is our tradition that we bring in the drum and a certain respected elder will perform the tradition of distributing the personal property of that deceased person. The parallel to that is the disposition of personal property at death, the origin of wills, the origin of estates in your laws. That is the parallel that has to be codified. In doing that, it would be a reinforcement, a mutual exchange of these views, and we have many formalized ways of doing things.
Another one is the point which we alluded to that regarding the rock carvings, the rock paintings, as obscure as they may be to archeologists and anthropologists, no one has ever thought of asking the Indian what they mean. If you did ask, you would find that a carving might have been made on a tree at one point or another, but it became quite obvious over the centuries that if you put a mark on a tree that tree will go
away. The answer, quite obviously, is that you have to put that carving or painting on a rock so that it becomes a true marking so you will know what culture, what people, inhabit that area. By recognizing these marks, you find that those markings are totems, That seems to be, then, a fundamental law of real property: the marking of where you live and where you hunt and the markings where you can feel safe or where you feel compelled to make war. All these things can be done.
So the recognition of Indian institutions is, I think, the route to go.
Thank you very much.
Ms Jamieson: Thank you. I look forward to hearing from you later on in the hearings of the committee in your role as Vice-Chief of the Assembly of First Nations as well. Thank you.
The Chairman: Peter, I take it that some system of a fiscal transfer arrangement would be an attractive alternative to having funds—well, they like to use the term in Ottawa “flow”. I do not think they flow; I think they kind of dribble. But if you had a fiscal transfer arrangement that was accept- able, my first question would be who would be the recipient of the transfer within the Indian community? Secondly, once that was agreed upon, how then would band council resolutions be handled? We had reference to the 31 bureaucratic steps. What system would you suggest be put in place to handle band council resolutions—because whoever recipient of the transfer would still be faced with the reality of everyday life, and that is that all resources are limited. In fact, your elder made reference to that in the natural world, and of course that same principle is applicable in the economic world, that there is a limitation on resources. So there would still have to be some determination with band council resolutions with respect to to whom the response would come sooner and to whom the response would have to come later.
I wonder if you could comment on that for us.
Mr. P. Kelly: I just want to make one comment, because Chief Wilson is going to make that comment, because you said something and she said something about a dribble. My understanding of a dribble is that at least it presupposes a continuous flow, but a drop or a drip is always a drop in the bucket, and I think that is what we have to live with.
The Chairman: We will have to get some term other than “dribble”.
Mr. P. Kelly: Right.
The Chairman: We will go to work on that one, Peter.
Chief Wilson: Perhaps I can give you an example. Just recently here—I think it was within the last two weeks—we had the travelling road show that came to us and said okay, we talk about housing—and that is a term you hear nationally; it is not only from the 10 reserves that we come from.
But we had the travelling road show come and tell us, okay: here is how you are going to get your housing. Indian Affairs says okay, we have x dollars for you to get your housing, but you are going to have to use institutions such as CMHC to upgrade the houses to a national standard or to a standard that can be acceptable on the reserve; in the meantime we also suggest you also use these other institutions, such as CIC, but you can only hire people who are on welfare or who have exhausted their UIC payments.
Now, tell me something: the whole stream is the federal government;why is there not just one agency looking after it? We have here the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs saying CMHC, which is an institution of the federal government, and at the same time they are telling us we should use other institutions, or other government agencies, such as CEIC, which does not use qualified labour, to tell us, here is how you build your house.
All through the line, everybody has to take his cut. Administratively, in terms of CMHC, they have to make a profit. To me—I am the end user. By the time it gets to me—yes, there was a flow that started; but I got the drop.
If we are going to work directly in transfer payments—and I am certain, if I have cut out a number of institutions, that I would have at at least 25%, maybe even 50% more .. . I would get housed.
That same institution, that same group of people, said to me, okay: we are going to give you housing; but for next year we only have x houses for Ontario, and you are not on the list. Consequently, the government is telling me, look, we do not have any money; we are going to tell you we have money, but we do not have any money. So for one whole year I am going to waste a lot of time or I am going to sit there and let the people who requested housing . . . We asked for that housing five years ago. We have tried to compile according to your regulations—to tell you, look, I think in 1985 I am going to require x houses; I am trying to follow that plan. Yet at the same time you can undermine and say, no, you do not need those houses.
I have only given you one example. In terms of education, we have a gentleman who is with our group. He is going to make a presentation on education. Again, band councils have been just a fancy cheque writer for the federal government. We have not been in control. Yet at the same time the naivety of the federal government telling us yes, you have control, now what do you want—and we do tell them and they do take action on it. They say okay, here is our plan; yet it was my plan that started it.
The Chairman: Chief, let me just say this, then. You would agree that if a transfer system is put in place, there is still going to have to be an administrative structure determining to
whom you will respond and who will have you agree that if there to wait. So would were a transfer system, you would also have to create an administrative structure?
Chief Wilson: Yes, I do not think we have any problems with that.
The Chairman: Just to finish this off, then, the band council resolutions would be dealt with by this administrative structure, which would be your own administrative structure. Am I understanding you correctly?
Chief Wilson: Yes.
The Chairman: All right, thank you very much.
Mr. Schellenberger: If I could just follow that up, then . .
The Chairman: Yes, Mr. Schellenberger.
Mr. Schellenberger: I think that is important to where we start. At the present time a certain amount of money is set aside for the Ontario region for housing, if we use your example. Then the regional director makes a decision—I do not know whether it is based on population; probably population—of so many houses going to a certain sector. Your argument is that that does not necessarily always go to need.
If we changed the concept where the Ontario region through the bands, or through the tribal councils, made a direct application for funds, how would we accomplish that by transfer payments? Do we transfer that to the Ontario region of chiefs, or is that again divided on a population basis and the money goes directly to the tribal councils and they make the decision as to where the need is on the various reserves that belong to the tribal council? If we are going to make recommendations that we eliminate certain steps in the administration, other steps have to be put in place. Is it responsible for the committee to recommend that we simply remove the steps and say it is up to you, as the group of Indian people in the region, in Ontario, to decide how the administration takes place?
Chief Wilson: In the existence of the band council resolution, that band has already recognized its responsibilities to the membership of that reserve. If by the powers of government it can be vetoed, or in terms of using … if an institution recognizes the fact of the needs, again, who then can recognize those things more readily? I think it is the Indian people themselves.
That resolution, I think, is a contract. It is a contract at the same time also recognizing the fact of the needs. Once that has taken place in a central agency which is to deal with certain specific issues, then we are eliminating the process of the many bureaucratic systems we have. Then the bureaucratic system cannot use it for exchange of services. I think in many cases the dollars that flow right from the top down are being used to manipulate the Indian people.
Mr. Schellenberger: How do you eliminate that? If, for example, there is a budget of some $100 million for housing in Canada, and $30 million of that is for Ontario, at the present time the regional director perhaps makes a decision as to which reserve gets how much money for so many homes. If
that money were to be requested by the various tribal councils directly from the minister of housing, would it be it possible to distribute that money through the Ontario region through a group of individuals who would be elected by the tribal councils to make that decision, or would the money be divided and given directly to the tribal councils and they would be responsible for making the decision on where the need for housing is?
The Chairman: Mr. Morrisseau.
Mr. Morrisseau: When we set up the tribal council, the purpose for setting up the tribal council was that the 10 bands would get together and each band would individually identify their needs. The 10 bands would amalgamate a budget and negotiate directly with Treasury Board, or the 10 tribal councils or the 10 districts within Ontario would then in turn again amalgamate and then negotiate directly with Treasury Board. The tribal councils would mainly be a negotiating mechanism.
The moneys would then come back to the Association of Ontario Tribal Councils, then to the individual district tribal councils, and then back to the bands. But the planning would be done from the bottom up. Then we would negotiate our fair share, nationally. You see, currently it is the regional director who negotiates on our behalf; and it is not always based on need. It is based on some figure they …
Mr. Schellenberger: You are suggesting that every region, if it is provinces, would negotiate directly with the department for the funds, based on its need, that are coming up from the bottom, and there really would not be a need for any new mechanisms set up by Indian people; they are in place now.
Mr. Morrisseau: Yes.
Mr. Schellenberger: So you really would not suffer if we eliminated the Ontario director general, who is making these decisions right now.
Chief Wilson: I think the unfortunate thing at the moment is that governments recognize political organizations, hoping they will carry out that task. The tribal council deals with that. The tribal council is not a political forum, although it has a collective voice.
The Chairman: I have one more questioner on the list: Marlyn Kane, who is sitting on the subcommittee for the Native Women’s Association of Canada.
Ms Kane: First, I would like to thank the chiefs and elders for the opening welcome and the ceremony.
I would like to pursue the subject of jurisdiction for membership at the band level. I believe it was Chief Kelly who referred to it earlier. Anyway, I find this topic brings up a number of other questions, and I will try to get these all together.
First, I wonder if someone could briefly comment on the patrilineal system, for example. Whether a system is patrilineal or matrilineal, I do not believe there was ever
discrimination, traditionally. But in current times, when we hear the word “patrilineal”, it implies the men discriminate against the women. I wonder if someone could comment on that.
Mr. P. Kelly: Thank you. I think the patrilineal concept is not a sexist system. The patrilineal system, as we understand it, is a religious concept; it is a cultural concept. We say we are of a patrilineal system because we follow the total system as handed down from father to son and so on. My daughter belongs to the Lynx Clan—so do my sons—and that has no discrimination against my daughter. I do not know how else I can answer that, except that it is a religious concept.
Ms Kane: Okay. I just wanted that on record because I find, at different meetings and things, people do not understand that. When you say “patrilineal”, to a lot of people it implies there is discrimination.
Mr. P. Kelly: Excuse me, I would not feel particularly disciminated against if I went to the Mohawk people, who are matrilineal. As a male, I would not feel discriminated against. It would be a clear recognition of their culture and their sovereignty. That is the way they do it, and I have no right to question it.
Ms Kane: Okay. Further to that, then, we have the right to determine our own membership; and currently—i.e., today—that right is not recognized. We are governed by the Indian Act.
Having said that, you are probably aware recommendations have been made to amend discriminatory provisions of the Indian Act, and not just provisions that specifically discriminate against women. In other words, we want no Indian person to be discriminated against for any reason, whether it is marriage, having served in the armed forces, having been educated or whatever.
I believe you mentioned Mr. Morrisson, who is non-status; and clearly, it is not that he is not Indian. You mentioned various and numerous attempts have been made to have him reinstated. So we have also made recommendations, in addition to removing discrimination, also to let us reinstate.
Now, I wonder why you have not been able to have Mr. Morrisson reinstated. I do not know whether or not Mr. Morrisson is married and has children; but of course, by virtue of his being non-status, so are his wife and children.
I wonder if you even have a proposal to determine your membership. What kinds of protection would you have there so Indian people do not to lose their Indianness by virtue of anything, whether it is marriage or anything else?
Mr. P. Kelly: One of the first comments I should make—and I just checked it out with some of the members here—is: When the consultations on the Indian Act—and therefore, consultation moneys—were made available to the Indian
people, the tribal councils and our individual Indian reserves did not receive any moneys for the consultations. Large organizations based in large cities received that money. So we did not consider that to the extent we could have had legal assistance to study the ramifications of the decisions made. That is one thing that should be kept in mind, and it should be stated for the record.
In reference to Mr. Morrisson, as a matter of fact, one of his parents was my mother’s sister, directly related to me; yet I am a full-blooded Ojibway. He is a full-blooded Ojibway. He speaks the same language as I do; he is one of my first cousins.
By some act of the Indian agents, they were not placed on the membership roles. But for all intents and purposes, he is an Ojibway; and therefore, he is entitled to be not reinstated, but to be a status Indian. He was not only one, as you correctly pointed out; his brothers were all in that same problem.
So it was not an act on his part to be enfranchised. He was simply not placed or ignored by the Indian agents who had so much control at that time, when a lot of Indian people were being registered as Indians.
Ms Kane: Okay. The other thing—and maybe I should rephrase it—is: What are your current plans in terms of determining your own membership? I agree current legislation certainly does not reflect what anybody wanted. It is not based on any kind of Indian tradition. However, we are having to operate under that right now to the point that people who are Indian are not necessarily being recognized as Indian.
What kinds of things are you planning to do to make sure that does not happen again in the future? I wonder if you are doing anything right now, under current situations, to rectify the discrimination that is not of your own making.
Mr. P. Kelly: To go back directly to the Morrisson family, the problem of Indians’ not being registered in the past has always fallen within the Indian reserves.
Mr. Morrison’s brother, Alister, lived with us and brought up his children on our reserve . . . in fact, I believe there is another of Alister Morrison’s children living on our reserve. We provide the kind of education that we provide for every other Indian on our reserve for that family, but there is—always— the continuing stigma attached to not being a treaty Indian living on a reserve. When jobs are being allocated by Parliament, through their various and many initiatives to provide employment, non-status Indians living on reserve get the last choice. So they face discrimination against them by reason of the fact that they are the last to be hired, if they are hired at all; they apply to the neighbouring white community, where they will not be, simply—just totally—employed. Here you have a situation of double discrimination against the nonregistered Indian people.
The current provision, as I understand it, is not directly related to your question, but in every discussion that has taken place in the Rainy Lake Tribal Council . .. it is to have
consultation, to have any kind of discussion with respect to all facets of Indian life channelled through the tribal council level to be decided by the chiefs themselves.
The question of membership should then be referred as a mandate, as a top priority, to the Rainy Lake Tribal Council. I am sure they will tackle it in due time.
Ms Kane: What is happening with respect to the women who are losing status from marriage, for example? Is any action being taken not to recognize that? Are your women and their children being reinstated? On the other side of that, are non-Indian women gaining status and, therefore, becoming members of the band? If that is happening, that is happening because of the relevant section of the Indian Act. I guess I am just wanting to know what your own ideal system is. What kinds of guarantees are your women and their children, for example, going to have under a system of your own making, if any? And are those women currently being involved in the consultation process in establishing your own membership code, or act, or whatever you are going to call it?
Mr. P. Kelly: I guess, to answer your question . . the definition and the elaboration of membership is not something that is being worked on truly and honestly at this point in time because there are no resources to do so—resources in terms of legal assistance, financial resources for consultation, the resources required to hold large community meetings in this respect. So, directly, there has not been any discussion on the membership in a process by which a collective will of a community can be expressed so that it can be an act of Parliament.
If there were a change in the practice of Indian Affairs to allow membership of both sexes, if there were a difference in the practice in this area, I believe that would be an entrée for changes to be made across Canada. But, as you and I know, the practice of discrimination on both sides—both sexes—is one of the things that is practiced uniformly right across Canada. So there is not any deviation, if you will, on the things that are happening with respect to membership in this area. What is true in B.C. is true in the Maritimes and is true in the Rainy Lake and the Kenora area.
Ms Kane: Are you opposed to amendments to the current Indian Act that remove discriminatory provisions?
Mr. P. Kelly: I do not see how I could be, personally—is that a personal question?
Ms Kane: No; all the chiefs, the Rainy Lake Tribal Chiefs, do you have a position on that?
Chief Wilson: I think Mr. Kelly sort of answered that before. In order to look at the ramifications of whether to reinstate membership, or disclose membership, or whatever, you have to have the resources, the people themselves … What we are saying here is that each band may differ in its own system, and only that band—for numerous reasons, religious, cultural, whatever—should make that final decision.
But, at the same time, one should know what the ramifications are in doing so. In other words, what we are saying right now is that for the tribal councils or the bands to be able to look at those things they are going to require the legal resources, or whatever, to do so and also to be able to hold the . . . types of hearings at the band level so that it does give an opportunity to everyone to be able to respond to it, whether you have been enfranchised or whatever. I think only then will it change the state that it is in now.
I believe at the same time the Department of Indian Affairs has to change its own attitudes towards it.
The Chairman: Your final question, Marlyn.
Ms Kane: I agree with Mr. Kelly that, of course, the provisions are applied equally across the country. However, I do not agree that those provisions are applied equally to the people; that is, certain provisions are out and out, blatantly, directed just towards the women. I am sure you know what section I am talking about, for example. There has been an interim measure introduced and that was that band councils, for example, request exemption from that section in the meantime, so that these Indian women no longer lose their status.
I do not know whether the chiefs in your particular tribal council pursued that route. I guess I cannot really accept the fact that, because these provisions are applied in the same way across the country, we should not do something in the meantime. First of all, you had that interim measure, and now we are in a position where we can correct, to some degree, the injustices by amending current legislation and I seem to be hearing that we wait—again. I agree, there have not been financial resources, etc., etc., but I do not believe you need legal advice to tell you that your women are not being treated fairly, that the women in your communities right now are feeling perhaps a bit betrayed that you chiefs are not necessarily taking care of them, although throughout your brief and this presentation you insist on your sovereignty and that you do express the views of the collectivity. You talk that way and, on the other hand, you are accepting that we maintain current legislation.
