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RENEWING THE PARTNERSHIP

Aboriginal Peoples' Policy Platform

Aboriginal Peoples' Commission


Commission des peuples autochtones
Liberal Party of Canada Parti liberal du Canada
200-200

ouest, avenue Laurier Avenue West Ottawa, Ontario KzP 6M8 Tel: (6i:3) 237-0740 Fax: {6z3) 235-7208

PREFACE

In 1990, the Aboriginal Peoples' Commission of the Liberal Party of


Canada was officially created by way of constitutional amendments
which were passed unanimously at their LPC 1990 Biennial
Convention.
It has been through the efforts of the Aboriginal Peoples' Commission

and many members of the Liberal Caucus, including the Leader of the
Party that aboriginal policy has evolved within the Liberal Party of
Canada.
The booklet contains the Liberal Party of Canada's position on
aboriginal peoples issues.
PART 1:

1992 LPC Biennial Convention Resolutions;

PART 2:

Chapter 7 of the Red Book on Aboriginal Peoples;

PART 3:

October 8, 1993 Aboriginal Platform Release.

Should you require any further information regarding the Aboriginal


Peoples' Commission or details of the Liberal Party of Canada's
aboriginal policies please contact:
National Director
Aboriginal Peoples' Commission
Liberal Party of Canada
200 Laurier Ave.
OTTAWA, ON
K1P6M8
PHONE: (613) 237-0740
FAX:
(613) 235-7208

Priority Resolutions I Resolutions prioritaires

2..

I~HERENT

RIGHT OF SELF-GOVERNMENT

22. DROITS INHERENTS


TRATIVE

A L'AUTONOMIE ADMINIS-

r:~'EREAS it is the sincere desire of all Aboriginal Peoples in


r.ada to determine their own future; and
n-:t:REAS the Liberal Party of Canada recognizes the right of
e:?:-es to govern themselves as a fundamental right in a free
a: democratic society; and
fHEREAS Aboriginal Peoples existed as organized societies
~sing the right of self-government prior to the arrival of
1;_-: :oeans in Canada; and
f":-:EREAS the Supreme Court of Canada in the Sioui Case
a:ognized the historic self-governing status of Aboriginal
lec='les in Canada; and
fHEREAS the right of self-government of Aboriginal Peoples
ilS !\ever been extinguished; and
rHEREAS the Supreme Court of Canada in Guerin and
pa ;;ow held that the Federal Crown has a fiduciary responsiiL-:y to Aboriginal Peoples; and
rHEREAS the Liberal party considers that one of the objects
f ~:-,e fiduciary responsbility of the federal government is the
~"'.::alization of self-government for Aboriginal Peoples; and
fi-lEREAS the right of self-government is an existing right
rr:::-:in the meaning of Section 35 of the Constitution Act 1982.
a: ~r greater certainty should be explicitly recognized and
lf:::ned in the Canadian Constitution: and
rHEREAS the Department of Indian Affairs as presently
111r s:i tuted is a serious impediment to the achievement of selfIT e:nment for Indian First Nations,

A'IJ'ENDU que les peuples autochtones du Canada desirent


sincerement decider de leur propre avenir,
ATIENDU quele Parti liberal du Canada reconnait quele droit
des peuples ase gouverner est un droit fondamental dans une
societe libre et democratique,
ATIENDU que les peuples autochtones existaient comme
societes organisees exer~~mt le droit d'autonomie administrative avant l'arrivee des Europeens au Canada,
ATIENDU que la Cour supreme dans l'affaire Sioui a reconnu
le statut historique de peuples autonomes des peuples
autochtones au Canada,
ATIENDU que le droit a l'autonomie administrative des
peuples autochtones n'a jamais ete aboli,
ATIENDU que la Cour supreme du Canada dans l'affaire
Guerin et Sparrow a declare que l'Etat federal avait une
responsabilite fiduciaire vis-3.-vis des peuples autochtones,
ATIENDU que le Parti liberal considere qu'un des objets de la
responsabilite fiduciaire du gouvernement federal est le
retablissement de l'autonomie administrative des nations
indiennes,
ATIENDU que le droit a l'autonomie administrative est un
droit existant au sens de l' article 35 de l' Acte constitutionnel de
1982 mais devrait, pour plus de certitude, etre explicitement
reconnu et affirme dans la Constitution canadienne et
ATIENDU que le ministere des Affaires indiennes, tel qu'il est
actuellement constitue, represente un serieux obstacle a la
realisation de l'autonomie administrative des Premieres nations indiennes;

