First Ministers’ Conference on Constitutional and Aboriginal Affairs, Declaration to the Parliament of Canada Through the Prime Minister of Canada (2-3 April 1985)
By: First Nations Signatory to Treaty No. One
Citation: First Ministers’ Conference on Constitutional and Aboriginal Affairs, Declaration to the Parliament of Canada Through the Prime Minister of Canada (Ottawa: 2-3 April 1985).
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PARLIAMENT OF CANADA
THROUGH THE PRIME MINISTER OF CANADA
FIRST MINISTERS CONFERENCE ON
CONSTITUTIONAL AND ABORIGINAL AFFAIRS
FIRST NATIONS SIGNATORY TO
TREATY NO. ONE
This Declaration is being presented by the Plains-Ojibway Treaty One Alliance on behalf of the Nations of peoples who are eignatoty to Treaty No. 1 of August 3, 1871.
Treaty No. 1 of August 3, 1871 was negotiated by the elected representatives of our Treaty Indian Nations with the Crown of Great Britain, heirs and successors. This freaty signified that two sovereign nations entered into a legal binding International Bilateral Agreement with specific provisions and obligations of each party for establishing a mutual co-existence.
Treaty No. 1 of August 3, 1871 affirmed Indian Nations Sovereignty, Indian title to lands and resources and the inherent right of Indian Government. Over the years there has been a gradual erosion of the Treaty No. 1 provisions wherein the Parliament of Canada has not fulfilled their legal and binding obligations.
In order to recapture the spirit and intent of Treaty No. 1 and negotiate the fulfillment of these obligations, our Treaty Indian Nations have organized in unity and established the Plains-Ojibway Treaty One Alliance.
The Plains-Ojibway Treaty One Alliance has a citizenry of 11,000 and is represented through six elected First Nations Governments namely:
First Nations Government of Fort Alexander
First Nations Government of Peguis
First Nations Government of Sandy Bay
First Nations Government of Roseau River
First Nations Government of Long Plain
First Nations Government of Swan Lake
The Parliament of Canada has introduced a constitutional and legislative process to determine Aboriginal Rights. This process is referred to as the first Ministers Conference on Constitutional and Aboriginal Affairs. By its very name, it is a flagrant denial of the Treaties and the inherent rights contained therein. The First Ministers referred to, represent Provincial Governments who have no relationship with the Treaty Indian Nations. It is a unilateral and multilateral negotiating forum with no relevancy to protecting the rights of our citizenry signatory to Treaty No. 1.
The Plains-Ojibway Treaty One Alliance rejects this multilateral constitutional and legislative process. The significance of Treaty No. 1 reinforces our right to enter into legal binding agreements on a Nation to Nation basis. Further, it reinforces our right to continue negotiating on a bilateral basis with the Parliament of Canada to fulfill the Crown’s obligations and provisions defined in Treaty No. 1.
It is therefore incumbant upon the elected representatives of the Plains-Ojibway Treaty One Alliance to make a Declaration to the Prime Minister of Canada at the First Ministers Conference on Constitutional and Aboriginal Affairs.
1. We oppose the mandate of the First Ministers Conference to determine Aboriginal Rights in the Constitution of Canada.
2. We reject any unilateral or multilateral negotiating process in relation to the protection and promotion of Treaty One.
3. We reject any constitutional or legislative enactments imposed by a foreign government as it may relate to the Treaty and inherent rights of Treaty One people, such as Bill C-31.
4. We declare that no other organization in any way, shape or form speaks on behalf of the Plains-Ojibway Treaty One Alliance.
5. We will pursue a bilateral negotiating process with the Parliament of Canada for fulfillment of the provisions and obligations of the Crown defined in Treaty One.
6. We will introduce a process of Indian renewal to protect and promote the longevity of Treaty One as a legal and binding agreement for time immemorial.
7. We will maintain our Indian Governments with sole jurisdiction and autonomy over membership, lands, resources and the socio-economic development of Treaty Indian Nations.
The Parliament of Canada has no right to discuss the legal binding agreements and provisions therein, of the Treaty Indian people with the Provincial Government.
The Parliament of Canada has no right to categorize Treaty Indian People in a global term such as Aboriginal, which includes: non-status Indians, Inuits and Metis.
The Parliament of Canada has no right to perpetuate the process of assimilation and the Plains-Ojibway Treaty One Alliance rejects the intent and purpose of these Constitutional Conferences.
Further, we as Treaty One Indian Nations, serve notice to the Prime Minister of Canada that we will not treat in any multilateral forum.
In summation the First Nations of Treaty One will meet only with the Parliament of Canada on a Nation to Nation basis to negotiate the fulfillment of the provisions and obligations as defined in Treaty One of August 3, 1871.
Chief Ken Courchene FIRST NATIONS GOVERNMENT OF FORT ALEXANDER
Chief Louis Stevenson FIRST NATIONS GOVERNMENT OF PEGUIS
Chief Raymond Beaulieu FIRST NATIONS GOVERNMENT OF SANDY BAY
Chief Carl Roberts FIRST NATIONS GOVERNMENT OF ROSEAU RIVER
Chief Stan Myerion FIRST NATIONS GOVERNMENT OF LONG PLAIN
Chief Loyd Cameron FIRST NATIONS GOVERNMENT OF SWAN LAKE.
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