The Chairman: Mr. Kelly, would you like to respond to that?
Grand Chief Kelly: Thank you very much. We refer to legislation. I think you put the finger exactly where the problem is. I think the fact that it is a legislative problem tells me that the Indian Act is an instrument of government, and as an instrument of government it requires change by Parliament, as an act of Parliament. I think of John G. Diefenbaker in his pronouncement on the Charter of Human Rights, the bill of rights . .. it may be timely or untimely, however it may be. I think that particular piece of legislation—the Canadian Bill of Rights—is really what embarrassed the Canadian public, because how could such a democratic country have a discriminatory piece of legislation based on sex … possibly exist in this country? The question that I have in my mind is this: If
the Indian people—the band councils by way of resolutions which have to be ratified by the Minister of Indian Affairs—express their desire, if the Canadian Bill of Rights is an act of Parliament that consists of the Indian people, why not ask the Indian people? Why not ask the band councils? Why the chiefs what has happened, not ask when in fact the problem rests with Parliament?
It is the Canadian Parliament; it is the Indian Act which is discriminatory. It is not the band councils; it is not the chiefs. So, the Canadian Parliament can bloody well change that discriminatory piece of legislation, and they have the power to do so. The only thing that prevents them from doing it is because they are embarrassed, and if they make a controversial decision they may not be returned to power. So it becomes a political problem. The problem then is between Indian men and Indian women. The problem has to be changed by the parliamentarians.
The Chairman: Thank you, Mr. Kelly.
Chief Wilson, you indicated that there were some chiefs who wanted to make statements. Perhaps if you could give us the names of those chiefs who wanted to make statements, we will hear from them in due course. We also have one more questioner; Mr. Clem Chartier wants to put some questions. I am going to propose that we break now until 2.15 p.m. We will reconvene to hear the chiefs and also to let Mr. Chartier put his questions. Is that agreed?
Chief Wilson: Mr. Chairman?
The Chairman: Mr. Wilson.
Chief Wilson: Is our committee allowed to question your committee?
The Chairman: Do you want to know more about our terms of reference?
Chief Wilson: There are some specific questions. I guess that is . . .
The Chairman: Well, it will be my discretion as to the types of questions. If you want elaboration on our terms of reference … If you want to know what our recommendations are going to be next September, that would be a difficult one to answer because we are still engaged in the public hearing process; we still have our researchers at work and gathering data. So, it would depend on the nature of the questions. But certainly we are prepared to enter into some sort of reasonable dialogue.
Chief Wilson: I guess one of the reasons why I asked the question is that we recognize the fact that each and every one of you has an affiliation to your own needs or to your representation on the committee, like the lady who has been questioning here. She represents the Native Women’s Association, and certainly her questioning was relevant to what her mandate is. We also have other people here relevant to their mandates. In order for us to be able to appreciate that, I think questions could be made to an individual or whatever.
The Chairman: Well, we will have to deal with that as they come up, Chief Wilson.
If we could have the names of those who want to make presentations and then I will call upon them as soon as we reconvene at 2.15 p.m.
The meeting is adjourned until a quarter past two.
The Chairman: The afternoon session of the House of Commons Special Committee on Indian Self-Government is called to order.
Chief Wilson, I understand that there are two presentations that you wish to have made from your regional tribal chiefs. Is that correct?
Chief Wilson: Yes, it is.
The Chairman: We could hear those now and, as I indicated before, Mr. Chartier was on the list for questions. We will hear the two presentations and then Mr. Chartier will have the first opportunity to question.
Chief Wilson: Okay. I would like to introduce to you Moses Tom of the Big Grassy Reserve, and his presentation deals with child welfare.
Mr. Moses Tom (Big Grassy Band, Rainy Lake Region Tribal Chiefs, Inc.): Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I have a presentation for you on child welfare.
I would just like to make it very brief and very blunt so that I do not take the whole afternoon. If you let me take the whole afternoon, I will.
The first thing I would like to speak on is the Child Welfare Act itself. The Child Welfare Act, as it is today, is at the mercy of the native people. It is hard for the parents and the children, and it is a very sad situation as it is today. As it is today, any child welfare agency personnel can walk into any home on the reserve and take away children, and then subsequently the parents are charged for whatever the reason the Child Welfare Act states is protection. I do not know what protection is.
Subsequently, they are taken to courts and they lose their kids permanently. There are approximately 51 societies in Ontario. If we figure that as one society taking one kid away in one year, or, with several figures I am trying to use, it is 365. When we think about this, that is 365 children taken away each year. I know the percentage is much higher than that, but that is just a figure I am trying to demonstrate to the committee.
I am one of the victims of that legislation. I have lost four children to that system. I still fail to see why today. At no time
can I recall that my children were in any danger. I have always been a poor person materially; I am still the same way today.
It is time that we ask the governments to let us live the way we want to live. Presentations this morning have clearly indicated that we have our own lifestyles, our own lives to live, the way we want to raise our own children.
We cannot continue letting these people take our children away from our communities. It is too sad. It is very damaging to the future of these children. They damage them; they damage their thinking. I have been working as a child care worker for four years now and I know how sad it is when you cannot convince the child care system that this is not the way to deal with children or the parents. It has to change; it has to change to the needs of these people. Simply taking them away from their parents is not the right thing to do. When I say this, I am not criticizing any agency or any persons or any human beings; it is the legislation. They also have to live by the law, so therefore if they do not do that they are not living to the laws of the child welfare act itself.
What I am trying to tell you is that that act has to change, and it has to change soon. If it does not change soon we will continue losing kids from our communities. I say this today: I hope they will bring those children back to us. At one time my own reserve took 24 children away from our communities. We want them back. We want these children back; we love them. There is no alternative. We cannot compromise. We need them very badly; we want to raise them ourselves.
Yes, I read a lot about the child welfare system. In some cases judges say when we do not want our children living with white people that that is discriminatory. It is not. We love our children; we want to raise them ourselves. Realistically, when you think about this, what would white people think if we started raising their kids on reservations? It is the same thing the other way around.
The welfare act in Ontario is very, very powerful. To my interpretation it is more powerful than the OPP. Why I say this is the Ontario Provincial Police have to have a warrant to come and search your house, but a child care agency does not have to have anything. All they need to do is come into the house and take these kids away. That is how powerful it is. It was not meant for the Indian people; that child welfare act was not meant for the people on the reserve. When we were put on the reserve we were meant to be protected; that is what the reservation is there for. The Ontario government comes in and takes these children away. It is very, very sad, I am telling you.
What I would like in wishing to the committee is to see if some of these laws, especially the permanent adoptions … When you have kids taken away at the age of four and five and then you see them when they are at the age of 15, it is very sad. I have had that experience. These kids are not my kids anymore. In my house, in my home, my children do not swear. They do not swear in front of their sister. That is the respect we grow up with in our native families. But when I see these kids come from white homes and they come into my home
there is that dangerous feeling all the time, the swearing, because the Ojibway language has no swear words.
This is the message I would like to bring to the subcommittee this afternoon, and I know these gentlemen to my left have heard me time after time express this to them. I was very honoured and I openly expressed that I would bring out some of these matters. I can go on and on, but I guess the most important thing is the issue—the sad situation that involves our children, not only on my own reserve but all reserves in Ontario.
I would like to thank you.
The Chairman: Thank you, Mr. Tom.
Before we proceed to questioning we will hear the second presentation. Chief Wilson.
Chief Wilson: I would like to introduce you to Delbert Horton. He is from the Rainy River Band and is a councillor of that band. Delbert’s presentation is in regard to education.
Mr. Delbert Horton (Rainy River Band): Thank you. I would like to outline to you the different inconsistencies of programs similar to what Moses has gone through.
Education is a vital program to native families. Over the last number of decades we have had various forms of education applied to our communities. We have had federally operated schools; we have had residential schools; we are now in the process of purchasing services from provincial schools; and in some communities in our district we have band operated schools. As you can see, we have had four various forms of education applied to our people similar to the various forms of religious doctrine that has been imposed on the community members.
Moses has just gone through a presentation on the child welfare program that is in operation in the communities. Education has to and is dealing with prohibitive programs similar to that. For the last couple of years there has been a native education evaluation program conducted by the Department of Indian Affairs where they had analysed their program outlining the inconsistencies and hopefully drafting up something that would change the program with the ultimate goal that the native people will have control of their education. A couple of things have happened since the reports have come out.
One thing that has happened is that we have had in the bureaucracy different terms in education that have been confusing. Just to give you an example, they use a term now which is “mandatory and non-mandatory education programs”. To make the example a little more clear, in the program of daily transportation it is a mandatory program if a provincial board of education transports the children from the native community to the schools. It changes its coat when the band takes on the contract. When they provide their own transportation it then becomes a non-mandatory program.
We talked this morning about different things that are destined to fail. Here is another example of that same concept with a non-profit operation.
Some of the bands in our district purchase service from boards of education. Over the last five to eight years they have entered into tuition agreements. Each tuition agreement is different from the other. There are problems with the tuition agreements in the financial aspect and the support service that the Department of Indian Affairs is supposedly providing. With the basic fact of paying tuition bills the way the structure is set up in regard to finances, we are constantly being funded on a late schedule. Some of our communities are operating two to three months—maybe four months—behind funding schedules. Consequently, when their audit is completed at the end of March 31 they are always showing that they owe some board of education thousands of dollars. Again, as you mentioned this morning with the chief from Alberta, that indicates to the government officials that we are incapable of handling large amounts of money to conduct programs.
Those are problems. We have problems in the post-secondary program. The bands in a district are progressing where they are producing quality high school graduates. These high school graduates are moving on to post-secondary training. They are enrolled at universities where they are working with programs like forest management, just to give you one example.
However, part of the program is not being fulfilled. Not all of our students are bound for universities. We have students who are capable of being involved in the technical areas, but because of shortfalls in the budget as provided by the Department of Indian Affairs we cannot sponsor programs that relate to vocational and adult training. So much for inconsistencies.
One area where we see native people becoming involved in local control is development of quality education programs in the areas of mental health, religion, morals and values, special education. With these programs, it is important that they reflect and enhance the Ojibway heritage.
The Chairman: Thank you very much, Mr. Horton.
Clem Chartier, liaison member from the Native Council of Canada, do you want to start with a question? I am sorry; I thought those were the only two. There was another one? My apologies to you. Go ahead, please.
Chief Wilson: Whom do we give these to?
The Chairman: If that is the brief, they can be circulated. Who is making this presentation?
Chief Wilson: Peter Kelly.
The Chairman: Peter Kelly. Fine, thank you very much.
Mr. P. Kelly: Thank you very much.
I am just going to read this as it is written.
I am a member of the Ojibways of 0-Ne-Ga-Ming Band located 70 miles south of Kenora on Lake of the Woods. My band council has mandated me to break a log-jam in relation to a matter which has immediate and long-term implications for Indian government.
This matter is one example of how the Department of Indian Affairs in its policies has not actual regard for Indian self-government, despite rhetoric to the contrary. This situation has deteriorated in recent years in that new initiatives regarding Indian government have arisen out of the bureaucracy in the form of policies instead of out of Parliament in the form of laws. We offer you this example to graphically demonstrate that any change in legislation respecting Indian government must be strong and clear; otherwise, the Department of Indian Affairs will subvert it by adopting anti-Indian policies and interpretations.
We draw your attention to the land claims settlement policy. Until last year, it was largely unwritten and to some extent nonexistent. It was during this time that the Assabaska land claim was presented to the Governments of Canada and Ontario and accepted as valid.
Our claim relates to the 2,400 acres of shoreline reserve stretching between Big Grassy reserve and Little Grassy River at the southeast end of Lake of the Woods. Attached to the presentation is a chronology of our claim. In brief, our Assabaska Band—now the two band councils of 0-Ne-Ga- Ming and Big Grassy—had several reserves set aside as our choice after the signing of treaty in 1873. The Department of Indian Affairs allowed settlement and usage of our shoreline reserve for several years until the Ontario government pushed Indian Affairs to relinguish this reserve. No surrender vote by our band members was ever taken; no procedure of the Indian Act followed. Indeed, our band members were neither consulted nor informed. This reserve, which was confirmed by Ontario legislation in 1915, was then unilaterally relinquished by Indian Affairs in 1931, After some years of research, the joint band councils of 0-Ne-Ga-Ming . . then Sabaskong—and Big Grassy submitted our claim in 1977 and began the push for settlement negotiations.
In late April 1982, when the new policy came out—this thin booklet entitled Unfinished Business—our claim was in the midst of settlement negotiations. This policy was developed internally by the Department of Indian Affairs, utterly disregarding in its formulation the strong recommendations of Indian organizations across Canada, and especially Ontario, regarding principles and mechanisms for claims settlement. This policy has, quite properly, been condemned as defying established principles of law and the laws of equity and natural justice.
As an example, we ask you to consider that this policy refuses to allow expropriation of property to reinstate reserve land as a settlement to a claim. Government can expropriate Indian reserve land at any time, but when Indians have lost land illegally we are told that we have no adequate recourse. Indeed, at 0-Ne-Ga-Ming we have been subject to expropriation on a number of occasions to allow a provincial highway and hydro transmission lines to crosscut our reserve several times. We had no choice. The federal government also inserted a clause into their version of Treaty Number 3 which allows them to take reserve land for public purposes; yet, under this specific claims policy, this option is denied to us.
This denial of the option of expropriation which is allowed to the non-Indian governments on our lands is a gross violation of the Charter of Rights, which guarantees due process of law.
Nevertheless, once this policy was announced, and even though it has never been considered by Parliament nor even formally approved by order in council, it has thereafter defined the terms of settlement of land claims. This has made negotiations of the Assabaska claim virtually impossible.
The Indian side in negotiations is expected to be fair and flexible while the government side, on the basis of this policy, not law, has no flexibility. The result is a take-it-or-leave-it approach which negates real negotiations.
The Indian side in these negotiations is Indian government. The imposition of this claim policy definitely demonstrates the thorough disregard which the Indian Affairs bureaucracy holds for Indian government. The net result is that claims cannot be settled and grievances mount.
I ask the committee members to try to comprehend the seriousness of this situation. When your government denies our people settlement of our claims, you are denying us our future. Can you imagine how it feels to have no future, no hope for anything better? That is when the feeling grows toward either depression and suicide or taking direct action as the young people of our area did in Anicinabe Park in 1974, which is another land claim. There are not-so-young people in our reserves who feel that they have nothing to lose but their lives in taking direct action to force settlement of this and other claims.
They feel whatever they can do to benefit the next generation would be worth their lives. This is how it has always been with our people: perhaps we have not seen justice and the heritage of our ancestors set to right in our own lifetime, but we will sacrifice anything to ensure that it happens in the next generation. This is not a threat, but simply a reflection on what has happened as the result of government policies in the past.
I am sure you are aware of the importance of land claims to Indian governments. Successive Ministers of Indian Affairs have always made control of the land central to any departmental pronouncements on Indian self-government. Yet land claim settlements are undermined by this policy. It is entirely in keeping with your mandate that you submit this policy to review by the Standing Committee on Indian Affairs and Northern Development with a view to its being withdrawn from operation.
Secondly, we urge that any legislation regarding Indian government, in addition to everything else it must contain, has to be strong and clear and cannot leave broad policy initiatives open to the bureaucracy, or else Indian self-government will be undermined and sabotaged.
I would be pleased to answer any questions you may have. Thank you.
I just want to say that the land claim in question is the MAP, which was posted just now. I will have a copy of the Indian Affairs policy on native claims, which is called Unfinished Business. This is the booklet to which I referred in that submission.
Thank you very much.
The Chairman: Thank you very much, Peter.
Any further comments?
Chief Wilson: No.
The Chairman: Clem Chartier, do you want to start off with some questions?
Mr. Chartier: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I would just like to say to the Rainy Lake Region Tribal Chiefs that the brief that was presented this morning, the manner in which it was presented, and the opening of the meeting were to me very welcome. I think they went a long way to providing to the rest of the people on the subcommittee the importance that the Indian people place upon the elders and upon the natural laws; what you call the “philosophical concept”. I think in Cree it would be Kan-gi-i-zhi-me-ne-go-e-zid-what was given to us. I am a strong believer in that myself.