E IT RESOLVED that:
It'.: e Liberal Party of Canada endorses the explicit recognition
.C affirmation of the inherent right of self-government of all
~:iginal Peoples within the Canadian Constitution;

IL EST RESOLU que:


a) le Parti liberal du Canada appuie la reconnaissance et
!'affirmation explicite du droit inherent a l'autonomie administrative des peuples autochtones dans la Constitution
canadienne;

Priority Resolutions I Resolutions prioritaires


b) the Liberal Party of Canada believes that the right of selfgovernment should be immediately and unconditionally entrenched;
c) the Liberal Party of Canada supports the creation of a new
senior Ministry of Aboriginal Peoples and First Nations Relations, as recommended in the Penner Report, to oversee the
implementation of self-government through negotiations;
d) the mandate of the Ministry of Aboriginal Peoples and First
Nations Relations:
(i) shall reflect the fiduciary responsibility of the Crown
as expressed in the Guerin and Sparrow decisions of the
Supreme Court of Canada;
(ii) shall have as one of its primary objectives, the
achievement of self-government by Aboriginal Peoples
and First Nations;
e) the existing Department of Indian Affairs shall be reconstituted as a subsidiary ministry to the Ministry of Aboriginal
Peoples and First Nations Relations, in accordance with the
following:

(i) it shall be maintained for the delivery of programs


and services for those First Nations who are not ready to
re-assume those responsibilities; and
(ii) it shall be gradually eliminated at a pace which is in
step with resumption of self-government responsibilities by First Nations; and
(iii) senior management within the Department of Indian Affairs shall be replaced by qualified aboriginal
persons selected in consultation with Aboriginal Peoples;
0 the Leader and Caucus shall act on this resolution with
complete consultation and cooperation of Aboriginal Peoples
affected; and
g) this resolution supersedes all resolutions of the Liberal Party
of Canada on the subjects which are dealt with in this resolution, passed at previous conventions.
Aboriginizl Peoples' Commission
National Liberal CaucllS

b) le Parti liberal du Canada precoiiise de constitutionnaliser


immediatement et sans conditions le droit a l'autonomie administrative;
c) lePartiliberalduCanadapreroniselacreationd'unnouveau
ministere des Relations avec les Peuples autochtones et les
Premieresnations,telquerecommandedanslerapportPenner,
afin de surveiller la mise en oeuvre de l'autonomie politique
par voie de negociations;
d) le mandat du ministere des Relations avec les Peuples
autochtones et !es Premieres nations:
(i) doit refleter la responsabilite fiduciaire de la
Couronne, telle qu' exprimee dans les decisions Guerin
et Sparrow de la Cour supreme du Canada et
(ii) doitavoir, parmi ses principaux objectifs, !'accession
des Peuples autochtones et des Premieres nations a
l'autonomie administrative;
e) le ministere actuel des Affaires indiennes soit reconstitue
comme departement d'Etat auxiliaire au departement d'Etat
aux Relations avec les Peuples autochtones et !es Premieres
nations, sachant que:
(i) son role sera limite aI' execution des programmes et
services destines aux Premieres nations qui ne sont pas
pretes areassumer ces responsabilites;
(ii) il sera progressivement elimine au fur et amesure
que les Premieres nations reprendront les responsabilites
correspondant aleur autonomie administrative et
(iii) la haute direction, au sein du ministere des Affaires
indiennes, sera remplacee par des autochtones qualifies
selectionnes en consultation avec les peuples
autochtones;
f) le chef et le groupe parlementaire mettent cette resolution en
oeuvre en consultation et en collaboration avec les peuples
autochtones et
g) cette resolution prime sur toutes les autres resolutions
adoptees jusqu'ici par le Parti liberal du Canada sur ces differents
sujets.
Commission des peuplts autochtones
Caucus liberal national

23. TREATIES AND LAND CLAIMS

23. TRArrES ETREVENDICATIONS TERRITORIALES

WHEREAS the Royal Proclamation of 1763 confirmed the preexisting rights of Aboriginal Peoples and provided that their
lands could not be alienated to anyone but the Crown, thereby
establishing the historic treaty-making process whereby
Aboriginal Peoples treated directly with the Crown with respect to their lands; and

