Federal-Provincial Meeting of Ministers on Aboriginal Constitutional Matters, A Declaration of the First Nations (31 January-1 February 1983)

Document Information

Date: 1983-01-31
By: Assembly of First Nations
Citation: Federal-Provincial Meeting of Ministers on Aboriginal Constitutional Matters, A Declaration of the First Nations, Doc 830-120/018 (Ottawa: 31 January-1 February 1983).
Other formats: Click here to view the original document (PDF).

DOCUMENT: 830-120/018


A Declaration of the First Nations

A Declaration of The First Nations

We the Original Peoples of this Land know
the Creater put us here.

The Creator gave us Laws that govern
all our relationships to live in harmony
with nature and mankind.

The Laws of the Creator defined our rights
and responsibilities.

The Creator gave us our spiritual beliefs,
our languages, our culture, and a place on
Mother Earth which provided us with all
our needs.

We have maintained our freedom our
languages, and our traditions from time

We continue to exercise the rights and fulfill
the responsibilities and obligations given to
us by the Creator for the Land upon which
we were placed.

The Creator has given us the right to
govern ourselves and the right to self-

The rights and responsibilities given to us
by the Creator cannot be altered or taken
away by any other Nation.

Treaty and Aboriginal Rights Principles

1. The aboriginal title, aboriginal rights and treaty rights of the aboriginal
peoples of Canada, including;
(a) all rights recognized by the Royal Proclamation of October 7th, 1763;
(b) all rights recognized in treaties between the Crown and nations or tribes
of Indians in Canada ensuring the Spiritual concept of Treaties;
(c) all rights acquired by aboriginal peoples in settlements or agreements
with the Crown on aboriginal rights and title;

are hereby recognized, confirmed, ratified and sanctioned.

2. “Aboriginal people” means the First Nations or Tribes of Indians in Canada
and each Nation having the right to define its own Citizenship.

3. Those parts of the Royal Proclamation of Otober 7th, 1763, providing for the
rights of the Nations or tribes of Indians are legally and politically binding
on the Canadian and British Parliaments.

4. No Law of Canada or of the Provinces, including the Charter of Rights and
Freedoms in the Constitution of Canada, shall hereafter be construed or applied
so as to abrogate, abridge or diminish the rights specified in Sections 1 and 3
of this Part.

5.(a) The Parliament and Government of Canada shall be committed to the
negotiation of the full realization and implementation of the rights
specified in Sections 1 and 3 of this Part.
(b) Such negotiations shall be internationally supervised, if the aboriginal
peoples parties to those negotiations so request.
(c) Such negotiations, and any agreements concluded thereby, shall be with
the full participation and the full consent of the aboriginal peoples

6. Any amendments to the Constitution of Canada in relation to any
constitutional matters which affect the aboriginal peoples, including the
identification or definition of the rights of any of those peoples, shall be
made only with the consent of the governing Council, Grand Council or Assembly
of the aboriginal peoples affected by such amendment, identification or definition.

7. A Treaty and Aboriginal Rights Protection Office shall be established.

8. A declaration that Indian Governmental powers and responsibilities
exist as a permanent, integral fact in the Canadian polity.

9. All pre-confederation, post-confederation treaties and treaties executed
outside the present boundaries of Canada but which apply to the Indian
Nations of Canada are international treaty agreements between sovereign
nations. Any changes to the treaties require the consent of the two
parties to the treaties, who are the Indian Governments representing
Indian Nations and the Crown represented by the British Government,
The Canadian Government is only a third party and cannot initiate
any changes.

Joint Council of the National Indian Brotherhood

November 18, 1981

*See PDF for signatures

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