About some of the questions posed by my colleague from the Native Women’s Association of Canada, I am a firm believer, after listening to your elders today, that once this question is given thought to, what the Indian people will do, of course, is look at the natural law. Flowing from that, I do not believe, personally, there will be any great problem with recognizing the rights of all Indians.
I would like to draw your attention, however, to the mandate of the subcommittee itself. One of the areas it is to look at, under areas for further study—item 6 is that a formula and process be devised for provision to Indian communities of land and resources for persons added to band lists as a result of the removal of discrimination clauses from the Indian Act. I
believe once a serious look and an opportunity have been had to look at this issue, this can be resolved.
The chairman was quite wise in allowing presentations before my questioning, because the area of major concern that I had was with Indian child welfare. Chief Moses Tom has very eloquently stated the problem. I should mention to the members of the committee that Chief Moses Tom has been striving for these rights over the past several years and I admire him greatly for that.
On that, what is the position of the chiefs generally—and Moses Tom, I suppose, specifically . .. on how the rights of the Indian child can be protected? Would you be looking at something similar to the Manitoba agreement between the federal and provincial governments and the aboriginal peoples, or would you be looking more to the right of Indian self-government to pass your own laws on Indian child welfare, custody, adoptions, and matters such as that?
Mr. Tom: Correction: I am not a chief.
I would like to get the General Manager of the Rainy Lake Tribal Council to answer that for you.
The Chairman: Mr. Morrisseau.
Mr. Morrisseau: The tribal council is currently undertaking a study to determine an overall strategy, I guess, children’s services. It is a consultation process. We have just in the last month received funding from a foundation to do the study. We should be coming up with some recommendations within the next three months. We are doing a very thorough investigation into the whole delivery of children’s services. We would be prepared to table the report with this committee on its completion.
The Chairman: Is part of your examination the agreement that was reached in Manitoba?
Mr. Morrisseau: We are looking at that.
The Chairman: Thank you.
Chief Wilson: Incidentally, we did go to government with a proposal for funding on that specific issue. We were not successful with the government.
Mr. Morrisseau: We spent at least eight months with the two governments and different departments, trying to secure funding to do the study, and it was not until just prior to Christmas that we got a commitment for funding from I think it was the Donner, or the Atkinson, Foundation—one of the two; I cannot recall.
Mr. Chartier: I can appreciate that perhaps a final decision has not been reached yet, but I think it would be very helpful to this subcommittee if in the next several months you could get an indication among yourselves as to the direction you would like to see it go, at least to give a preliminary advisement to the committee so in their recommendations they could adequately reflect at least your preliminary thoughts.
About calling you “Chief”, Moses, I do not really apologize, because in my eyes you are a chief.
Mr. Tom: Thank you.
I would like to answer that one specific question you mentioned on Manitoba. I like the idea as a band member, but I do not agree with the specific agreement, because they still have to live by that Child Welfare Act of Manitoba. What I was proposing to the subcommittee was that the act, especially in adoptions and apprehensions, has to be changed before an Indian, or tribal councils, can really operate according to their own lifestyles—if a real clear-cut native child care program is to be operated. If laws do not change, we are still going to have the same type of child care agency, only with different people running it. These laws have to be amended.
Mr. Chartier: Thank you. My other question is to the chiefs. There is a reference on page 9 to being involved in an ongoing process in the work being undertaken by the Subcommittee on Indian Self-Government. You say there must be a mechanism empowered by Parliament whereby ongoing discussions and negotiations will continue after this subcommittee has adjourned. What sort of a mechanism do you have in mind at this time which may be helpful to the subcommittee?
Mr. P. Kelly: Thank you very much. The kind of mechanism we are looking at is that the recommendations, after having been reviewed, will point out certain principles on Indian self-government, and on a review of the transfer of resources to the Indian communities to enable them to get on with Indian self-government.
At this time, as we have pointed out throughout the presentation, we do not have adequate resources—that is, financial, and with regard to human and technical resources, completely to review the kinds of mechanisms which are available at the parliamentary level, to make these recommendations become a reality. I mean this not only in the sense of making these recommendations to Parliament for review in House of Commons debates but, really, to pass enabling legislation to bring this about. Even more particularly, more specifically, it should allow the chiefs, if they choose, 30 to participate in the review and the redrafting and consideration of these recommendations. All the way through the chiefs should be involved.
Mr. Chartier: Thank you. I have no more questions, Mr. Chairman.
The Chairman: Peter, I would just like to comment on that because I think there is a mechanism in place now. It is true that when this subcommittee reports to Parliament, as a special committee our mandate will have expired and there will be in the House of Commons a report. Now the question is: What happens to that report? Who can respond to that report, and what will be the method of responding?
Obviously, if we follow the new reform measures of Parliament, within 120 days the government will have to respond. There can be a debate, or questions, in Parliament about it. Of all this you are aware, but you want to know how you can
respond. I would think the standing committee, in all likelihood, will provide an opportunity for the Indian leaders of the country to say to the standing committee what they think about the report which has been tabled in Parliament. That is the first thing.
The second thing is: If legislation flows from that report, then under our parliamentary system, that legislation, after second reading in the House of Commons, must be referred to the standing committee. Once the reference is given to the standing committee, it becomes master of its own house and can call whoever the members wish in order to get input into that legislation—that is, suggested amendments or alterations, as they see fit. So there is that mechanism in place. So when I read this in your document, it occurred to me that may very well serve the purpose.
As a final comment, I would just say that many members of this special committee are also members of the standing committee, so you would be meeting the same people under different circumstances..
Mr. P. Kelly: Yes. I would respond to that by saying that existing mechanisms in government, whether they be in the Legislature of Ontario or in the House of Commons in Ottawa, should allow the ministries or departments which have the technical resources to respond to you—that is in other words, the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development would respond to you on every comment, every report, which we have made throughout these deliberations. Not only that, but I am certain at this point in time there must have been some bureaucrats already assigned to review these Hansard reports so as to extract information and, therefore, extrapolate policies which will be detrimental to Indian self-government.
So what I am suggesting is that there must be a parallel. There must be a parallel to a kind of governmental body under which the Indian people will have adequate resources for review. I am not suggesting by any means that it be on a long- lasting basis, but I think definitely for the duration of this committee, as well as with regard to the final presentation. If that can be arranged, then I think we will be able to see a form of true Indian self-government, where the Indian people of this country and the white people of this country can co-exist.
The Chairman: Your point is a valid one. I think you are arguing that the department would have one leg up on the situation. I think we have tried to counteract that, Peter, by the fact that we have the Assembly of First Nations sitting as an ex officio member on this special committee and, in fact, staff members from AFN are doing the same kind of monitoring as we go along. We have made some attempt to equalize the equation—maybe not adequately, but some attempt has been made. Roberta Jamieson, please.
Ms Jamieson: Mr. Chairman, as I hear the witness, I think the concern goes beyond the time when the report is submitted. It is true the AFN is involved in this committee at this stage, but when the report is tabled and the recommendations are tabled, the committee will cease and the AFN formal involvement will cease. It seems to me what you are concerned about is that some kind of joint Indian—M.P., or joint Indian—
government commission, should be set up to oversee the fate of the report. Is that what you are saying?
Mr. P. Kelly: That is exactly what I am saying. As a matter of fact in the document Treaty Number 3, there is a reference to a commission which, in the event that these treaties and promises have not been lived up to, a commission can be struck. No such commission has been struck since 1873. But I think our recommendation definitely is in keeping with our reading of the treaties.
The Chairman: Well, that may very well be one of our recommendations to Parliament. If we conclude among ourselves that existing mechanisms are deficient, then we certainly are at liberty, as Ms Jamieson has suggested, to recommend to Parliament that another and more effective mechanism be put in place. Mr. Allmand.
Mr. Allmand: I just want to remind the committee and the witnesses that the special committee on the handicapped which was set up last year was very innovative in this respect, and we may want to look at their procedures. Parliament set up a special committee like this one to study the problems of the handicapped in Canada—the blind, the lame, the deaf and so on—which made a report, one of the recommendations of which being that the committee should be continued to see the implementation of the report. So the committee still sat well after the report was tabled, meeting from time to time with the ministers and other people, just to see in fact what was being done. That was the first time I had encountered that. In response now to the witnesses, I am just putting on record that is something we may want to consider if there is no other way, as the chairman said.
The Chairman: I think anything is possible. As long as the will and determination exist then, certainly, the devising of mechanisms for the human mind is no problem. But what so often happens, I think, is that there is really not a determination or a will to do something; therefore, you fog the issue and find some technicality to avoid doing what you want to do. That is an old political game, but I do not think we are involved in it. Ms Jamieson, any further comment?
Ms Jamieson: Not on this point, Mr. Chairman. I am very happy though that, for the first time, someone has raised the issue of the claims policy outstanding business. I think it relates very directly to Indian government because you cannot have a government without resources, and you cannot have a government without some land. There have been outstanding claims from Indians for some time. This is a comment rather than a question, and it is simply this: while I feel that the federal government is insincere in its promotion of Indian self-government, I think they are equally—if not more . . . insincere in purporting to settle claims when they have created a system that is incapable of allowing that to happen.
Simply put, the policy on claims is this: They will only entertain claims post 1867. There is no place to take claims pre-Confederation and Indian Affairs will negotiate any claim which it feels is valid. This means, if it has been accepted by the Department of Justice as one if, in the opinion of a lawyer, it went to court the federal government would be found to have outstanding lawful obligations. If the opinion of the lawyer is that there is not an overwhelming chance that lawful obligation will be found, there are no negotiations.
Furthermore, there is no money available to Indian people to either take the government to court or to attempt to negotiate in the absence of the agreement that it is a valid claim, with other parties, for instance. Yet I feel the federal government purports to want to settle claims it calls unfinished business and continues to funnel money into claims research, but to no end, because as is said in this brief, the net result is that the claims cannot be settled and grievances mount, unless, by some chance, they fall into the small category of claim which the federal government either wants to or needs to settle by reason of political expediency or otherwise. I think this whole issue is germane to the issue of Indian government.
I hope we do have a look at that policy at some stage.
The Chairman: Are there any further comments or questions? If there are no further comments or questions, then I want to, again, on behalf of the special committee, thank the Rainy Lake Region tribal chiefs for their presentation and also for the additional presentations from Peter Kelly and Moses Tom and Delbert Horton. We think you have made a valuable contribution to the work of the special committee and we thank you for the effort and the time that went into the preparation of these documents and these thoughts. Thank you for appearing.
Chief Wilson: Mr. Chairman, I have only one more request and it concerns child welfare. We would like to be given the opportunity at some of your future hearings to be able to make a presentation regarding child welfare, a study that we are doing . . .
The Chairman: Well, I want to say to you, Chief, that when your work is completed the special committee would be delighted to receive a copy of that report. It will be circulated among the members and then if we can provide an opportunity for you to comment on it in some way, we will do everything we can to accommodate you in that regard.
Chief Wilson: Thank you very much.
The Chairman: Thank you, Chief Wilson.
Our next witnesses will be the Dryden tribal area bands and I call to the table the tribal area chief, Arnold Gardner.
The Chairman: The special committee will resume its work.
Next, we have appearing the Dryden Tribal Area Bands. To introduce the group is the Tribal Area Chief, Arnold Gardner.
Arnold, it is nice to see you again. The last time we met was 15 years ago in the classroom. I want you to know, Arnold, I am still asking questions; but there is a difference. When I used to ask you questions in the classroom, I knew the answers; now I am asking questions and I do not know the answers.
That is why we are glad to have you here before the special committee. Persons like yourself and other Indian leaders are providing us with the answers, the material and the background we need to make suitable recommendations to Parliament for some significant changes in the existing situation.
So if you would introduce those who are with you, Chief Gardner, and then make your presentation, we will follow that up with some questions.
Chief Arnold Gardner (Chief, Eagle Lake Band, Dryden Area Tribal Chief, Grand Council Treaty 3): Thank you very much.
First of all, I would like to begin by welcoming the committee members to northwestern Ontario. Just to get myself into a comfortable position, I am glad Keith mentioned he taught me at one time. But the subject he taught me at that time was world politics; and as you can see, now we are in a political arena together. Hopefully, we can get a lot done from here.
I would like to introduce the people sitting with me: Chief Barney Petiquan from the Nabaskawe Band; Don Gardner, a band member from the Eagle Lake Band; and—I always do things in order; I leave the ladies to the last—a band member from the Eagle Lake Band by the name of Lucille Michaud.
Mr. Chairman, I am just going to read my brief, which was instructed to me by my band council, by my chief and by my fellow band members.
My name is Arnold Gardner. I appear before your task force on behalf of my chief, council and fellow band members of the Eagle Lake Band. As well, I am the elected Dryden Area Tribal Chief of Grand Council Treaty 3.
The Eagle Lake Reserve is situated approximately 20 miles from Dryden. We have a relatively small band membership, approximately 110 on reserve. However, we have very serious
ideas and perceptions, based on our own personal experience, as to how Indian government should evolve and what the present difficulties are. No doubt, our personal experiences and difficulties within the department are typical of those other bands within Treaty 3—and probably other bands within the whole of Canada—have had to confront.
Initally, Mr. Chairman, I would like to stress the point that, although we are a small band, we fervently believe we are a sovereign people. Unlike the non-Indian population, who can trace their sovereignty to Britain and to other historical facts, the Indian people do not have such a historical perspective. Therefore, we trace our sovereignty directly to the Great Spirit. Our right to self-determination and our right to control the direction our band chooses to take is directly traceable to the Great Spirit. The trust responsibility the Department of Indian Affairs has for Indian people has no bearing whatsoever on the ultimate right and responsibility of each band to determine what is best for its people.
Mr. Chairman, I wish to cite just two example where the Eagle Lake Band has come up against hurdles that have impeded economic development opportunities.
Mr. Chairman, you may be aware the Department of Indian Affairs requires each band to prepare five-year capital plans. We participate in this process, as I am sure most bands do. In each of the five years, we project what our priorities are and how much of our allocation we wish to expend in each area.
The fundamental problem arises, however, when we choose to exercise our right to self-determination by planning a development that requires a guarantee from the department that our projected capital plan financial requirements will be available. It is at that point we are repeatedly told the Department of Indian Affairs cannot commit funding beyond the current fiscal year. Because we are unable to provide a guarantee that funds will be available, we find it increasingly more difficult to deal with other lending institutions. It is for this reason that we must have control over our band capital allocation, and we must have the right to expend those funds as we see fit.
Until such time as the Indian Act is amended and the Department of Indian Affairs and Treasury Board guidelines are changed to reflect the reality and the significance of Indian governments, any efforts our band, or for that matter any band, endeavours to make in terms of exercising sovereignty or self-determination is hollow at best. We require block funding, and this funding should only be subject to an annual audit.
How we expend these funds should be left to the absolute discretion of the respective band councils.
On behalf of the Eagle Lake Band, I therefore urge your task force to recommend to Parliament that block funding be provided to bands based on each band’s projected requirements over a five-year timeframe. We further recommend that those funds, once committed, should be available to the band for priorities as the band council sees fit and not subject to the discretion of any level of the Department of Indian Affairs.
Mr. Chairman, my final observation is with regard to tribal councils and how they fit into the concept of Indian government. As you are aware, the tribal council movement is gaining momentum. The Eagle Lake Band is in the process of considering forming a tribal council with three other bands; the Lac Seul, Lac des Mille Lac, and Wabigoon bands. I must confess to you that one of the main reasons this may come to pass is because our bands have been continually frustrated by the department and, in particular, the district offices. In the case of all four bands, we are serviced by no fewer than three Department of Indian Affairs’ district offices—Kenora, Sioux Lookout, and Thunder Bay … and yet our four bands are all members of Treaty No. 3. I mention this only to make it clear that this is another example whereby our bands are beginning to exercise our right as sovereign self-governing Indian governments. If we believe that we will be best served by forming a tribal council, we shall proceed in that direction; and if we do not, we will not. This is what Indian government means to the Eagle Lake Band.
The Chairman: Thank you very much, Arnold.
We will start our questioning with Mr. Oberle. Mr. Oberle, please.
Mr. Oberle: Okay, Mr. Chairman.
Just very briefly. Chief, you have chosen to make your case for Indian self-government mainly on the grounds of financial resources, and naturally that is probably the initial most essential prerequisite for self-determination, to be in charge of your own resources from whatever source you attain them.
Just to lead you on into the tribal council concept, we find, or it has been my experience, that it has been very difficult, particularly for small bands because of a certain economy of scale, to carry out major infrastructure projects like sewer and water systems and electric distribution and so on if you have to rely on just your own per capita block funding or development funding. So sometimes the officials tell us that they have to establish certain priorities and take certain moneys that are allocated for a whole area and give them disproportionately to a very small community.
