To what extent has Canada affirmed collective rights (PowerPoint download)

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					To what extent has Canada
affirmed collective rights?
    “What are collective
•Rights held by Canadians who belong
to one of several groups in society.
•They are recognized and protected by
Canada’s constitution.
 “Why do only some people
  have collective rights?”
•Collective rights recognize the
founding peoples of Canada.
•Canada wouldn’t exist today
without the contribution of these
“So, who holds collective rights
          in Canada?”
•Aboriginal peoples, including First
Nations, Metis and Inuit people
•Francophones including the Metis
These medals were
struck to
commemorate the
Numbered Treaties.
This medal dates from
1874. The images are
meant to convey a
specific message.
What was it? What
clues are there in the
  Eleven "Numbered Treaties" were
signed between 1871 and 1921 as the
Canadian government began to pursue
   settlement, farming and resource
 development in the west and north of
            the country.
  The terms of the treaties differed,
   but in most cases First Nations
   agreed to share their land and
     resources in exchange for
   education, hunting and fishing
rights, reserves, farming assistance
            and annuities.
   For example, Treaty 7
made provisions for one
  square mile of land for
each Indian family, plus a
 limited supply of cattle,
  some farm equipment
(one plow for each band)
  and a small amount of
  treaty and ammunition
The treaty also made limited commitments
   on the part of the Queen to provide
education for children and in some cases,
             medical services.
               Land set
 This map      aside for the
 shows the     exclusive use
location of    of First
First Nation   Nations
reserves in
 Both the Canadian government
  and the First Nations had their
   own reasons for signing the
   Numbered Treaties. Use the
 following pictures to determine
what the reasons could have been.
The eradication of the
buffalo meant social and
economic upheaval for
some First Nations peoples.
They saw the Treaties as a
way to secure their future.
•BC had joined Confederation on the
condition that Canada would build a
railway within ten years to link the
province with the rest of Canada.
•The railway also allowed a large number
of immigrants to migrate to Canada’s
West in hopes of a better life. They had
been promised land by the government.
•Both of these issues required that
Canada obtain land from the First
Small pox
epidemics had
taken a horrible
toll on the First
Nations both
socially and
Both First Nations and Canada’s government
wanted to avoid wars over territory like those
happening in the United States. The treaties
provided a peaceful way of meeting the needs
of both groups.

Do you feel that the needs of both parties -
the Canadian government and the First
Nations - were equal? Did one group need
the Treaties more than the other?
Did both groups benefit equally??
The perspective of each group
played a role in how they
negotiated and interpreted the
Treaty negotiations took place in
several languages and relied on
interpreters. Sometimes meaning
or connotation was lost in the
translation and the two parties
came away with a different view of
what had been agreed to.
First Nations recorded the Treaties in
their own language as oral histories
while Canada’s government recorded
them in written English. What problems
could arise from this?

