[Marxism] Corrected--Suspension of Indian Act and Governance Act (Part I)

Craven, Jim JCraven at clark.edu
Tue Feb 3 12:31:20 MST 2004

Thanks to Stuart for sending this.

Jim C

News release from the Minister of Indian Affairs: http://www.ainc-inac.gc.ca/nr/prs/j-a2004/2-02462_e.html

MINISTER ANNOUNCES COLLABORATIVE LEGISLATIVE STRATEGY FOR ABORIGINAL AFFAIRS EDMONTON, ALBERTA (January 21, 2004) - Today, the Honourable Andy Mitchell, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, announced a revised approach to legislation sponsored by his Department. This new approach will see the introduction of new self-government legislation, as well as the reinstatement of other pieces of legislation which had not completed the parliamentary process.

Supporting this approach is a desire to build a relationship with Aboriginal Canadians based on collaboration and cooperation.

In an address given to students with the University of Alberta's Faculty of Native Studies, Minister Mitchell said, "I have spent the past month in dialogue with our First Nation partners on ways in which we can work together to improve living conditions in First Nation communities. It was clear from my discussions with First Nations leaders that perhaps more than ever we have got to work together if we are to help bring about real improvement to the quality of life of First Nations people."

The coming parliamentary session will see the Government of Canada bring forward two important self-government agreements. Legislation enabling self-government agreements for British Columbia's Westbank First Nation will be reinstated and the Northwest Territories' Tlicho First Nation Claims and Self-Government legislation will be introduced.

Minister Mitchell also clearly indicated that he will not be reinstating the First Nations Governance Act. "While I will not be seeking to reinstate this bill back into Parliament, I am eager to work with First Nations leaders and others on effective and practical ways to apply the principles of good governance into First Nations communities. Discussions are now taking place with First Nations leaders aimed at engaging them and First Nations people across Canada, both on- and off-reserve, to work collectively at a new partnered approach to accomplishing this important objective," said Minister Mitchell.

The government will also seek to reinstate through Parliament the proposed First Nations Fiscal and Statistical Management Act, offering First Nations who choose to use its provisions improved access to engines of economic development.

The Government will move to implement the Specific Claims Resolution Act, which received Royal Assent in November 2003. It will also work with the Assembly of First Nations and its members to address some of their concerns in the course of the bill's implementation.

"There's much to be done. We need to ensure the full engagement of our partners in the approaches we intend to take in addressing these legislative priorities -- through this, Canada and First Nations people from coast to coast to coast will benefit from the positive vigour we can create by working together in collaboration," said the Minister.

For information please contact:

Christine Aquino
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development
(819) 997-0002

Diane Laursen
Media Relations
Department of Indian Affairs And Northern Development
(819) 994-2044

Excerpt from the "Speech from the Throne," 2/2/2004, online at

Aboriginal Canadians
Aboriginal Canadians have not fully shared in our nation's good fortune. While some progress has been made, the conditions in far too many Aboriginal communities can only be described as shameful. This offends our values. It is in our collective interest to turn the corner. And we must start now.

Our goal is to see Aboriginal children get a better start in life as a foundation for greater progress in acquiring the education and work-force skills needed to succeed.

Our goal is to see real economic opportunities for Aboriginal individuals and communities.

To see Aboriginal Canadians participating fully in national life, on the basis of historic rights and agreements - with greater economic self-reliance, a better quality of life.

The Government of Canada will work with First Nations to improve governance in their communities - to enhance transparency and accountability - because this is the prerequisite to effective self-government and economic development. Aboriginal leadership is committed to this end and rapid progress is essential.

In order to support governance capacity in Aboriginal communities and to enhance effective dialogue, the Government will, in co-operation with First Nations, establish an independent Centre for First Nations Government.

The Government will also focus on education and skills development, because this is a prerequisite to individual opportunity and full participation. To pursue this goal, the Government will work with provinces and territories and Aboriginal partners in a renewed Aboriginal Human Resources Development Strategy.

Too often, the needs of Aboriginal people off reserve are caught up in jurisdictional wrangling. These issues cannot deter us. The Government of Canada will work with its partners on practical solutions to help Aboriginal people respond to the unique challenges they face. To this end, the Government will expand the successful Urban Aboriginal Strategy with willing provinces and municipalities.

The Government will also engage other levels of government and Métis leadership on the place of the Métis in its policies.

The Government is committed to a more coherent approach to Aboriginal issues. To focus this effort, it has established a new Cabinet Committee on Aboriginal Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister; a Parliamentary Secretary; and an Aboriginal Affairs Secretariat in the Privy Council Office.


Excerpt from the "Address by the Prime Minister inReply to the Speech from the Throne," 2/3/2004, online at http://www.pm.gc.ca/eng/sft-ddt.asp?id=2

Mr. Speaker: There is one aspect of Canadian society, one aspect of our history, that casts a shadow over all that we have achieved. The continuing gap in life conditions between Aboriginal and other Canadians is intolerable. It offends our values, we cannot remain on our current path.

To turn the corner will require a new partnership. It will require a shared commitment to improving Aboriginal governance - essential to self-government and economic development.

With our partners, we will expand health care, education, skills development and entrepreneurship, and match our training programs to real economic opportunities - from Voisey's Bay to northern pipelines.

With our partners, we will tackle head on the particular problems faced by the increasing number of urban Aboriginal people and by the Métis. We will not allow ourselves to be caught up in jurisdictional wrangling, passing the buck and bypassing their needs.


CBC news story, 1/22/2004, online at http://calgary.cbc.ca/regional/servlet/View?filename=ca_mitchell20040122

Web Posted   Jan 22 2004 12:17 PM MST

Indian Affairs minister promised to consult with chiefs Edmonton - A controversial bill intended to help First Nations become self-sufficient is dead, after the new minister of Indian Affairs decided not to reintroduce it into parliament.

Andy Mitchell, speaking to students at the University of Alberta Wednesday, said the Liberal government didn't do a good job of consulting with the people who would be affected by the First Nations Governance Act.

"That needs to be dealt with. There were some issues that dealt with process. I've indicated we're going to launch a different type of process," he said. "It's my intention not to reintroduce that bill into parliament." Mitchell says that process will include discussion with chiefs across the country, a move being welcomed by native leaders.

"This became another piece of 'government knows best for aboriginal peoples' approach," Edward John, who represents more than 140 B.C. First Nations, said of the original legislation.

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