ATIENDU que la Proclamation royale de 1763 a confirme Jes


droits preexistants des peuples autochtones et prevu que leurs
terres ne puissent etretransferees qu' ala Couronne, etablissant
ainsi le processus historique de traites par lequel !es peuples
autochtones traitaient directement avec la Couronne pour tout
ce qui concernait leurs terres,

Priority Resolutions I Resolutions prioritaires


WHEREAS the impediment on the alienability of lands by
Aboriginal Peoples imposed a fiduciary obligation on the
Crown to act in the bestinterests of Aboriginal Peoples, according to the Supreme Court of Canada in Guerin and Sparrow;
and
WHEREAS numerous land claims have arisen as a result of the
failure of the Crown to fulfil its fiduciary obligations to Aboriginal Peoples; and
WHEREAS the Canadian public is overwhelmingly in favour
of the resolution of long-outstanding land claims by Aboriginal Peoples in Canada; and
WHEREAS the Auditor General in his report released on
December 3, 1991, identified a serious backlog in land claims
and unreasonably slow progress in the settlement of claims by
the Department of Indian Affairs (of 600 specific claims received in the last 20 years only 8 percent have been settled); and
WHEREAS the Auditor General's report also identified a
conflict of interest on the part of the Department of Indian
Affairs with respect to its role in the settlement of land claims
becauseithasafiduciarydutytoaboriginalclaimantsbutmust
also represent the interests of government which are often
adverse to the interests of claimants; and
WHEREAS land claims policies were originally introduced by
a Liberal Government in the early 1970s in response to the
Calder decision of the Supreme Court of Canada; and
WHEREAS there have been no substantive improvements to
the land claims policy regime since originally introduced by
the Liberal government despite the changes to the law in recent
Supreme Court of Canada decisions, i.e., Guerin and Sparrow:
and
WHEREAS the Tory Government has responded to the need
for changes in the comprehensive claims policy by ad hoc,
arbitrary, incremental and uneven changes in the application
of the policy in different regions of the country; and
WHEREAS the Tory Government has responded to needed
changes to the specific claims policy by minimal and incremental changes to the specific claims process (not policy) without
the full consultation and approval of Aboriginal Peoples; and
WHEREAS the claims policies (comprehensive and specific)
are inadequate and do not respond to the needs of Aboriginal
Peoples or the Canadian public,

A1TENDU que cela imposait a la C::ouronne I'obligation


fiduciaired'agirdansl'interetdespeuplesautochtones,comme
le confirme la decision de la Cour supreme du Canada dans
l'affaire Guerin et Sparrow.
A1TENDU que de nombreuses revendications territoriales
ont surgi parce que la Couronne a failli a ses obligations
fiduciaires vis-a-vis des peuples autochtones,
A1TENDU quela populationcanadienneesttouta faitfavorable
au reglement des revendications territoriales des peuples
autochtones au Canada,
A1TENDU que le verificateur general a, dans son rapport
publie le 3 decembre 1991, signale un serieux retard et un
rythme deraisonnablement lent dans le reglement des
revendications territoriales par le ministere des Affaires
indiennes (sur les 600 revendications specifiques ~es ces
vingt dernieres annees, 8 p. cent seulement ont ete reglees),
AITENDU que le rapport du verificateur general a egalement
signale un conflit d'interet pour le ministere des Affaires
indiennes qui d'un cote regle les revendications territoriales et
d'un autre doit representer les interets du gouvernement qui
sont souvent contraires a ceux des demandeurs,
ATIENDU que les politiques concernant les revendications
territoriales ont a rorigine ete presentees parun gouvemement
liberal au debut des annees 70 suite a la decision Calder de la
Cour supreme du Canada,
A1TENDU que le regime de reglement des revendications n'a
pas ete sensiblement ameliore depuis, malgre les revisions
apportees a la Joi dans les decisions recentes de la Cour
supreme du Canada dans l'affaire Guerin et Sparrow.
ATIENDU que le gouvemement conservateur n'a pas modifie
la politique concernant les revendications globales mais a
apporte des changements arbitraires, ponctuels, graduels et
irreguliers a l'application de cette politique dans differentes
regions du pays,
ATIENDU que le gouvernement conservateur n'a pas modifie
la politique concernant les revendications spectfiques mais a
apporte des changements minimes et graduels au processus
sans avoir pleinement consulte Jes peuples autochtones et sans
avoir obtenu leur approbation et
ATIENDU que Jes politiques touchant les revendications
(globales et specifiques) sont inadequates et ne repondent pas
aux besoins des peuples autochtones ni de la population
canadienne;