The question arises now that if you form a tribal council, do you expect the other bands in that council to share from time to time some of their allocation with you if it appears that you wish to undertake a major project for which you, in a small band, would not have sufficient funds? In other words, I guess what I am saying is: Do you expect the block funding or the funding allocations based on your five-year budgets to go to the tribal councils and let them re-allocate it to the bands, or would you like it to go to the bands and the bands allocate it to the tribal councils? I would suggest that the latter would be more difficult for the smaller bands, because it would be exceedingly difficult for you to carry on some major projects; that it would literally take 10 years of funding to put in a water and sewer system that might cost half a million dollars or something like that. Could you comment on that?
Chief Gardner: Okay, let me explain our intention of forming a tribal council. As I stated in my presentation, we are only in the process at this time of discussing how we are going to set up our tribal council, and the way we hope to operate is on a needs basis from the people, not politically. It is not a chiefs’ organization; it is going to be a people’s organization. I am not even sure at this time whether the chiefs are going to be part of the tribal council. But the way I understand things is that first of all we have a lot of frustrations as a small band and therefore it is in our best interest if we do things collectively in terms of achieving certain things. Some of the frustrations that I mentioned in terms of the department, we feel that if we combine our moneys together we can hire the resource people so that we can best utilize the money we do have, instead of always settling for second best. We do not believe that philosophy. You are right what you say about the latter process, what we are going to follow.
Mr. Oberle: Chief Gardner, do you believe, as I do, that we should really establish priorities … all of us, and initially the bureaucrats on whom you have to rely until you get organized— to fund some of these projects? Do you believe we should all put our heads together and establish certain minimum standards which would have to be put in place for all bands, regardless of their size—certain minimum standards of health and welfare and the human condition? I am talking about electricity, a guarantee of good, clean water and sanitary disposal facilities; these kinds of essential services. I would even group with that, having regard to the technological advances that have been made in communication, television. You know, you can get a good basic television diet with four or five channels into every northern community now and I would include that as an essential service that would have to be established everywhere, even in the smallest bands, before we would look at the needs of the larger bands on an extended basis. Would you agree with that concept?
Chief Gardner: Well, let us put it to you this way. Bands think differently. That is my personal feeling, and what is wanted in one band is not wanted in another band. You see, there goes that determination again. Like, I cannot determine what my fellow bands want, but we could certainly sit down and negotiate it and arrive at some kind of a compromise or whatever. There is going to be a lot of negotiations in our concept right now. But in terms of some of the things that you are talking about, it is nice to have running water—I am all for that kind of stuff—but it is the individual bands, their needs that they identify. That is the kind of thing that we have to work on. If they identify water, well, we go for water. If they do not want water … First of all, if they do not want television, that is good; I think that is good.
Mr. Oberle: Okay. That is all, Mr. Chairman.
The Chairman: Arnold, in your brief you make the statement that we recommend that those funds once committed should be available to the bands for their priorities. I am wondering if you have given any thought to the way in which these funds would become committed. Earlier today we heard testimony that these funds ought to come by way of direct negotiation with the Department of Finance in some similar fashion to the way in which the provinces bargain directly with the federal government for their fair share, or put in place fiscal arrangements and then renegotiate them periodically, usually on a five-year basis.
Do you see or have you thought about the value of something that could perhaps be called the Indian fiscal arrangements commission which would operate at a very senior level, having all of the expertise necessary to bargain effectively or to negotiate effectively with the Government of Canada for those transfer payments using the equalization formula, using block funding principles and being aware of all of the multitude of intricacies that are required to bargain effectively, and that would be the money that would be committed, through that mechanism, and from there whatever was available would be shared among the bands or tribal councils as the case may be?
Have you given any thought to something beyond the band or tribal council level, to a national level to be sure that there is an adequate or fair transfer?
Chief Gardner: I think in our determination, again from the Eagle Lake Band and from the bands that I mentioned in my presentation, we really believe if anything is going to work it is going to have to work right at the people level, not at the chiefs level. It has to come from direction from the people.
If we agree to setting up a committee, that is not their idea. What they clearly indicated to us at the meetings we had in terms of developing our tribal council was that we channel our
money, that we have our money right there and we know what we have. Our tribal council or our politicians will lobby for that money.
The Chairman: I understand that. I am just concerned about how you would get the money in the first place and who would act at the national level on behalf of bands or tribal councils to make sure that there is a commitment that is considered to be adequate. I just wondered whether your organization had given any thought to how that money would become committed in the first place.
Chief Gardner: I think what happens is that first of all the people, the chief, the chief to the tribal council and then from the tribal council probably to the Grand Council, Treaty Number 3—our grand chief will lobby with the national people under direction . . .
The Chairman: Yes, from the local level. Okay. Thanks, Arnold.
The next questioner is Jim Manly.
Mr. Manly: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I also would like to ask about the band councils. From time to time we get appeals from people in bands who feel that the way money has been spent has not been fair, and I suppose it is inevitable with any kind of government that there are always some people who feel that they have not gotten a fair deal.
Have you any suggestion as to what right people should have to appeal and where they should be able to appeal if they felt that they were not getting a fair deal from their band council?
Chief Gardner: As far as I am concerned, it is just like any democratic voting process: you do it by an election process. If you do not like what your present leaders are doing, you vote them out. That is my answer to that. It is like I said: how we operate at Eagle Lake is that it is on a needs basis people identify. We are continually having workshops, priority planning, and that is the way we operate. We cannot please everybody, but we certainly try to fulfil most of our goals and our priorities.
Mr. Manly: You do not see any possibility of appeal apart from elections?
Chief Gardner: Not really.
Mr. Manly: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The Chairman: Roberta Jamieson.
Ms Jamieson: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I, too, enjoyed the presentation and my questions are not many.
I noted from what you said in your brief that you have made attempts to define your own priorities, particularly to meet the economic needs of your communities, and have been stifled by
departmental officials, and you have given us a couple of examples of how that has happened.
Have you benefited from either of these two things that are supposed to be in operation in Ontario at the moment? There is supposed to be $2.5 million in Ontario for band-prepared socio-economic plans to be put in place to assist bands to put those in place. There is also supposed to be an additional $998,000 for comprehensive community plans developed with a comprehensive data base and band profiles. Have you benefited from either of those, Arnold?
Chief Gardner: On the comprehensive community planning, we have benefited from that.
Ms Jamieson: You have. Is this through the department through a district office of some type?
Chief Gardner: That is right.
Ms Jamieson: And the other?
Chief Gardner: No, not the other.
Ms Jamieson: The other area that I wanted to explore: In your brief you mentioned that the trust responsibility that the Department of Indian Affairs has for Indian people has no bearing whatsoever on the ultimate right and responsibility of each band to determine that which is best for its people.
Once Indian government is allowed to operate in the manner in which you wish it to operate in your area, do you see a need for a Department of Indian Affairs and do you see the need for a trust responsibility to be lodged somewhere federally in a minister or a department? Do you have any thoughts in that area?
Chief Gardner: I think in terms of the departmental trust that that is why we were trying to form a tribal council. In other words, we would like to set up our own tribal administration in terms of the delivery of programs to that extent. We certainly at this time do not want to let our trustee off the hook. He is still obligated to us, and we feel that mechanism must be developed by the government.
Ms Jamieson: So you would always see some form of trust responsibility being with the federal government?
Chief Gardner: Yes, oh yes.
Ms Jamieson: But is it fair to say that you would like to see the size of the department decrease as you assume the program delivery system?
Chief Gardner: Yes, that is right, yes.
Ms Jamieson: That is all, Mr. Chairman. Thank you.
The Chairman: Yes, Mr. Oberle.
Mr. Oberle: I understood the witness to say that he thinks the time has come to let the minister off the hook in terms of his trust relationship. Is that what you said?
Ms Jamieson: No, just the opposite.
Chief Gardner: No, the opposite.
Mr. Oberle: You said you want to keep him on the hook and maintain a trust responsibility for you? Okay.
The Chairman: Further questions? Marlyn?
Ms Kane: Just a short, quick one.
I would just like to ask whether the Eagle Lake Band or the other bands in the Dryden area have done any work with respect to your own membership code.
Chief Gardner: It is still being discussed right now. It is a touchy one, but we are working on it. That is for Eagle Lake Band.
The Chairman: Further questions? Do any other members of your group wish to make any comments, Chief Gardner?
Chief Gardner: I have one more thing I wanted to say to the question of when we were talking about letting the minister off the hook in terms of his being our trustee, I would like to elaborate on that, now that I have had time to get my thoughts together.
We at one time wanted to hand all our programs back to the trustee, the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs, because of all the restraints they had on us. We could see our hands tied in any way we wanted to move. That is why we always have to have that protection, because if they want to make things unbearable for us, well, they can control it, but let them take the responsibility. That is, from that point of view, why we want him to be our trustee, to that extent.
The Chairman: Arnold, did I understand you correctly to say that you had at one point, in the Eagle Lake Band, assumed responsibility for some programs?
Chief Gardner: We have most of our programs now.
The Chairman: But because of the restraints and so on, did you say you handed them back?
Chief Gardner: No, no. We were on the verge of giving everything back, because once you get something perfected and all of a sudden they come out with another guideline … The way we understand the Indian government now is that we are just administering programs for the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs.
The Chairman: They are turning programs over to you, but you have to administer them according to their rules and their guidelines …
Chief Gardner: That is right.
The Chairman: —and if you try to do something innovative that meets your own purely local circumstances, then they interfere …
Chief Gardner: That is right.
The Chairman: —and the program becomes frustrated; so in desparation you say you may as well take it back and you run it. Would that be correct?
Chief Gardner: That is right. Let me cite an example for why I say this. Because of the economics of today’s Canada—it is not too good … new money is always being pumped into employment opportunities, such as the NEED program they just developed recently. Well, what we would like to do is we would like to utilize the NEED program; but really utilize it. So what we are doing is we are trying to combine moneys together actually to make that money work. In other words, what we do not want to do is we do not want to hire 15 guys to dig holes and somebody to come and cover them up behind. That is not the kind of programs we want to get into. We want them to stand forever and ever. We want really to utilize them.
Mr. Oberle: We are touching on a very crucial point, which is going to be the highlight in the report we are charged to write, so we do not want to leave anything in doubt about that. The trust responsibility of the minister—if he were so diligent and efficient in the exercise and the discharge of his trust responsibility, why is it that the Indian people throughout the country are in such dire straits and so totally deprived of resources and spirit? The problem is—and I do not want to appear as if I had any preconceived idea; I will write in the report whatever you want written into it—but that is the very basis of the problems you are facing: namely, that the minister has not exercised his trust responsibility. I would not want some character in Ottawa telling me what I can do with my kids. I would not want him to have the money that belongs to my kids. I would not want him to tell me when or when not to build a house. That should be my decision.
Needless to say, I wanted that point cleared up. If you say you want the minister to retain that trust responsibility, that will be written in the report. But boy, I am telling you, it frightens me, because it is in contradiction to what you were saying earlier, that you …
Chief Gardner: Let me straighten that out. I think what I am saying is somebody has to be liable somewhere along the line.
Mr. Oberle: Yes, but his liability has not meant anything to you. He is liable, but he just shrugs his shoulders. We are saying he is all kinds of things. We use all kinds of language that I would not want to use here today when we criticize the minister. But he just shrugs his shoulders, and you suffer and your children suffer. You cannot take him to court. You cannot sue him, as some people have tried to do. You can embarrass him so he might even lose an election over it; but that is all.
I just want to point out to you that there is a slight contradiction there when you are going back to the roots and saying that autonomy and sovereignty are derived from the spirit and are exercised by the band council. If you then turn a trust responsibility over to the minister, you are giving up the spirit’s sovereignty and your band council’s sovereignty. I see an inherent contradiction there.
The Chairman: Roberta wants to answer your question.
Ms Jamieson: Do you mind if I comment while you are . . .
I am afraid I do not see any contradiction. I think what I am hearing from the witness is that the trust responsibility is something that is of prime importance to Indian people. It is a relationship they entered into with the federal government, with the Crown, through history. The comments are on the miserable way that the minister, or the federal government, has exercised it to date. What I hear being said is not that because they have done such a terrible job we should get rid of it, but that we should keep the responsibility but change the manner in which it has been exercised; which I do not think is contradictory.
Anyway, that is just a comment. Arnold, do you want to speak to that?
Chief Gardner: I guess it is more along my lines of thinking— what you are saying, Roberta. To tell you the truth, I would like to have a second round with the committee here so I can go back to my people who requested that I present this paper on their behalf.
The Chairman: Yes, sure. I agree.
Chief Gardner, thank you very much for coming to Kenora today to appear before the special committee. We thank you very much for the input you have provided. I think certainly the great strength of your presentation is to remind members of the special committee that although we may think about national institutions and national ways to achieve these goals, you have to remember that in the end what really counts is what is happening at the local level. That is where the results of whatever is put in place are being tested. If we do not keep that constantly in mind, I think we are going to find ourselves in some difficulty. So your contribution today is of great value in that respect.
Thank you very much for appearing.
Chief Gardner: Okay. Meegwetch.
The Chairman: I am going to call next the Kenora Tribal Area Bands, and we will hear from the Rat Portage Band, Chief George Kakeway, and Mrs. Madeleine Skead, a band member, and also Shoal Lake Band 39, Chief Robin Greene. I am advised by the committee clerk that the two bands we are hearing from are just individual bands from the Kenora area. I incorrectly announced that they were part of an organization of Kenora tribal area bands; that, I understand, is incorrect.
First we will hear from the Rat Portage Band. They have two presentations, the first being from Chief George Kakeway and the second from Mrs. Skead who will deal with matters related to band membership.
Chief Kakeway, would you like to begin with your submission?
Chief Kakeway (Rat Portage Band Council): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Maybe first of all I would like to introduce the people up front. To my left is Councillor Doug Skead and to my right is Madeleine Skead.
Mr. Chairman and hon. members of the committee, we wish to welcome you to the Lake of the Woods area and to thank you for your time and attention to the concerns of our people.
We recognize that your committee has an historic purpose and role to play in the development of Indian self-government in Canada. We believe our message to you today will be echoed across Canada by the many band councils and people you will be listening to.
Our message is straightforward: Indian rights must be recognized, respected, implemented, acted on and enforced before there are any administrative changes regarding the Indian Act or the department.
Priorities must be established; land claims must be settled; treaty and aboriginal rights must be implemented, constitutionally protected and entrenched and the entrenchment of our rights must become a reality. Only then, only after this recognition and protection of our rights, can we deal with required changes in the Department of Indian Affairs. We believe the survival of our band is the key to the survival of the Indian nations as distinct people within confederation. Rat Portage is the closest reserve to Kenora, situated on the east side of town. Over 295 members living on the reserve are the first to feel the onslaught of any backlash of townspeople and regional residents to any stands taken by Indian people such as we are making to you today. Despite this, our people continue to practise our tradition, speak our language and live out our rights in our traditional livelihood.
We know that our rights to pursue the traditional Indian way of life are protected by the Constitution Act, 1982, Section 35, which recognizes and affirms our aboriginal and treaty rights.
This recognition and affirmation in the Charter of Rights has opened up a new era in our relations with the other governments in Canada. It makes no sense in our view to talk about amending the Indian Act now that the first step in honouring our treaties and aboriginal rights of our people, have been taken. Until we see how our treaty and aboriginal rights are going to be implemented, how can we discuss
questions of the fiscal relations between the federal government and our bands.
Rat Portage is one of the original signatories of Treaty Number 3, in 1873. Last fall we reassembled at Northwest Angle, Lake of the Woods, to present to Governor General Edward Schreyer the parchment copy of the the True Treaty, Number 3. The Governor General accepted our treaty, held by one of our most respected elders, and again stated that if any of the -promises “most solemnly entered into” were not followed, he and the Queen would wish to investigate. We followed with interest the judgment of Lord Denning in the British High Court last year when he again stated that the Parliament of Canada and the legislatures of the provinces must live up to the promises of the treaties and the recognition of our rights provided in the 1763 Royal Proclamation.
It is important that you understand the real meaning of our Treaty Number 3. It was also understood by all parties at that time, and passed on from our forefathers to us, that we would continue our way of life, and that the land and resources would continue to be ours. We are speaking about fish, game, land, minerals, forests, wild rice, throughout the whole 55,000 square miles of Treaty Number 3. For example, the chiefs were promised exclusive fishing rights on the whole Lake of the Woods as an inducement to sign Treaty Number 3.