 Sometimes the oral history and
 the written word don’t agree.
First Nations never believed that land
could be “owned” - they did not
understand the European practice of
fencing land - and therefore, see the
Treaties as an agreement to share the
land with the Canadian government;
however, the government believes the
First Nations gave up their land under
the Treaties.
   Treaty Number Six has a provision for health
  care. One clause allows a medicine chest to be
  kept in the Indian agent’s home for the use and
benefit of the First Nations. Some people felt that
 this provision extended to everyone who signed
 the Numbered Treaties. Others went so far as to
     later interpret this provision as an eternal
promise by the government to provide free health
     care to all First Nations people in Canada.
 “What collective rights do
official language groups have
     under the Charter?”
    What are official language
• Canada has two official languages, English
  and French
• French is spoken predominantly in Quebec
• In Nunavut, Inuktitut is predominantly
• But what makes a language a minority?
• Minority means a small group within a
  larger group
• Francophones (people who speak French)
  who live in Alberta are considered to be
  part of a language minority
• Francophone schools affirm the identity of
  Francophone students, their families, and
  their communities
• Anglophones (people who speak English)
  are considered a language minority in
• There are Francophone schools throughout
  Canada just as there are Anglophone
  schools throughout Quebec
  What are the Charter rights of
   official language groups?
• Official bilingualism: sections 16 to 20 of
  the Charter establish French and English as
  official languages of Canada, and the right
  of Canadian citizens to conduct their affairs
  with the federal government in either
  official language
• These sections also establish New
  Brunswick as an officially bilingual
• Minority language education rights: section 23 of
  the Charter says that a French-speaking or
  English-speaking minority population of sufficient
  size in any province has the right to publicly
  funded schools that serve their language
• this made it possible for Francophones to maintain
  their own education rights in a predominantly
  English-speaking nation
           Official Languages Act
• The Official Languages Act of 1969 stated that: “French and English
  to be the official languages of Canada, and under which all federal
  institutions must provide their services in English or French at the
  customer's choice. The Act (passed following the recommendation of
  the Royal Commission on BILINGUALISM AND
  BICULTURALISM) created the office of Commissioner of Official
  Languages to oversee its implementation. Politically, the Act has been
  supported by all federal parties, but the public's understanding and
  acceptance of it has been mixed. In June 1987 the Conservative
  government introduced an amended Official Languages Act to
  promote official language minority rights.”
 The Metis: descendants of First
  Nations peoples and French
• The Metis are one of Canada’s Aboriginal
  peoples under Canada’s constitution
• However, unlike the First Nations, the
  Metis do not have any historic treaties with
  Canada’s government
• They believe they have inherent rights,
  which are rights they have strictly because
  they are First Peoples
• Today, the Metis are represented in Canada
  by several organizations
• Two are in Alberta: the Metis Nation of
  Alberta and the Metis Settlements General
• The Metis speak French, therefore they are
     What laws recognize the
   collective rights of the Metis?
• Quick timeline:
• 1869-1870: Metis-led Red River Resistance resulted in the
  Manitoba Act, passed by Canada’s parliament, which
  made Manitoba a bilingual province and gave land rights
  to the Metis people
• 1875-1879: Canada’s government changed its mind and
  instead offered issued “scrip” to the Metis, which was a
  document that could be exhanged for land. In other words,
  instead of establishing Metis lands in Manitoba, they gave
  them a choice: accept scrip or become Treaty Indians
  under the Numbered Treaties (which do you think they
  would want?)
• 1885: the Northwest Resistance sought to protect
  Metis lands in what is today Saskatchewan where
  the railway was being laid and settlers were
  moving in
• Two different interpretations of this event: the
  Metis view it as a way to assert their rights, the
  government saw it as a threat to their authority
• 1938: after being forced to move their settlements
  constantly over a long period, L’Association des
  Metis de l’Alberta et des Territoires du Nord-
  Ouest lobbied Alberta’s government to set aside
  land for the Metis
• Alberta’s government then passed the Metis
  Population Betterment Act, which
  established twelve temporary Metis
• 1940-1960: unfortunately, these settlements
  still did not give the Metis control of their
  land and were closed when the land became
  less useful for farming and hunting
• 1982: the Metis lobbied for recognition of
  Metis rights in Canada’s constitution and
  were successful
• Finally, in 1990, Alberta’s government enacted
  legislation under which the Metis received the
  Metis settlements as a permanent land base with
  the right to manage their own affairs. The
  legislation included:
• Constitution of Alberta Amendment Act
• Metis Settlements Accord Implementation Act
• Metis Settlements Act
• Metis Settlements Land Protection Act
• 2003: Supreme Court ruled that the Metis have the
  right to hunt and fish as one of Canada’s
  Aboriginal peoples under the constitution
         How do the Metis see their
• In 1996, the president of the
  Metis Nation of Alberta,
  Audrey Poitras said: “One of
  the fundamental aspects of
  Metis rights is our ability to
  define ourselves. It’s not up
  to the government, or non-
  Metis people, to define who
  is Metis. Only the Metis
  Nation itself can make those
  kinds of distinctions.”
  Different Perspectives of the
Treaties and of Collective Rights
            in Canada

The following are quotes and ideas taken from different
points in history from different perspectives concerning those
who hold collective rights in Canada. From whose
perspective are they from?
“What I will promise, and what I believe and hope you will
take, is to last as long as the sun shines and the rivers flow....I
see the Queen’s Councillors taking the Indian by the hand
saying we are brothers, we will lift you up, we will teach you,
if you will learn, the cunning of the white man....I see Indians
gathering, I see gardens growing and houses building; I see
them receiving money from the Queen’s commissioners to
purchase clothing for their children; at the same time, I see
them enjoying their hunting and fishing as before, I see them
retaining their old modes of living with the Queen’s gift in
“What we speak of will last as long as the sun
shines and the river runs. We are looking to
the future of our children’s children.”
“Residential schools allow “aggressive
civilization” by separating the children
from the parents....Residential schools
make a certain degree of civilization
within the reach of Indians despite the
deficiencies of their race....The Indians
realize they will disappear.”
“The economic adjustment of the
Indians to modern life is a large
problem. We need to make the
Indians lead the normal life of the
ordinary Canadian citizen.”
“We made treaties with Great
Britain and the trust was given to the
Canadian government to live up to
our treaties. Ever since the first
Treaties, First Nations have felt that
Canadian officials have not
complied with those treaties.”
“To preserve our culture it is necessary to
preserve our status, rights, lands and
traditions. Our treaties are the basis of
our rights....the treaties are historic,
moral, and legal obligations.....The
government must declare that it accepts
the treaties as binding.....”
“Canada cannot be a just society and
keep discriminatory legislation on its
statute book. The barriers created by
special legislation, such as treaties, can
generally be struck down. The treaties
need to be reviewed to see how they can
be equitably ended.”
“I speak of a Canada where men
and women of Aboriginal ancestry,
of French and British heritage, of
the diverse cultures of the world,
demonstrate the will to share this
land in peace, in justice, and with
mutual respect.”
“If Canada is to survive, it can
only survive in mutual respect
and in love for one another.”

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