BE IT RESOLVED that the Liberal Party of Canada supports


major reforms to the land claims policy regime of the federal
government of Canada as follows:

IL EST RESOLU que le Parti liberal du Canada preconise une


reforme majeure de la politique federale concernant les
revendications territoriales:

Priority Resolutions I Resolutions prioritaires


a) there shall be a general claims policy encompassing all types
of claims including specific claims, comprehensive claims, and
claims of another.nature arising out of the Royal Proclamation
in Quebec and the Maritimes, and the artificial distinction
between specific and comprehensive claims shall beeliminiated;
b) claims based on aboriginal title and treaties shall be settled
in accordance with the spirit and honor of the historic treatymaking process.
c) the right of self-government should be included in claims
relating to aboriginal title and treaties and other types of
claims as appropriate.
d) the requirement for extinguishment shall be removed from
claims based on aboriginal title ..
e) there shall be removed by statute:
(i) the notion that claims based on aboriginal title may
be superseded by law;
(ii) the defence of the Statute of Limitations and laches;
f) an independent Commission shall be created by legislation,
with the following features:
(i) it shall be composed of members jointly selected by
Aboriginal Peoples and the federal government;
(ii) the Commission shall report regularly to Parliament;
(iii) the Commission shall be responsible for chairing
and facilitating claims negotiations;
(iv) the Commission shall be empowered to establish
binding timeframes;
(v) the Commission shall be empowered to develop
criteria for validation and compensation in consultation
with Aboriginal Peoples and the federal government;
(vi) the Commission may inquire into the need to clarify
and renovate treaties to make the express terms of the
treaties consistent with their spirit and intent and the
understanding of the treaty signatories;
(vii) the Commission will be responsible for providing
funding for research and negotiations;
(viii) the Commission shall have an ongoing role in the
implementation of claim settlement agreements including the provision of remedies in the event of breach by
any party;
g) the Leader and Caucus shall act on this resolution with
complete consultation and cooperation of Aboriginal Peoples
affected; and
h) this resolution supersedes all resolutions of the Liberal Party
of Canada on the subjects which are dealt with in this resolution, passed at previous conventions.
Aboriginizl Peoples' Commission

a) une politique generale englobera tous les types de


revendications (specifiques, globales et autres revendications
decoulant de la Proclamationn royale au Quebec et dans les
Maritimes) et la distinction artificielle entre revendications
specifiques et globales sera eliminee;
b) Jes revendications fondees sur les traites et titres autochtones
seront reglees conformement a l'esprit et a l'honneur du
processus historique des traites;
c) le droit al'autonomie administrative devrait etre inclu dans
les revendications touchant le titre et Jes traites autochtones et,
eventuellement, d'autres types de revendications;
d) les revendications fondees sur le titre autochtone ne seront
plus liees a I'extinction de droits;
e) la loi supprimera:
(i) la notion que les revendications fondees sur un titre
autochtone peuvent etre contoumees par une loi et
(ii) la defense basee sur la prescription et le manque de
diligence;

f) i1 sera cree une commission independante qui:


(i) sera composee de membres selectionnes
conjointement par les peuples autochtones et le
gouvernement federal;
(ii} fera regulierement rapport au Parlement;
(iii) sera responsable de presider et faciliter les
negociations;
(iv) sera habilitee a fixer des delais executoires;
(v) sera habilitee aelaborer des criteres de validation et
d'indemnisation en consultation avec les peuples
autochtones et le gouvernement federal;
(vi) pourra faire enquete sur la necessite de clarifier et
de moderniser les traites afin que leurs libelles exacts
correspondent aI' esprit, aI'intention et aI'entendement
de leurs signataires;
(vii) sera responsable du financement de la recherche et
des negociations et
(viii) aura un role permanent dans la mise en oeuvre
des ententes sur le reglement des revendications et dans
la recherche de solutions au cas oil l'une des parties ne
les respecte pas;
g) le chef et le groupe parlementaire donneront suite a cette
resolution apres avoir pleinement consulte les peuples
autochtones concernes et obtenu leur concours et
h) cetteresolution remplacetoutes les resolutions sur les sujets
en question adopteesa d'autres congres par le Parti liberal du
Canada.
Commission des peuples autochtones