These and many other promises that were made have not yet been honoured. Under the new constitution of Canada, these promises over-ride anything the Indian Act does or could say. It is time to begin the hard work of putting those words into effect, into practice. Our fishing rights must be honoured and protected. Our rights to wild rice, game, headland waters and the lands under them must be perfected by actual transfers of these lands and resources to our bands.
It should be noted, had Treaty 3 been kept, had we retained control of the resources and shared in their development, we would not be in the present situation of subjugation whereby we have to plead our case with government agencies whenever we require funding for a worthwhile project. Thus, the development of self-government must be built on the restoration of our rights and our resources.
In the process of restoring our resources, we expect a good deal of opposition. This opposition may persuade federal legislators to shirk their moral and legal duties. We have seen this before. In our own band’s history, when non-Indian business interests wanted Sultana Island, the southeast portion of our reserve, the federal government lay down and played dead. They turned over the land, which became the largest
gold-producing mine in Lake of the Woods for 30 years, and our band never received a cent or the land back as yet.
Another example is the recent fishing agreement signed by Ontario and the Indian organizations of Ontario on behalf of the chiefs. Canada sat in on and extended negotiations beyond the six-month limit to ten months and then, at the twelfth hour, refused to sign. Minor changes are being negotiated, and it is expected Canada will sign at the end of the month.
Yet, although this fishing agreement did not deal with the actual treaty promises and the aboriginal rights of our people, it is supposed to be a first step towards recognizing these rights. The result has been a very aggressive campaign by the non-Indian community against that small step, aided and abetted by our members of Parliament and MPPs, we hasten to add.
If you ask why non-Indians have responded so viciously, it is because they are gearing up for the constitutional talks and the positions they expect us to put forward. It is going to be very unpopular to restore lands, resources and other rights to Indian nations, because the non-Indians have been poaching them for generations. They do not want to know the truth. They want to forget, and they want you to forget our rights and claims. We are here today to remind you of the highest priority to be given to recognizing and acting on respecting our rights.
The Rat Portage Band Council wishes to address this question to the committee. Colleagues have identified for further study the need for
an office of the aboriginal rights commissioner to protect the recognition of special rights of aboriginal peoples in Canada to be considered for a function analogous to the Commissioner of Official Languages.
What type of powers will this commission have? Certainly, the authority given by Order in Council to the Indian Commission of Ontario is insufficient to bring any issue to resolution or settle any claims. There is no authority to call the parties to present evidence, to meet deadlines or to reach decisions. As well, the Commissioner of Official Languages does not have the full authority to make the changes required. He only submits an annual report to Parliament.
What we seek in making our rights a reality, in seeking entrenchment in the constitution and full recognition and implementation, would require an office of aboriginal and treaty rights protection, as recommended in the declaration of the principles of aboriginal peoples by the First Nations in November, 1981, and ratified by all the chiefs in Canada last April.
I hope we can elaborate on any of the points we have made when you direct questions to us. Our women band members have also asked to make a presentation to you on some other points.
Thank you for your time and attention.
The Chairman: Thank you very much, Chief Kakeway.
The second presentation is from one of your band members, Mrs. Madeleine Skead.
Mrs. Madeleine Skead (Band Member, Rat Portage Band): Thank you.
I would like to begin by thanking you, Mr. Chairman, the committee members, observers and my chief for the opportunity to address you on this issue, which we have discussed among ourselves for many, many hours; that is, the issue of status of an Indian woman who has married a non-Indian.
I understand it has been raised and dealt with by this committee, but nevertheless, you are willing to hear from the Indian people on this issue at this time. By adopting the amendment to the Indian Act to remove sex discrimination as recommended, we feel the objective as stated in the House of Commons, Issue 58, page 9, is being realized:
Our objective is to continue until there is not a single Indian in Canada that has not been absorbed into the body politic, and there is no Indian question, and no Indian department.
It is the status Indian who will lose. We have the list here: loss of freedom of choice; loss of special rights; loss of special status as a nation; deterioration/abolition of the reserve system; loss of local control by chief and council; disappearance of traditional way of life.
I am a status Indian, and I made a free choice to marry and raise my children as a status Indian. We chose to live on the reserve, to abide by the terms of treaty; and now we are faced with the eventuality of our children’s losing their benefits, both economic and traditional.
My rights and the rights of my children and grandchildren are in danger. The rights of all the future status people are threatened.
Once the aboriginal and treaty rights are taken away, our local government will follow, since bands will not be able to control our membership. The reserve economy will further suffer. The abolition of the treaty will then take place. Our freedom of choice will be gone. The reserve system will cease; in short, there will no longer exist a reserve for anyone.
As a status Indian, I live under my special rights as determined by the treaty, by my aboriginal rights and by my chief and council. Who is an Indian and who is not is not the question. The question is: What is going to be the status of the reserve if this comes into effect?
If you impose a solution to this question on our bands, you will have killed us as people. The survival of the band is the key to the survival of Indians, and the authority of the band council in these matters is essential to the survival of the band. If band council authority is diluted, the Indian status is diluted; and we are on the way to assimilation.
The Chairman: Mrs. Skead, if I can go back to that Issue 58, page 9, would you tell us whose quote that is?
Mrs. Skead: Campbell Scott, 1920.
The Chairman: For purposes of clarification for those who are here today, I do not want anyone to think the quote Mrs. Skead has used was a recommendation of a recent parliamentary committee.
The quote is from the Assistant Deputy Superintendent of Indian Affairs, Duncan Campbell Scott, in 1920, and in that year an official of the Government of Canada said that was the aim of the department. I think, Mrs. Skead, I would have to say there has been a lot of progressive thinking, thank goodness, since 1920 and I am not aware really of anyone in government who would see that as an objective today. So I think it has to be seen in its historical context and not interpreted as being a recommendation of the first subcommittee that looked into the question of the Indian Act.
Mr. Allmand: A further clarification, Mr. Chairman. I want to make absolutely clear that that committee is not this committee.
The Chairman: Of course not.
Mr. Allmand: That was a completely different subcommittee which dealt with an issue. Some members here were on that committee but I think the majority of us were not with that subcommittee.
The Chairman: I think just to drive the point home, it might be well if I just read the one paragraph that precedes the quote that Mrs. Skead used. It says as follows:
Between 1913 and 1930 the administration of Indian followed a rigid policy affairs of forced assimilation. Traditional practices, such as the sun dance and the potlatch, were prohibited and traditional languages were supressed. The Assistant Deputy Superintendent of Indian Affairs, Duncan Campbell Scott, in explaining the rationale for changes to the legislation in 1920, said. . .
And then we have the quote that Mrs. Skead has used. I just interject there so that we are very clear that this is not some modern committee of Parliament that is advocating such a policy.
Chief Kakeway: It still has entered the House of Commons, in September 1982.
The Chairman: I am not sure I follow . entered? .. what has not entered?
Chief Kakeway: Well, it is still in there, even if it is not …
The Chairman: Do you mean because it is in this document?
Chief Kakeway: Yes.
The Chairman: The reason it is in this document is because this was the first subcommittee that was dealing with the question of Indian women in the Indian Act, and what they were getting at this time was an historical perspective; it was being set in context of what had taken place in this century and so that is why it is in this document. It is not advocating that policy in this document, it is there as part of the historical perspective in which the subcommittee was dealing with a current problem and asked by Parliament to bring forth recommendations to resolve that particular problem. I can see why a misunderstanding would arise, but we should be very clear that this is not something that has come from a recent committee; it was a policy that goes a long way back and has since been abandoned.
Chief Kakeway: I think this policy is still being pursued. I think that was evident in the 1969 white paper and some other documents we have received from government, going through this process of assimilation.
The Chairman: We could certainly enter into debate. Your point would be, Chief Kakeway, that in subtle ways, that there are still some who believe that is the correct way to go. I want to say again that any of the progressive thinkers in Parliament with whom I have discussed matters of this kind certainly do not share any conviction that that was either an acceptable, a wise or, in any way, a well-intentioned policy. I think the white paper to which you refer was a clear indication that it was totally unacceptable to the Indian people of this country.
Councillor Doug Skead (Rat Portage Band Council): Further to that, I think the reference was made on this quote because of the act regarding sex discrimination. I think it will be further explained if the question period starts.
The Chairman: Okay, I will call on our vice-chairman, Mr. Schellenberger.
Mr. Schellenberger: I would like to discuss the first brief. On page 3, I note that you state with some concern that we talk about amending the Indian Act now and that the first step in honouring our treaties and aboriginal rights of the people has been taken, and that is the conference that is coming up in March to discuss the definition of aboriginal rights. I guess what I am saying or asking you: Is it your feeling that the committee make certain recommendations regarding the way that the Department of Indian Affairs handles the fiscal relations with Indian people ? I do not believe that requires an amendment to the Indian Act. It would really be a change in the manner that certain aspects are conducted, and I will give an example. Economic development: Rather than the Indian people going to the Department of Indian Affairs for economic development moneys, that perhaps the Government of Canada, through the Department of Industry, Trade and Commerce or another department, would make certain moneys available to an Indian co-operative or an Indian bank, and Indian people then would make the decision as to how the money would be spent. Could you see that as a type of recommendation that might be worth looking at or implementing and, in the same sense, that it would not in any way harm the aboriginal conference that is going on in March?
Chief Kakeway: Perhaps the presentation speaks for itself of what we have in mind. Let us settle the real issues first.
Mr. Schellenberger: Well, the process is in place to do that.
Chief Kakeway: Now, it is?
Mr. Schellenberger: Well, I suspect that is happening in March, that discussion will happen in March.
Chief Kakeway: Well, your question really has no bearing on the presentation we gave.
The Chairman: Roberta.
Ms Jamieson: I have two or three questions, Mr. Chairman. I know Rat Portage was involved with the signing of Treaty Number 3 and we have heard in Alberta and here as well that the interpretation of the treaties is a real problem because the Indians have their ideas of what was agreed to and government has its ideas of what was agreed to. And sometimes the treaty does not reflect what Indians feel it ought to reflect.
In Treaty Number 3, I understand there is at least one other treaty in existence that is not the same as the one that is written and printed and out and about. Do you think clarification meetings should be entered into to update the treaties, as we heard from Peter Kelly this morning; translate, for instance, the annuity payments into transfer payments today,
or update and modernize the treaties, and agreement on what it is come to some they mean?
Chief Kakeway: I think that would be one of the steps that could be taken to get things off the ground and, as I said, just tackle the real issues. When you refer to treaties, when your survival depends on natural resources, who in his right mind would give up these natural resources?
Ms Jamieson: In fact, in many of the treaties Indian access to the natural resources is preserved.
Another question I have is on the protection office. I agree with you on your comments on the Indian Commission, surprisingly enough, and on the Commissioner of Official Languages. I wonder what kind of power this commission ought to get. I know the declaration speaks to the office and it says it should have almost international stature. But let us take an example. The hunting rights of Treaty Number 3 Indians are protected in the treaty, any version you look at. The Ontario government has the Game and Fish Act that regulates hunting. What do you think this office should do when they see legislation coming forward that affects treaty rights to hunt? What should that protection office be able to do? Sol Sander- son from FSI has suggested that maybe they should have almost a right of veto over that kind of legislation. I just wonder what your thinking is on that.
Chief Kakeway: It would be kind of hard for me to elaborate on it, because I do not know what comments were made by other chiefs, but there certainly has to be some kind of mechanism of veto or consent, in order that the Indian people get the maximum benefit from these resources.
Ms Jamieson: Okay. We are getting further information from the Federation of Saskatchewan Indians and the Saskatchewan Indians on this issue. Maybe when you have had an opportunity to look at what they have in mind and at some of the other testimony we will be receiving, you would care to comment further.
Chief Kakeway: It is kind of hard for me to answer questions, because I am not as technical as you people. For our benefit, I think if we could answer some of these technical questions at a later date, that would be appropriate.
Ms Jamieson: Chief, I appreciate that.
My last comment is on the presentation by Mrs. Skead. With regard to the quote that is in there, if it is the view of Mrs. Skead and the chief from Rat Portage that this is, in fact, continuing today, I think that is an important part of the evidence, no matter where the quote came from, and there are many people who would agree with you. I wonder if you could comment on why you are so concerned about this, Mrs. Skead; what do you think the effects of the changes are going to be on Indian government, as you see it?
Mrs. Skead: What I am concerned about—and why I put that there—is point number 1, lost freedom of choice. That is why these points were put here; from that quote I took .. . these points 1, 2 and 3.
Ms Jamieson: So you feel you have set out there what is affected.
Mrs. Skead: Yes.
Ms Jamieson: Thank you.
The Chairman: Mr. Manly.
Mr. Manly: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would like to thank the representatives from the Rat Portage Band for their briefs. I would like to ask Mrs. Skead some questions about her brief. I was a member of the first subcommittee that dealt with discrimination in the Indian Act and, while I do not necessarily agree with all the recommendations, I certainly do agree with the recommendation that the discriminatory sections of the Indian Act should be eliminated and, therefore, I am concerned about your fear that this is going to affect the status of the reserves. I wonder if you could explain to the committee your concern. How will eliminating discrimination against Indian women in the Indian Act affect the reserves in a bad way? Could you explain that, please?
Mrs. Skead: The way I see it—which I stated over here—is that that is going to overrule our chief and band council on the reserve. That is how I see it. Somebody else is going to rule them.
Mr. Manly: Who would that somebody else be? I do not understand that.
Mrs. Skead: This, for instance, is overruling the chief and council on any reserve.
Mr. Manly: But we already have an Indian Act that overrules a chief and council on questions of band membership, do we not? A chief and council today do not control their band membership, do they?
Chief Kakeway: We have to go back to the treaties.
Mr. Manly: If we go back to the treaties, what is said in the treaties?
Chief Kakeway: That we never gave up our resources, our rights . . .
Mr. Manly: Right.
Chief Kakeway: —our land.
Mr. Manly: Right. And if a woman marries a non-Indian person, does she give up all those resources? Does it say that in the treaties?
Chief Kakeway: She certainly had the choice. Is it discriminatory for somebody to take herself out of the treaty?
Mr. Manly: But does it say in the treaty marries a non-Indian that if a woman person she takes herself out of the treaty? Does it say that in the treaty?
Chief Kakeway: That is why we have to go back and look into that.
Mr. Manly: If an Indian man marries a non-Indian woman, does he take himself out of the treaty?
Mr. Skead: Maybe I can try to explain some of the feelings. We have discussed this for quite a while. We have had long sessions discussing the issues that were brought up by the status women on the reserve. I think, as to your question concerning a man’s keeping his status when he marries a non- status woman, the only thing the man has in his status is the guarantee in the treaty. That is the only little protection the reserves have right now. We have had instances given this morning of other bands that made submissions, requested changes in the act. The Child Welfare Act was one of them; once that act was enforced on the reserve, the chief and band council no longer had control to tell the Children’s Aid, or whoever was looking after the benefit of the children, to come and remove them from the reserve. They entered the reserve without going through the band council. The education act is another thing. They do not have to deal with the Indian government, the local government, they by-pass that totally. The act to remove sex discrimination, if it comes into force … even though it has been said that it would still be the band councils that would make the decisions, few bands here have taken the they would accept this act; once one or maybe two bands accept this act, there is blanket coverage. Everybody has to abide by the act. It becomes law in Canada.
Then what happens—we are talking about Indian govern- ment and local control here, and up to this time, in all the submissions that have been given this morning, I have not heard of anybody, of any band, that has been in control of their band. They have been controlled by the act, the legislation. In relation to this issue, removing sex discrimination, the woman has a choice: she can stay on the reserve or leave. They have the choice of looking for better security and, if they can find that with non-status, they have that choice. The band has no control to tell that lady: You are making a wrong decision, you stay on the reserve. That would be discrimination on the part of the chief and council.
The man, also, by a different process, has a choice of looking for better security, where he can reject reserve life and enfranchise himself to look for better security—which is the same thing as the woman did—by the act, if it comes into effect. That will also include the man who has made a choice to get out of the reserve. He will also have the same opportunity as the woman who has left—for the same reasons, for security, nothing else.
So the man should also have the same opportunity to come back to the reserve. And by the act here, he will have. What you are going to have is … The reserves are having problems in meeting the demands of … the people who did stay to look after the interests of the band are going to suffer. The status
women are going to lose their freedom of choice. If the act comes into effect, we are going to have no more reserves.
So how are the ladies going to benefit by abolishing the reserve system? They are still going to be on the outside. They are going to take along the status women and all their children. This is why the quote was brought up: because this is the step that is being taken. The local control of the chief and council is no longer in effect. We can talk all day about Indian and local government and how we want to see it done; but one section of the act is going to change that. That is going to override the control of the chief and council.