Priority Resolutions I Resolutions prioritaires

37. ABORIGINAL AFFAIRS

37. AFFAIRES AUTOCHTONES

WHEREAS the Liberal Party of Canada is committed to a fair


and just society which supports and assists Aboriginal Peoples
in dealing with outstanding socio-:economic issues, such as
poor and inadequate housing, irrelevant educational systems,
poor community health services, inadequate water and sanitation services, severe unemployment, high mortality rates and
other deplorable conditions; and
WHEREAS a judicial system is one of the main components of
a democracy, hence its successful application is crucial in
fostering a stable and conducive social environment and Canada's justice system in its present form is foreign and woefully
inadequate in its treatment of Aboriginal Peoples, given their
disproportionate numbers in penitentiaries; and
WHEREAS the Liberal Party of Canada is committed to the
recognition and implementation of the inherent right of selfdetermination and self-government of Aboriginal Peoples as a
way of ameliorating their deplorable socio-economic situation;

ATIENDU que le Parti liberal du Canada defend le principe


d'une societe juste et equitable qui encourage et aide les
peuples autochtonesa regler des problemes socio-Economiques
tels que la penurie de logements, l'insuffisance des services
d'education, de sante, d'adduction et d'egouts, un ch6mage
eleve, une forte mortalite et d'autres conditions deplorables,
ATIENDU qu'un systeme judiciaire est l'un des principaux
elements de la dcmocratie et done crucial pour creer un
environnement social stable et que sous sa forme actuelle, le
systeme canadien ne repond absolument pas aux besoins des
autochtones, si I' on en croit leur nombre disproportionne dans
les penitenciers,
AITENDU que le Parti liberal du Canada preconise la reconnaissance et !'application du droit inherent des peuples
autochtones a disposer d'eux-memes et a se gouverner euxmemes comme moyen d'ameliorer leur situation socioeconomique deplorable,

BE IT RESOLVED that the Liberal Party of Canada shall adopt


the following programs when in government for the implementation and realization of self-government for Aboriginal
Peoples:
a) the Government of Canada shall promote the implementation of self-government of Aboriginal Peoples over their territories in matters which include, but are not limited to, culture,
language, education, health, justice, social development and
natural resources;
b) as a first priority, a separate aboriginal justice system shall
be created so as to provide a legal process for Aboriginal
Peoples inclwding counselling, taking into account aboriginal
culture, history, and values, and taking into account the conclusions of the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry of Manitoba;

IL EST RESOLU que le Parti liberal du Canada adoptera les


programmes suivants quand il sera au pouvoirpour concretiser
l'autonomie administrative des peuples autochtones:
a) accession des peuples autochtones a l'autonomieadministrative sur leurs territoires en ce qui concerne notamment la
culture, la langue, !'education, la sante, la justice, le
developpement social et les ressources naturelles;
b) creation en priorite d'un systeme de justice autochtone
distinct offrant aux peuples autochtones un regime judiciaire
tenant compte de la culture, de l'histoire et des valeurs
autochtones ainsi que des conclusions de l'enquete sur la
justice vis-a-vis des autochtones au Manitoba;

Priority Resolutions I Resolutions prioritaires


c) the Government of Canada significantly increase Indian
education services and resources, consistent with aboriginal
and treaty rights; and establish a relevant education program
with the offices of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. This
renewed education program will provide maximum support
for Aboriginal Peoples to pursue their education goals and to
assist them to contro1and manage their owned ucation systems
which will be a significant step towards their self-determination objectives;
d) a special national program be developed under the leadership of Aboriginal Peoples and First Nations governments,
with the cooperation and resourcing of federal and provincial
governments and the private sector to deal with the serious
backlog of housing in aboriginal communities;
e) there shall be established a new national economic development program for Aboriginal Peoples to promote the development of a sound economic foundation for aboriginal communities. The program shall have as its objective to bring the
economic standards of Aboriginal Peoples to the level of the
rest of society. And the program shall be operated under the
leadership of Aboriginal Peoples with the cooperation and
resourcing of the federal government;
0 the Leader and Caucus shall act on the foregoing with the
complete consultation and cooperation of the Aboriginal Peoples affected.