This is why these points were put in that form. Your traditional way of life, which is very important, is going to disappear. I think this was thought of very carefully, and this is why there are a lot of questions. Some women have said who has the power to decide whether I am Indian or not? I do not think any one of us has that power, to tell anybody he or she is not Indian. I think the status of the reserves is the thing we are talking about here. All the other acts that have been brought up, all the other submissions that were brought up this morning—not one has claimed control of their own resources and control of their own bands.
Mr. Manly: Can I ask you this question? If some way could be found to preserve the status of the reserves and at the same time to remove the discrimination against Indian women in the Indian Act, would you agree to removing the discrimination, then-if some way could be found to preserve the status of reserves?
Chief Kakeway: I guess the only way I could answer that is, you put back the control with the people —and not by governments—where they could decide on their own what they want to do.
Mr. Skead: May I answer your question in a manner different from George’s?
If the government is so concerned about giving status back to the Indian women, I agree they should give them their status back, but on a different basis, where they start them off on a new reserve, where they start their own local government, local Indian control, without disrupting the bands that had rejected . . . [inaudible: technical difficulties.]
Mr. Manly: I am sure the committee is going to have to work at this question, and the minister is going to have to work at it, because he has promised he is going to bring in some legislation that is going to remove discrimination. You say the question should be given back to the local people, but this morning we heard testimony that because the House of Commons, because Parliament, created the problem, therefore parliamentarians should solve it. To an extent I agree with that, because it was not Indian people who created the Indian Act. It was not Indian people who wrote that discrimination into the Indian Act. It was non-Indians. I think it has done a great deal of damage to Indian communities. While I support the need for Indian people and Indian bands and reserves to run their own lives, I feel we have an obligation to remove that
kind of injustice before we hand over the authority. I would agree with the testimony I heard this morning, that we created the problem in Parliament, and we have a responsibility to help solve it.
The Chairman: Thank you very much.
Is there any further comment? Chief?
Chief Kakeway: Then why are we about to solve the problem? As far as we are concerned, when you talk about local government, this has nothing to do with funding. The whole thing is based on Section 12 of the Indian Act; and that is all they are trying to solve.
The Chairman: Mr. Oberle, do you want to ask some questions?
Mr. Oberle: Just a brief comment, Mr. Chairman. I was going to help Mr. Manly dig himself into his usual hole. Unfortunately, he has done that quite ably without me.
I appreciate the wisdom that was expressed here this morning. Unfortunately, this committee is no longer considering the question of Section 12(1)(b). We have reported on that, and it is up to the minister to take the necessary action.
Unfortunately, the white man, usually, when he finally, after hundreds of years, begins to realize that he has made mistakes, then sets about correcting the mistakes in his own ways as well; and that is what some people think we should be doing with this particular section. I agree wholeheartedly with you that the question of membership is one that has to be decided on the local level, and anything else we do may restore one right and one privilege but it will take away another.
So that is unfortunate. Let me tell you that we are all very cognizant and aware of the mistakes that were made initially and that may well be repeated now if we are not careful. So we will address ourselves to that.
The Chairman: Any further comments?
Mr. Skead: On the first submission by Chief George Kakeway, regarding the fishing rights that were signed by the Ontario government, we came across the—when we talk about discrimination in the things that we do and the legislators enforce, here is a good example: the fishing rights and how the people reacted when it was announced that the Ontario government had signed the fishing agreement with the Indian people.
I think on the paper here it says: “Angler rages over fishing agreements.” Further down, it says: “labelled reverse discrimination”. To me, the reaction of the, people was that they could be cutting off an Indian’s arm piece by piece and it would not be discrimination. Now, while they have given me the chance to have a little control over the fishing rights, they are claiming that it is reverse discrimination. I cannot cut off the man’s arm for trying to control my rights.
When they make a statement like that, it means that they only consider themselves and they are not discriminating when they do that, but, when you put the shoe on the other foot, it is discrimination, you reverse that discrimination. That is how I understand the statement that was made in regard to this fishing right. We have no rights to talk about, according to this statement—as far as we are concerned. That goes for whenever an act comes into force; that is something that everybody has to abide by, not only one band, not only two bands, not only one province, it covers everybody. That is the danger of the submissions we saw, which we mentioned in these submissions.
The Chairman: Any further comments or questions? Mr. Allmand.
Mr. Allmand: I say, to the gentleman who has just spoken, thank God the people who speak that way were not in the government—or are not still there, because the government signed the fishing agreement with the Indian people despite some bigoted people who .
A Witness: Not the Canadian government.
Mr. Allmand: No, but not in the Ontario one. We will try to push-I meant the Ontario. I can remember earlier days when I would have to try to sign agreements and it was vice-versa. All I want to tell the witnesses is that there are people who think like that but, thank God, there are more and more people who do not think like that, to wit the Ontario government, which was willing to proceed with that—which I think is a good sign. They would not have done that a few years ago—they did not a few years ago.
The Chairman: Clem Chartier.
Mr. Chartier: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Just one question: If the legislation were such that each band council or Indian nation were to determine its own membership, or to have the right to determine its own membership, would there be any objection to their deciding on whether or not they would repatriate or reinstate the Indians that lost status within their own respective nations or reserves?
Chief Kakeway: I think you stated those opinions earlier this morning, so I cannot answer your question.
The Chairman: Any further questions or comments? All right. Seeing none, I wish to thank the Rat Portage Band, the chief, Chief Kakeway, Mrs. Skead and Mr. Skead for their presentations and for responding to questions from members of the special committee. Thank you very much for appearing and helping us in our work.
I call next Shoal Lake Band Number 39, Chief Robin Greene. We have a document from Shoal Lake Band Number 39. Chief, we are pleased to have you appear before us. Is it your intention to read this into the record?
Chief Robin Greene (Shoal Lake Band Number 39):
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. First of all, I would just clarify, before I make like to my introduction, that, for the purpose of your committee, in relation to the records, my presentation, as you mentioned, is for Shoal Lake Band Number 39. But that does not necessarily mean, in my presentation, that some of the things I would have loved to have inserted in there I am not supporting. I, as a band and a chief—as you can see, I am sitting alone here, and the only reason why I am a chief is because I am alone in that band. Anyway, I guess I do not have to replay the tape of the AFN and also the Grand Council.
In the Animki Tribal Council there are four bands and I am a member of that council. We do, I guess, respect and also have confidence in the leadership of the AFN and the Grand Council. I do not mention any aboriginal and treaty rights. But, for your information, and because of my personal feeling and the attitude, I guess, that I have toward your committee, I feel that you, as a committee, although given a mandate, started off with a horse without a cart.
I feel, from listening to the discussions, that the questions that have arisen from the committee are somewhat irrelevant to the point that we are not protected, as Indian people, in Canada. I feel that first things should have come first—the entrenchment of aboriginal and treaty rights—then other things should have followed, like this committee. We had fought our battles with the government about our protection. What as my role as a chief this afternoon is that of expressing the grass-roots concern of the band that I represent.
The legislative and institutional arrangement currently in place with respect to Indian people is not working. Federal and provincial governments were established by non-Indians to serve the needs of their communities. The laws and regulations which these governments produce reflect the values of non- Indian society. They do not reflect the Indian way of life. Consequently, when they have been made to apply to Indian communities disaster has resulted. Following is an outline of the problems most of the reserves in this area have encountered with government-run, on-reserve programs.
Education, Federal Schools on Reserve: The facilities currently in place lag far behind acceptable provincial standards. Several of the school buildings have been condemned as fire traps. The federal government has, in fact, acknowledged that federal schools on reserve have not received priority funding—Phase 1: An Education Paper.
Provincial schools: The majority of the children living on reserves in this area attend provincial schools off reserve. The education programs in place in these schools have little
relevance to their lives. As a result, the dropout rate is currently between 85% and 90% in many schools.
Housing: At present, all reserves are in a desperate need for more housing. Although this problem is recognized as a priority issue at the reserve level, it is not so recognized by the government. Housing programs lack the funding to provide the housing that is needed.
Economic development: The unemployment rate on some reserves in this area reaches as high as 97% during nine months of the year. Summer employment programs decrease this rate slightly during the rest of the year. The government does not understand the situation or provide the funding necessary to solve this long-term problem.
Social services: All the laws and regulations administered by the social welfare agencies and workers are based on a non- Indian concept of the family and intra-family relationships. When applied to Indian communities, they create problems rather than offer solutions, and often hinder rather than help as they are intended to do.
My conclusions: The system currently in place is not working because it is not our system. It does not represent our way of life and therefore has no meaning or use to us. For this reason, it is difficult if not impossible to respect the policies and institutions which are made to apply to our communities. What is needed is a government that understands the problems existing within its community and can establish the priorities and ways of attacking these problems based on understanding. The recognition and establishment of Indian self-government at the grass-roots level is the only way to achieve this end.
We therefore recommend that band councils and tribal councils be recognized as the organizations required to fully implement Indian self-government.
The band council mandate: Band councils are the voices of their communities. They must be given complete authority to make decisions and act on behalf of their people. This means that they have authority to establish their own budgets and control how funds are spent.
Tribal councils’ mandate: Tribal councils should operate as administrative bodies providing clerical, administrative and technical assistance to band councils. It is essential that they establish their own budgets and monitor the spending of funds.
Funding: Band and tribal councils should deal with Treasury Board directly.
I thank you.
The Chairman: Chief Greene, thank you very much for a thoughtful presentation.
Mr. Oberle, do you have some questions on the document?
Mr. Oberle: Just a brief question, Chief. You are saying that we hitched ourselves to a horse without a cart; in other words, we attacked the problem at the wrong end. I guess some of us are thinking that if you have a horse without a cart you get on top of it and you can get along much more swiftly than if you had to drag a cart.
But what I read from your brief—and I would like you to state that to clarify it—is that probably, instead of us making recommendations for the establishment of some structure or form of Indian self-government, you would prefer that that be left to the bands and the tribal councils to do, and all you really need from us is the encouragement or the jurisdiction or the right to do it. Is that what you assert in your brief?
Chief Greene: Yes. I guess the point I am trying to get across is the insecureness, as a responsible person, for my band to feel that now the new Constitution of Canada has the word “affirmed” as the basis of the status quo that we once had.
I feel that if I was to be fully recognized as an aboriginal and treaty rights in that Constitution then I would feel secure that these implementations of Indian government are recognized. Those were the very three things as a politician that I used to lobby for: aboriginal and treaty rights and self-determination.
So, in that line of thinking, naturally, that is what I still feel today: that Indian government naturally now in some areas across Canada is practised by tribal councils. As I mentioned before, I am a member of a tribal council. We are in an exploration stage to see how we can better facilitate our people than the department does because a lot of these things that we have gone through for over 100 years still do not work for us. So 100 years, to me, is a very long term, and by working in our way and in our system I think we can develop certainly something that can rectify a lot of these grievances.
Mr. Oberle: So you are saying, Chief, that, even though you are still exploring and developing the concept of tribalism and tribal government, in essence you have already fixed in your mind how you could better manage the affairs of your people and all you are really asking us to do is to provide you with the resources that we are now spending and wasting on you and get out of your way to let you do it in your own way. Is that what you are saying?
Chief Greene: I guess that is the point I am making, yes.
Mr. Oberle: Okay. Thank you.
The Chairman: Mr. Allmand.
Mr. Allmand: Chief Greene, you said that it would have been better if certain rights were first entrenched in the Constitution and then this committee came afterwards. In a sense, that is correct, and I support that; but you must remember that those people who will be at the constitutional conference on the one side will be the Government of Canada, which is the administration, the Prime Minister and the Cabinet and the bureaucracy, whereas we here at this meeting are just the legislative side, the Parliament representing three political parties, and with this committee representatives from the Assembly of First Nations, the Native Council and the Native Women’s Association.
None of us could have the right to sit at the table at that conference; none of us here will be, unless Mr. Trudeau puts Mr. Penner in the Cabinet before that or something like that—or Mr. Tousignant—unless one of us got elevated, but I do not think that will happen.
By the way, we put pressure as parliamentarians on the government to do something about Indian self-government even before they announced the date of that constitutional conference, but what we are trying to do is make sure that by holding hearings across the country we give the grass-roots Indian people in Canada, the chiefs and band councils and tribal councils, a chance to put on the record publicly what they want. You have just done that by saying what you want.
So we are trying to go about and get a consensus and maybe before that conference we can, in our caucuses and so on, get up and tell our leaders what you people have been saying out in the country so they will be a little more flexible and be ready to listen to you at the table or listen to you and your representatives.
Let me ask you this. I think your brief is very good and right to the point. In two and a half pages, you have made a lot of points. You say the basis for Indian self-government is the bands and tribal councils. You recommend they should deal directly with the Treasury Board on funding, and therefore set their own priorities and decide how they are going to spend that money.
If that were to take place, do you foresee a complete phaseout of the Department of Indian Affairs? Do you visualize any role at all for it in the future, according to your own view? What would you leave with any Department of Indian Affairs, if anything at all? Is it necessary at all?
Chief Greene: Let me put it this way. In the exploratory visits we have made with the other tribals, that is the procedure they have taken, to decrease the services directly from the district level. What we have seen—and what seems to be working for them—is facilitating the needs of the areas they represent. If the system becomes the government for our people, I believe that is the only way we can ever survive. Naturally, our people are only coming to know that. We know what the problem is and we know what is at the grassroots.
You mentioned decreasing the civil servants. One of the things I have experienced, naturally, is the case about decreasing them. I know most of these people—and I have nothing against them—were never trained to be civil servants. I know two of them personally who were just taxi drivers around the Kenora streets; they now have senior titles at the region.
So the unfortunate problem our people have is that they do not have credentials. The majority of our people do not have credentials to be in that level. That is where our system fails.
But in reality, before Europeans came, our people had their own government. We had our own government, and that is the system we are trying to implement to some point. Where it had worked for them, naturally we are hoping it will work for us also. The only difference I have seen and experienced is that there are no records, to my knowledge, of their government. It is a hereditary type of government to which we always refer.
Mr. Allmand: Am I understanding you to say, while you would like to see the Department of Indian Affairs cut back quite a bit, you feel the bands and the tribal councils should deal directly with the Treasury Board? Are you saying, at least for a period of time, you can see some role for the Department of Indian Affairs to continue for a while? I know that is what some people have said to us. I was just trying to fully understand what you are saying.
If they were to close down a lot of these district and regional offices, they would have more money to give to the bands. If they took all that and actually gave it, still used it for Indian affairs, they would have more money to give directly to the bands and the tribal councils to use as they see fit, without paying salaries for civil servants. I am really trying to understand what you want to tell us.
Chief Greene: There was a question here directed to the tribal council this afternoon: Since the allocations are small in the area, how do you expect to operate under these small allocations? I guess that is one of the things we see by decreasing the department, as you mentioned. The salaries and the operations the department has amount to quite a few dollars.
I have always been a critic of who I am to the department. I have always felt it is a top-heavy bureaucracy. There are more civil servants than Indians, and naturally, they have more money than the Indians. That is the way I have always viewed it, and that is the way I have always continued to view it.
There is a tribal council now in operation. Their argument is based on the fact that they are in competition with two bands governed by DIAND, which has 655 civil servants under two bands, whereas the tribal council of the 8 other bands are progressing more and also facilitating the needs of their people on the reserves. At this stage, they have tried to justify who is doing a better job, the tribal council or the department.
Mr. Allmand: Thank you very much.
The Chairman: Thanks, Warren.
Mr. Jim Manly.
Mr. Manly: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I would like to thank Chief Greene for his presentation. In it, you outline the failure of the programs that have been run by the federal and provincial governments, supposedly on your behalf; and you suggest there should be a direct relationship between Indian bands and tribal councils and the Treasury Board.
I wonder if you could indicate whether or not Indian bands, in relationship, would still be enabled to apply for funds for job creation to such government departments as the Canada Employment Centres and DREE; whether Indian bands would want to be able to relate to CMHC for housing; or if all of that should be put to one side, and any moneys that might normally go through those programs would be lumped in with the funding coming directly through Treasury Board to the bands and tribal councils.
Chief Greene: I guess that is the control we are hoping would come to us in the future: to handle, administer and create more job opportunities on the reserve. I did not just bring out that high rate of unemployment on my reservations. The true fact is that 97% is the rate during 9 months of the year.
It is often said Indian people will never be self-sufficient because they are drunk and lazy. I do not buy that. If we are given the opportunity and the resources we feel are rightly ours, I think we can come up to this standard of society in the world today.