c) amelioration sensible des serVices d'education et des


ressources destines aux lndiens, confonnement aux droits
autochtones et issus de traites; instauration d'un programme
d'education pertinent en collaboration avec le ministere des
Affaires indiennes et du Nord. Nouveau programme qui
apportera aux peuples autochtones un maximum de soutien
pour poursuivre leurs objectifs d'education et les aider a
controler et a gerer leur propre systeme d'education en vue
d'atteindre leurs objectifs d'autonomie;
d) mise sur pied d'un programme national special sous la
direction des peuples autochtones et des gouvernements des
Premieres nations avec la cooperation et les ressources des
gouvernements federal et provinciaux ainsi que du secteur
prive en vue de remedier a la forte penurie de logements chez
les autochtones;
e) etablissement d'un nouveau programme national de
developpement economique dont l' object if serait de pennettre
aux peuples autochtones de parvenir au niveau economique
du reste de la societe. Ce programme serait dirige par les
peuples autochtones avec lacollaboration et les ressources du
gouvemement federal et
f) toutes ces mesures ne seraient prises par le chef et le caucus
qu'apres consultation generale et accord des peuples
autochtones concemes,

BEITFURTHERRESOLVEDthattheLiberalPartyofCanada
rejects the G.S.T., and more particularly, categorically rejects
the imposition of the G.S.T. to First Nations and their citizens
throughout Canada on the grounds that it is in violation of
their aboriginal and treaty rights which are recognized and
affirmed in the Constitution, and is inconsistent with the
principle of self-government.

Que le Parti liberal du Canada rejette la TPS et, plus


particulierement, l'imposition de la TPS aux Premieres nations
et a leurs citoyens partout au Canada puisqu'une telle taxe
porte atteinte a leurs droits autochtones et issus de traites,
droits qui sont reconnus et confinnes dans la Constitution, et
est contraire aux principes de l'autonomie administrative et

BEITFURTHERRESOLVEDthat theLiberalPartyofCanada
will do its utmost to encourage greater involvement of Aboriginal Peoples in its policy process and management functions, and greater participation of Aboriginal Peoples as candidates in parliamentary elections.
AborigiMI Peoples' Commission

Que le Parti liberal du Canada fera de son mieux pour encouragerune plus grande participation des peuples autochtones a
son processus d'elaboration des politiques, asa direction et, a
titre de candidats aux elections parlementaires.
Commission des peuples autochtones

38. JUSTICE (RECOGNITION OF LOUIS RIEL)

38. JUSTICE (RECONNAISSANCE DE LOUIS RIEL)

WHEREAS the leaders of the Metis people at Red River Colony


in the Northwest Territories (Rupertsland) took effective democratic action to protect their traditional rights and property;
and

ATTENDU que les chefs du peuple metis de la 'COlonie de la


riviere rouge dans les Territoires du Nord-Ouest (terre de
Rupert) prirent des actions democratiques appropriees afin de
proteger leurs biens et leurs droits traditionnels,

......