I know many of our people are just doing that, but you do not hear about them. You always hear the bad side in any particular issue or any problem. I think the statistics would show some of our people are really very progressive.
Mr. Manly: For example, in terms of such things as tuition payments to students attending college or university, where they apply to a government funding agency, how would you want that handled? Have you any suggestions?
Chief Greene: One thing I think most of the bands are experiencing. As I mentioned, also, the drop-out rate is very high. Tuition fees coming out from our bands are regulated under an agreement made by the federal and provincial people, whereby—regardless of the number of student dropouts during the year—we still have to come up with those dollars for that fiscal year. These are the things I am talking about—provincial and federal agreements which are not based on the aspirations of the people, nor do they meet their needs one way
or another. You know, it is very difficult to operate like that, where we cannot get what is rightfully ours to keep operating and to utilize funds for other purposes in band management. Regardless, we still have to pay out that certain number of dollars locked into that agreement.
Mr. Manly: The government in the past has believed it to be a good thing to set aside a certain amount of money for Indian young people to go on to college or university and to help them with their expenses. Now, should that money be paid directly to bands, and have the bands decide whether or not they want to use it for those purposes? For example, should bands be responsible for making all decisions as to which programs their people would be able to have access to?
Chief Greene: I certainly feel like that, because to some extent in our band we do have that control, although it is not the total control we are discussing here.
We are in that phase of local control where we do the hiring and firing of teachers, but to develop education is another story. We have two-room classrooms on reservations which were condemned just before Christmas. They are firetraps. They have no fire escape exits for the little kids going down to the basement. These things I am truly expressing to you: The needs of the community should be met, rather than when our people need a school all that is provided a one-room classroom. I think the needs should be recognized.
Mr. Manly: The bands should be the bodies to determine what needs come first?
Chief Greene: Exactly.
Mr. Manly: Thank you, Mr. Greene. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The Chairman: Roberta Jamieson.
Ms Jamieson: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you very much, Chief Greene. Given your comments as they relate to the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, I wonder if it surprises you that, in 1982-1983, there is supposed to be $52 million for education in Ontario, 41 person-years and $38 million for housing in Ontario, and $3.2 million for fire protection. All that is to provide a climate of stability. Maybe you can comment. Do you think you are benefiting from any of that?
Chief Greene: I will give you the housing example. I can appreciate that everybody gets excited over a million-dollar figure. But as it applies across Canada, it does not amount to anything. Regarding the allocations we got last year, we went over our budget and they were applied for next year’s housing— which is this year. We went over and above our budget to accommodate 10 units, to facilitate 10 families, whereas we
had 35 applications. I think there is something wrong somewhere. The dollars are naturally there, but certainly we are not getting them.
Ms Jamieson: You commented earlier that you do not have people with the credentials to deliver the kinds of service which the bureaucrats are currently providing. Do you feel that, if tribal councils had the relationship you want, you would then have Indian institutions with Indian credentials to serve Indian people according to their needs and priorities? Is that your goal?
Chief Greene: Yes, those are the aspirations I have. I will give you an example, Ms Jamieson.
Maybe you have heard of a gentleman down east who implements training programs on the reserves. When that man developed our program one of our members asked him, when he wanted a co-ordinator: Does any of our membership have to be a “credential” type of member to be a co-ordinator? That man said, no; I am an Indian and I realize who you are. I would prefer to see a man with grade four education who is an elder. As long as I know he is an elder, I know that man will do the job. The grade four mark does not mean anything to me. That is what was said. These are the things I am talking about. These are things with regard to government which can only apply on the reservation.
Ms Jamieson: I would agree with you, Robin, because we have heard several times from officials who have come before us that, in fact, it is the intention of the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development to allow Indian people to develop, but to do so as they reach stages of advancement. Now, who defines that advancement? Currently, it is the Department of Indian Affairs.
Now I note that on page two of your brief you say:
Band councils are the voices of their communities. They must be given complete authority to make decisions and act on behalf of their people.
The minister also would argue, in my view, that that is precisely what he is trying to do under the Indian government legislation bill. Would you comment on that and the whole direction the government seems to be moving in?
Chief Greene: Yes. Naturally I feel very depressed about the whole bureaucratic system; every time Indian people tend to make progress there is always a circular that pops out from nowhere, again being developed by the bureaucrats in Ottawa or by the region. For example, Circular D-2, which in some points tried to discourage the tribal council: next year after the fiscal term the tribal councils, if they are funded the allocations that the bands normally get, will be tapped in if they want to continue their tribal council. So naturally that is
something where we do not have the power to compete—the tribal council versus DIAND—this type of thing. You know, it is just out of the question. They know what we are doing and they know we are doing it better, so they develop a Circular D- 2, which restricts again the funds and resources that we like to work with.
Ms Jamieson: Over and above the financial end of it, have you given . . . ? We have had some submissions before us that indicate that Indian people would like a voice at a political level as well. I know you have personal experience in the political field and I am going to ask you to draw on that a little bit. Do you think that to accommodate Indian government and Indian people’s rightful place within Canada we ought to have guaranteed seats in the House of Commons or in the Senate, or a separate Indian legislature and a separate Indian senate? Do you have any thoughts on that, Robin?
Chief Greene: I certainly do. I think if we were fortunate enough that the recent thing that happened in Parliament of Peter Ittinuar sitting with the NDP for a good many years and then again getting a sudden recognition, I think if our people had that same recognition I would sort of feel more eased of who we are today. We have always voiced our concerns that we want to be a part of the mechanism that makes the world go around.
Ms Jamieson: This is my last question, Mr. Chairman.
The arguments against guaranteed seats in the House of Commons have been this, and I am sure you know what they are. Say there are four or five seats … There are how many seats?
An hon. Member: 282 seats.
Ms Jamieson: Say there are 282 and there are 4 Indian seats, the Indians would become a percentage of any vote in Parliament. Do you think that is sufficient, or do you think that for instance on issues that affect Indian people or issues that Indian people determine affect them, such as resource allocation or legislation that would affect their rights, they should have a weighted vote—that their four votes should be worth more—or they should have a consent or a veto? What are your views on that?
Chief Greene: One of the things, I guess, going back from experience, is that the numbers game is the white man’s way of achieving things, but as Indians we do not usually recognize this type of game when we say there are 10 of us against 2 of you. I think the true meaning of a working relationship is consensus reached by the people who are working to achieve something. That is my feeling.
Ms Jamieson: Thank you, Robin.
Mr. Oberle: Could I, Mr. Chairman?
Would you permit me, Chief Greene, to ask a follow-up question on that?
I know you heard me ask these questions this morning, and I know you understand the structure under which we are a part and prisoners of our own institutions, so to speak. It is the British parliamentary system, which operates on an adversarial plane. In other words, you have to create an argument in order to bring about a solution, which is certainly not, at least as I understand it from my friends in the Indian community, the traditional way of the Indian people. Consensus is the way.
In light of that—and I know you said earlier that you would feel much more comfortable if greater numbers of Indian people were receiving the kind of respect and recognition that Peter Ittinuar has received in his tenure there—if we used the numbers game, about 5% of the population of Canada are Indians, and that would mean that you would have about 15 to 20 members in the House of Commons who would then have to participate in this adversarial system. Have you made any comparisons with that, or have you given any thought to the establishment or the alternative to that; namely, the establishment of a third level of government, an Indian government with powers equal and in addition to those that for instance the provinces enjoy?
Chief Greene: I guess my true thought about that is that if there were a democratic Canada I would be the one asking you that question; I would be the one to ask you if you would work with us as an Indian government instead of the other way around. I think the Indian people are looking for recognition for their own government. I have the feeling that if we are able to get recognition to some capacity in the government, things will work out a lot better for Canada as a whole. I personally believe that.
Mr. Oberle: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The Chairman: Thank you, Mr. Oberle.
Mr. Schellenberger: I just have a short question. You mentioned economic development and the 97% unemployment rate. Have you received in the last however many years any economic development funds at all, and has the system that is presently in place helped it in any way—obviously it has not—to deal with the unemployment situation on your reserve?
Chief Greene: It is very low if there is some assistance, and a lot to do with it is the criteria of any program that comes out. Some of these things unfortunately do not apply on a small reservation. I guess, again on the per capita basis, there is not much from which to develop.
Mr. Schellenberger: So most of the moneys that come presently are, in your opinion, coming on a per capita basis, and if you are a small reserve there just are not sufficient funds.
Chief Greene: Yes.
Mr. Schellenberger: As you suggest in other areas, the tribal council was to have the direction over those economic develop-
ment funds. Do you envisage then that smaller reserves would be better looked after?
Chief Greene: Naturally the tribal concept, again referring to some of the things that we have already explored in other provinces, is based on the economic development. Their structure is a little different from DIAND, naturally. They have one program administered by certain people who have resource people to work with, and they tap sources—any other sources that can be made available through the bands. Most of these are business-operated bands that are now in existence. Those are caused by the tribal concept.
Mr. Schellenberger: When you make your comment regarding summer employment programs, comments have been made before that a lot of the economic development funds are put into short-term employment, that they really do not serve in any long-term aspect or any long-term employment. Is that your experience, not only in your own band but what you observe in this area—that most of the economic development funds coming to the area are really only short-term employment and do not offer any long-term opportunity?
Chief Greene: Yes, that is the problem we are experiencing directly. I will give you a figure. It has been a little over a year now, I guess, since the first announcement came out that there was $345 million available for economic development. I have not seen one cent of that $345 million going to anyone. It is nice to announce that there is a certain amount of money available, but the reality is that there is just nothing there.
Mr. Schellenberger: That is correct. It has been reduced by the last budget and I think it is around $80 million. I am not sure any of that has been disbursed yet. I hate to say you are correct. We are aware of that.
Just for our own edification, could you give us some of the opportunities that you see in the area for long-term employment that the bands, if given the funds, could enter into in the next few years?
Chief Greene: Naturally I am speaking on behalf of my band. We do have resources; there is potential that those resources can come into today’s market. For example, gold: If you get proper people to explore and do the work, I think gold can be found. We have fishing resources that some members depend on. There are ways to upgrade that type of business, such as open up markets, to preserve and can that type of product. As soon as we talk about these things, the department gets excited and says we do not have the money, or it has been tried before and it did not work.
Mr. Schellenberger: What about the tourist industry—is that something that is being pursued, or is it something that should be left alone?
Chief Greene: Yes, it is something that is under the blanket at the moment.
Mr. Schellenberger: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The Chairman: Thank you very much.
Any further questions? Chief Greene, I agree very much with Warren Allmand, who made the comment that your brief, although not lengthy in terms of pages, did have a good deal of impact on the special committee; its content was certainly excellent. In addition to that, I was certainly impressed, and I think the other members of the committee were, with your carefully considered responses to our questions. I think you have certainly contributed very significantly to our day in Kenora, and we thank you for appearing. Thank you very much, Chief Greene.
Chief Greene: Thank you.
The Chairman: I would just advise members of the special committee that we have a final witness for today, sort of a wrap-up, concluding comments from the Grand Council Treaty No. 3. I understand Grand Chief John Kelly will appear, and when we have heard from Treaty No. 3, from Mr. Kelly, that will conclude our work in Kenora for today.
Chief Kelly, thank you for appearing. I understand you have a document that you wish to read into the record. Or do you have just some comments to make?
Grand Chief John P. Kelly (Grand Council Treaty No. 3): I do have a document I would like to present to the committee. However, there are a couple of things I would like to say at the outset before I make my presentation.
First, in the document I have there is a certain page which has been deleted because we have further research to do. Secondly, I am not feeling too well. Consequently, I would like an opportunity to perhaps further elaborate on the document that I have. As well, as a presenter of this paper, I guess I am supposed to be answering questions. I would like to ask the subcommittee to give me another opportunity to answer questions in relation to the document that I have.
The Chairman: Chief Kelly, do I understand you correctly that you want to make changes in the document you now have and send it to us at a later date and then we will have it subsequently appended to our Minutes of Proceedings and Evidence? Would that be acceptable to you?
Grand Chief Kelly: The page I am referring to is going to be deleted because we have to substantiate what is contained on that particular page.
What I am saying is that the revised document will be sent to the subcommittee.
The Chairman: Very good. You will share with us the material that you now have, but you would want to defer any questions to another opportunity before the special committee.
Grand Chief Kelly: Yes, Mr. Chairman.
The Chairman: All right, that is acceptable. Would you proceed, then?
On a point of order, Mr. Allmand.
Mr. Allmand: I also understood Mr. Kelly to say that he was not feeling very well today. That can happen to any one of us. I just wonder whether he would prefer that we try to do the whole thing at one time. I thought that was perhaps what he was trying to tell us. I am not too clear.
Grand Chief Kelly: Mr. Chairman, what I am saying is that a certain page has been deleted and I. . .
Mr. Allmand: Okay, fine.
The Chairman: Chief Kelly.
Grand Chief Kelly: Mr. Chairman, members of the subcommittee, I would like to acknowledge the tedious, however rewarding, work that you have been assigned. I understand that many presentations were given and all the presentations were excellent.
I would like at the outset to thank my people, my chiefs, for the hard work and the excellent display of work they have given to this subcommittee. At the outset, I would also like to acknowledge again the work that you people are doing. I would like to recommend that all of the presentations be given special attention and that the recommendations are not shelved but rather sent where they should be sent.
Mr. Chairman, as Grand Chief of Treaty No. 3, I welcome you to our land, the land of our forefathers, the land where 9,000 Ojibway persons presently reside on 25 reserves and where our ancestors have lived since time began. We especially welcome you, sir, because the terms of reference of your task force appear to afford the potential to begin to examine in a serious manner issues that have not been confronted head-on by the standing committees in the past. So it is with high, although restrained hopes and expectations that we participate in this process of examining a wide variety of issues in relation to Indian government.
Just briefly then, Mr. Chairman, allow me to put into context the geographical perspective by which Treaty No. 3 areas are comprised. I am sure that has been mentioned, but just allow me to try to put into context or into perspective what our Treaty No. 3 is comprised of. Treaty No. 3 comprises 55,000 square miles within the area covered west from present-day Thunder Bay, north to the watershed, west into Manitoba and south of the American border.
Mr. Chairman, I have had the opportunity and benefit of reviewing previous presentations, deliberations given by my colleagues from the other associations across Canada, and I must tell you that I have been impressed by the single-mindedness and consensus of my fellow Indian leaders when they affirm in their own individualistic and passionate manner their commitment to the principles contained in the Declaration of the First Nations, as well as the fundamental principles inherent in our treaty and aboriginal rights. I, as well, wish for the benefit of the record of these proceedings to reaffirm Treaty No. 3’s commitment to these principles.
Indian government to us implies many things. However, by any definition it necessitates the concept of ultimate authority over our lands, people, and resources. We fervently believe that entrenchment of this concept of Indian government in the new Canadian Constitution should be a priority of the upcoming constitutional conference. As well, there should follow, hand in hand, the acknowledgement by the federal and provincial
governments that the federal government has a constitutional responsibility to guarantee that Indian governments be fully funded in order that they may fulfil their numerous responsibilities as self-governing entities.
We agree with national Chief Ahenakew. He testified on November 4, 1982, that the Indian people want to see Indian governmental powers recognized and entrenched in Canada’s Constitution rather than in mere legislation. By so doing, Dr. Ahenakew was, of course, referring to the fact that such Indian governmental powers could then be abrogated or superseded by a subsequent legislature or a parliament without first having to amend the Constitution. Of course, I would, as well, argue that any proposed constitutional amendment that has either a direct or a indirect bearing on us should have to require the consent of our people. Entrenchment of such a so-called veto power should as well, I submit, be a priority at the forthcoming constitutional conference.
Mr. Chairman, I would appreciate the opportunity to emphasize in the following few minutes a specific direction in which an opportunity exists for your task force to seize. Unlike previous task forces and subcommittees, the mandate you have been provided and the particular political climate in which we presently live appear to offer the opportunity to put forth in a creative manner fundamental alternative approaches. This should be the case, because the base reality is that the federal and provincial governments have not worked.
Obviously, a new federal Indian relationship is necessary. This may appear simplistic, but it is my sincere view that the federal government must first and foremost develop a fundamental respect for the right of Indian people as a sovereign people to make those fundamental decisions that people must make if they are to be individualistic and self-determining. A case in point: The present so-called trust relationship with the Department of Indian Affairs is full of inconsistencies and contradictions. This has resulted in confusion and bitterness. I believe if it were possible to negotiate a reasonable and mutually agreeable relationship between the Indian people and the nature and extent of the federal government’s trust responsibility and then proceed to entrench this concept in the new Constitution, thus making the nature of the trust enshrined a distinct constitutional guarantee, we would, at the least, be in a more favourable position to work through the complex legislative changes we all agree are required and long overdue.
Mr. Chairman, I believe John Munro, the current Minister of Indian Affairs, has made an honest attempt to put on the table some options for consideration in his recently-presented papers on November 9, 1982, entitled, and I quote: Strengthening Indian Band Government in Canada and The Alternative of Optional Indian Band Government Legislation.
However, let us not be misguided into believing his proposals come to terms with the need to come up with the mechanism to allow for the transfer of authority from the minister to the band level. I believe Mr. Munro misleadingly terms it an optional form of Indian band government. Unfortunately, and
I wish to stress this point, it is my interpretation of these proposals that it is not Indian government as the people of Treaty No. 3 interpret Indian government to be. What he proposes still envisions the ultimate accountability for funds remaining with the Department of Indian Affairs.
From my reading of Mr. Munro’s most recent proposals, he appears to reject at this time any concept that would enable direct transfer payment to bands and tribal councils. As by analogy; this regularly occurs between the provinces and the federal Treasury Board. I see no reason why these transfer agreements could not be made directly between Treasury Board and the Indian governments.
Such agreements would be based on resource and revenue sharing. To be frank, I remain perplexed as to why Mr. Munro has not to this date encouraged this direction. In many respects, I honestly do not believe that the No. 3 people of Treaty will entrust in the federal government’s continued assertions that they support Indian government until such a time as mutually satisfactory financial arrangements are developed. A case in point: June 1981, an important case was heard in the Kenora District Court. It involved a Treaty No. 3 chief who was charged with misappropriating band funds by authorizing the expenditure of those funds for purposes that they were not designated in the contribution agreement. The case dealt with the fundamental question as to what extent, if any, the chief and council must account for band funds spent on band priorized matters.
The trial judge in his reasons for judgment was adamant that the chief had the right to exercise his discretion in expending funds if he deemed it in the best interests of the band, even if in certain circumstances such an expenditure required reallocating funds that were designated by the department for another purpose.
Not only did the judge find the chief not guilty of the charge, but moreover he took the opportunity to compliment the chief for taking the initiative in a creative manner to reallocate the limited funding available to the band in such a way as to best utilize the funds according to his band members’ needs and priorities.
Mr. Chairman, notwithstanding this important decision, we still have today the very same administrative regulations and guidelines that put obstacles in the way of bands being able to exercise their ultimate discretion as to how their funds may be best utilized. I stress to you, Mr. Chairman, bands must have the resources and discretion to set their own priorities, set their own needs, and the financial ability to manifest those priorities. In your report to Parliament, I would appreciate your stressing this fundamental prerequisite to the development and enhancement of Indian government.
Mr. Chairman, I believe we should all come to terms with the fact that the relationship between the department and the Indian governments has never worked. Paternalism has led to dependency. Such dependency has only begun to abate since the Indian people have asserted themselves and gained
confidence as self-governing peoples. The fact remains, however, that the minister has too much power. He has too much discretion. He has no right to have the ultimate authority either as a decision-maker or as a trustee in matters that wholly concern Indian people or Indian lands.
Mr. Chairman, the economy for everyone in northwestern Ontario is bad enough. We Indian people do not need an additional hurdle to overcome an Indian Act which greatly inhibits economic development opportunities on our reserves. Under the present Indian Act, our bands are unable to lease our reserve lands without first having to surrender to the Crown. The Crown in turn then leases on the bands’ behalf to the lessee. This cumbersome and tedious legal procedure results in an obvious discouragement to prospective businesses, let alone the psychological embarrassment it causes Indian people when we must submit to this legal procedure that by its very nature implies that we do not have the ability to manage our own lands.
Mr. Chairman, as I have already alluded to, and as you have heard from other submissions today, we urge the discontinuation of contribution agreements. I urge your task force to recommend as a priority that Treasury Board develop, in close consultation-and I repeat, in close consultation—with the Indian people, a creative and original procedure by which transfer grants may be provided to our bands and tribal councils. In the Treaty 3 area alone in the past few years the tribal councils have emerged as a viable form government.
Tribal councils are here to stay. All levels of government should acknowledge this. The sooner Treasury Board comes to terms with this reality, the better. It is incumbent on your task force to highlight this concern and to develop specific legislative and administrative guidelines to enable Treasury Board to develop these specific Treasury Board circulars.
Incidentally, I am attracted to the suggestion recently made that there be an Indian fiscal arrangements commission appointed to negotiate new fiscal arrangements. If the Indian people and the federal government were prepared to accept the legitimacy of such a commission, I would feel confident that such a government-to-government negotiation could result in a creative and original approach to funding. It would be my expectation and hope that what would emerge would be a consensus that what is required in terms of funding is some form or combined forms of what we have come to know to be transfer payments, equalization payments, global funding, or block funding.
Mr. Chairman, we agree with the national Chief Ahenakew’s observation, in his November 4 address to you, that the Indian people are looking for an affirmation and entrenchment of Indian collective rights and title in constitutional terms and to a solid constitutional base for Indian self-government within Canada. It is with this in mind that I now wish to concentrate my remarks on the crucial issue of
economic development. I must say that has been mentioned over and over again today.
It is my sincere view, Mr. Chairman, that unless our band members have economic development opportunities, many of the inroads that have been made or initiated in recent years will come to nil, or to very little. Obviously, we want our people to be healthy and to be well educated; however, we also desire our people to be working. Unfortunately, the reserve land base on Treaty 3 reserves is grossly inadequate to allow for significant economic development planning.
I agree with our national chief that the recent federal proposals that Mr. Munro presented in November would remove many of the objectionable portions of the Indian Act, but would continue intact the current federal-Indian relationship. It is for this reason, Mr. Chairman, that I want to emphasize that as far as Treaty 3 is concerned, the concept of Indian government and self-determination requires, to a great extent, and presupposes the economic means to become and remain self-sufficient. This, as I am sure we all agree, requires resources and economic development opportunities.
I am prepared to concede here that the federal government has, in recent years, after constantly being pressured by Indian bands and associations, begun to lessen the paternalistic effects of the Indian Act. Mr. Munro’s recent position paper introduced to your task force is an attempt at a process of so-called devolution. However, even under these most recent proposed changes, the Minister of Indian Affairs would continue to remain with ultimate responsibility over band funds.
It should appear self-evident that without Indian people having ultimate control over finances, the exercise of self-government becomes impossible. Economic development becomes irrelevent, if not impossible. It becomes like a father dishing out an allowance to his child and then imposing conditions on the child as to how to spend the money in a manner that suits the father. This is a hopeless situation, and I am sure you would agree. This is demeaning, irrelevant, and counter-productive in terms of nurturing mutual respect.
Mr. Chairman, today within the Treaty 3 area there are horribly high levels of unemployment, even in relation to the country as a whole—which is, as we all know, experiencing a serious recession.
The Indian people of Treaty 3 have tolerated the intolerable for too long. For example, Indian people within Treaty 3 have disproportionately high numbers incarcerated in jail. Just go down the street to the Kenora district jail, where approximately 90% of those incarcerated are native. Why is this so? Why is this present legislation, both federal and provincial, not relevant to the Indian people? Why is the relationship with the Department of Indian Affairs not working? Obviously we cannot seriously presume to provide definitive answers to such long-standing dilemmas in a forum such as this.
I do wish to say, with conviction in my heart, that this task force has the potential to cut through the years of lack of progress and develop creative recommendations to begin the
process of the federal government recognizing the significance and ramifications of Indian government. However, let it be said one final time that any changes to the Indian Act or proposed alternative legislation must only be considered by Parliament after full consultation and consent of the Indian people.
At this point, Mr. Chairman, I would like to thank you for listening. I also want to thank my people, my chiefs. I have faltered in my presentation here, and I thank you for your forbearance. Thank you very much.
The Chairman: Roberta, a comment?
Ms Jamieson: Yes. I would just like to acknowledge that the Grand Chief has come here and confirmed again what I know to be a long-standing commitment to his people. Under the circumstances, he has certainly gone out of his way to meet with the special committee.
For my part, I look forward to your return to appear before the special committee to field questions on behalf of Grand Council Treaty No. 3, because I know for a fact you have extensive experience in government-Indian relations and have much to offer this committee.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. That is all.
The Chairman: Thank you, Ms Jamieson. I certainly want to echo what you have just said.
There is no doubt, Chief Kelly, that we could have a very useful exchange with you, but we do respect your wishes to postpone that to another date. We know that when we meet again we will have a great deal we can discuss together; you have much to offer this special committee in its task.
I want to report to you that we have had a very useful day here in Kenora. On behalf of the members of the special committee, I want to thank all of the chiefs and the members of tribal councils and the councillors and of course the elders, who set the appropriate tone of serious endeavour when they opened the meeting this morning. So on behalf of the subcommittee I express those words of gratitude.
Of course I would be very remiss if I did not say a word to those who administer the friendship centre for offering these facilities, making these facilities available to us. I only hope we have not, in a serious way, upset the day’s program. I am sure we have in a number of ways, but making the facility available has helped us a great deal. It has been an excellent environment in which we could meet with Indian leaders from the Treaty 3 area.
I want to advise members that there is one presentation that has been given to our clerk. It is from the Lake of the Woods Ojibway Cultural Centre. There has been no request to have it read into the record, but I wonder if I could have your permission to have it appended to today’s proceedings.
Some hon. Members: Agreed.
The Chairman: Before we adjourn, I have been asked to make an announcement that the bus that will take us to the airport will leave the friendship centre at 8.30 p.m. It will take us to the airport, and our aircraft is scheduled to return to Winnipeg departing at 9.00 p.m.
Before we adjourn, then, are there any further questions or comments?
Grand Chief Kelly: Mr. Chairman, I too would like to acknowledge the fine hospitality that has been extended to your committee and to the people who have made presentations today. Do you not find it warm? I find it warm, but you know the hospitality has been warm too.
I wanted to say one thing further for your consideration. There are two or three areas that we consider make up the Treaty 3 area; that is, the Fort Frances area, Kenora area, and Dryden area. With all due respect to the Kenora chiefs, I would suggest that perhaps in your next round of deliberations you consider Fort Frances and Dryden as the points where the addresses could be made. That is just one consideration I would like you people to make.
The Chairman: Thank you very much, Chief Kelly.
Grand Chief Kelly: Mr. Chairman, I would like to ask one of the elders, probably Alex Skead, to close the meeting.
Mr. P. Kelly: I have one question, if you do not mind.
My name is Peter Kelly. I am the Ontario Vice-President. I just want to place on the record that I received a telephone call this afternoon from Jim Windego, Bert Youngsay, and John Speaker. They are elders. They wanted to make a presentation regarding elders today. The sad telephone call is that they just simply did not have the funds to get down here. I cannot make the presentation on their behalf, but I just want it recorded that maybe we should make special provisions for elders to make a presentation on their own behalf.
The Chairman: From where did they have to come?
Mr. P. Kelly: They would have had to come from Fort Frances. I spoke with them last night. I was working with them on their brief, and they just simply were unable to make it because of lack of funds.
The Chairman: All right. We will make a note of that particular point, and at one of our meetings this week we may be able to consider that particular problem.
Mr. P. Kelly: Because I would gladly assist them in making arrangments to get to where they are. I also am in a position now to assist them in finalizing their brief.
I also want to make note of the fact that I think some of the people who made presentations here today were not in a position to have their funds covered. I also want to make the observation that the two elders who are sitting here today are doing so without the benefit of receiving funds from any source; I want to make that observation.
Thank you very much.
The Chairman: Thanks very much, Peter.
Ms Jamieson: Do we not have funds to pay for witnesses to appear?
The Chairman: The policy is that if we request certain people to appear, then we make some arrangements. I think we had better have a further discussion about this with the clerk and review the policy. There may be some other way in which we can entertain the brief from the elders. We will certainly look into that.
I would like now to call on Elder Alex Skead to close our proceedings for today.
Mr. Alex Skead: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen, for coming down here. I thank you very much for the good things you have done here.
I want to thank the Great Spirit for the good things that happened today. I will say a prayer to close this meeting.
(Prayer in Indian language)
The Chairman: Thank you, Elder Skead.
This meeting is adjourned to reconvene tomorrow in the city of Winnipeg.
HOUSE OF COMMONS SUB-COMMITTEE MEETING
REGARDING THE INDIAN ACT
LAKE OF THE WOODS
OJIBWAY CULTURAL CENTRE
It is a great honour to be able to speak to you today. My name is Joe Tom, and I am the President of the Lake of the Woods Ojibway Board Cultural Centre of Directors. Our Board has asked me to express some of our ideas, concerns and asperations, and to wish you great success in these meetings as you travel across the country.
We as Indian people have seen many changes during the past fifteen-twenty years. Our life-styles have changed significantly. More of our young people are getting educated to prepare them to work and contribute in today’s conditions both on and off reserve. We have seen the successful development of native-owned and operated businesses. We have seen the emergence of capable Indian leaders. We mix more frequently with the non-native people for social and business reasons. These are clearly positive changes.
Unfortunately, the negative aspect of our lives are still visable—alcohol, unemployment, poor housing, health problems, etc. It is these factors which contribute to our low self-esteem — making us somehow ashamed of ourselves. It is precisely this problem that the Lake of the Woods Cultural Centre is dedicated in addressing. Our culture and traditions are what makes us different and only when we are secure in our traditions and culture can we move towards resolving some of the enormous problems that we face. One of the main concerns of the Indian people of this area is that as we adapt to the life-style of the prominant society our culture and traditions are gradually eroding.
Like other ethnic groups–the Ukranians, French, Orientals to mention a few, we are different and we are proud of our differences. It is essential that our young people and our future generations have an opportunity to learn about and feel secure with their traditional values and customs.
We have an enormous wealth of knowledge available to us from our elders who possess artistic skills, knowledge of traditional ways and experience. It is essential that this information be transmitted before it is lost. Only by sharing this knowledge with our young people can we ensure that it will be passed on to their children.
The Lake of the Woods Cultural Centre is the only organization in this area with a mandate to fulfill this need. Established by the Chiefs of Treaty No. 3 in 1977 to promote and develop programs of an educational and cultural nature. We teach: Ojibway Traditions, Customs, History, Religion, Language, Habits and Life-styles. Some of the Cultural Centre’s recent activities include:
a) Translation services for Native Language Teachers and Agencies;
b) Instruction to adolescents in Ojibway Language;
c) Craft Instruction (i.e. Leather, Birchbark, Beading, etc.)
d) Youth and Elder Conferences;
e) Traditional Games;
f) Wild Rice Harvesting and Processing;
g) A Book and Posters about the History of our Local Elders, past and present;
h) Cultural Gatherings and Traditional Ceremonies.
All these programs rely on local resource people. Probably our most important program is our library–resource centre, which is well utilized by teachers from the Kenora Board of Education and the Federal teachers as well.
We know we are finally on the right track. For too many years we have been studied. People from outside have imposed so-called solutions to our problems. They have tried to tell us who we are. It is recognized by nearly everyone that this has not been an effective solution, or healthy for the Indian people. We are now certain that we have to solve our own problems. We are now certain that we can solve our own problems as long as we never forget who we are, our survival depends on it. Indians have traditionally been self-sufficient. This historical contributions of Indian people to the development of North America is well documented. We want to continue to contribute in future years, but if we allow our heritage to be buried, we will lose our ability to do so. It is only in knowing ourselves that we can contribute to society as Indian people:
We ask for your continuing support and thank you for listening to this brief presentation.
[Page A:4], [Page A:5], [Page A:6]
This is the French version of the English appendix.
In Kenora, Ontario:
On Monday, January 17, 1983:
From the Rainy Lake Regional Tribal Chiefs, Incorporated:
Mr. Alex Skead.
Chief Willie Wilson.
Mr. Peter Kelly.
Chief Don Jones.
Mr. Rudy Morriseau, General Manager.
From the Rainy Lake Regional Tribal Chiefs, Incorporated:
Chief Willie Wilson.
Mr. Moses Tom, Big Grassy Band.
Mr. Delbert Horton, Rainy River Band.
Mr. Peter Kelly.
Mr. Rudy Morriseau, General Manager.
From the Dryden Tribal Area Bands:
Tribal Area Chief Arnold Gardner.
From the Rat Portage Band:
Chief George Kakeway.
Mrs. Madeline Skead, Band Member.
Councillor Doug Skead.
From the Shoal Lake Band No. 39:
Chief Robin Greene.
From the Grand Council of Treaty No. 3:
Grand Chief John P. Kelly.