Priority Resolutions I Resolutions prioritaires


ATTENDU que sous le "leadership" de Louis Riel, le
WHEREAS in 1869 the Provisional Government for the Northgouvernementprovisoiredes TerritoiresduNord-Ouestadopta
west Territories under the leadership of Louis Riel, adopted a
en 1869 une liste de droits protegeant tous les gens etablis et
list of rights to protect all peoples established and living in the
vivant dans les Territoires du Nord-Ouest,
~orthwest Territories; and
ATTENDU que I' adoption de la liste des droits de Louis Riel
WHEREAS .the adoption of Louis Riel's list of rights by the
Provisional Government, was the main condition for the ac- par le gouvemement provisoire, etait la condition principale
pour }'acceptation du transfert des terres des Territoires du
ceptance of the transfer of all the lands in the Northwest
Nord-Ouest au Canada,
Territories, to Canada; and
ATTENDU que la listedes droits adoptee par legouvernement
WHEREAS the list of rights adopted by the Provisional Government was accepted and adopted by the Parliament of provisoire fut acceptee et adoptee par le Parlement canadien,
ATTENDU qu'en 1870, le Parlement canadien passa I' Acte du
Canada; and
Manitoba et ce, en consequence directe de I'adoption de la liste
WHEREAS as a direct result of the adoption of the list of rights,
des droits,
the Parliament of Canada passed the Manitoba Act in 1870; and
WHEREAS all the lands draining into Hudson Bay were trans- ATTENDU que toutes les terres bordant la baie d'Hudson
furent cedees au Canada le 15 juillet 1870,
ferred to Canada on the 15th day of July 1870; and
ATTENDU que toutes Jes terres comprises dans Jes Territoires
WHEREAS all the lands contained in the Northwest Territories
du Nord-Ouest forment la majeure partie du Canada,
form the major part of Canada; and
ATTENDU que toutes ces terres et ces peupJes joignirent la
WHEREAS all these lands and peoples joined the Canadian
Confederation canadienne en 1870,
Confederation in 1870; and
ATIENDU que le 15 juillet 1870; le Manitoba fut la premiere
WHEREAS Manitoba was the first province created in Western
province creee dans l'Ouest canadien,
Canada on the 15th of July 1870; and
ATTENDU que le Manitoba est la cinquieme province a se
WHEREAS Manitoba is the fifth province to join the Canadian
joindre ala Confederation canadienne,
Confederation; and
ATTENDU que le transfert des Territoires du Nord-Ouest au
WHEREAS the transfer of the Northwest Territories to Canada,
Canada et la creation de la province du Manitoba furent le
and the creation of the province of Manitoba are a direct result
of the adoption by the Parliament of Canada of the Riel Provi- . resultat direct de }'adoption de la liste des droits du
gouvernement provisoire de Riel pour les peuples des
sional Government List of Rights for the peoples of the Northwest Territories; and
Territoires du Nord-Ouest par le Parlement canadien,
WHEREAS the name Manitoba was submitted by Louis Riel,
ATTENDU que le nom Manitoba fut soumis par Louis Riel et
and chosen by the Parliament of Canada for the name of our
fut choisi par le Parlement canadien pour etre le nom de notre
Province; and
province,
ATTENDU que lenom Manitoba est uneexpression autochtone
WHEREAS the name Manitoba isa native expression meaning
''THE SPIRIT WHO SPEAKS"; and
qui signifie "ESPRIT QUI PARLE",
ATTENDUquedesautoritescompetentesenmatierehistorique
WHEREAS recognized authorities on the history of Western
Canada affirm Louis Riel as the founder of Manitoba; and
de l'Ouest canadien declarent Louis Riel comme fondateur du
WHEREAS in 1871 during the American Fenian threat, Louis
Manitoba,
ATTENDU que durant la menace des Fenians americains en
Riel organized the Metis people to protect the border of Canada
1871, Louis Riel organisa la protection de la frontierecanadienne
against a Fenian invasion that could have changed the course
of Canadian history; and
parlepeuplemetiscontre I' intrusion des Fenians qui auraitpu
WHEREAS Riel and his people were publicly commended for
changer le cours de l'histoire du Canada,
ATTENDU que Adams G. Archibald, lieutenant-gouverneur
their patriotic action by Adams G. Archibald, Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba and the Northwest Territories; and
duManitobaetdesTerritoiresduNord-Ouestfitpubliquement
WHEREAS in 1884 the Metis people living in the Northwest
l'eloge de Riel et des siens pour leur action patriotique,
Territories called on Louis Riel to form a Provisional GovernATIENDU qu'en 1884, le peuple metis vivant dans Jes
ment, to negotiate once more with the Government of Canada
Territoires du Nord.Quest demanda aLouis Riel de former un
their land claims and the very survival of the Metis people; and
gouvernement provisoire afin de negocier une nouvelle fois
avec le gouvemement canadien pour la revendication de leurs
droits de proprietes et la survivance du peuple metis,

Priority Resolutions I Resolutions prioritaires


WHEREAS fair play and promises had been assured to the
Metis people by due acceptation and by the adoption of the
Riel list of rights by the Parliament of Canada on the 15th day
of July 1870; and
WHEREAS the Government of Canada saw fit to ignore the
plight of the Metis and the native peoples living in the Northwest Territories, in order to accommodate political pressure
groups; and
WHEREAS the Government of Canada sent troops to crush the
rebellion and arrest Riel for treason; and
WHEREAS the trial for treason of the accused Riel was conducted by a judiciary biased towards a political party; and
WHEREAS a half jury was comprised of five persons who were
not Riel's peers and who were also known for their political
affiliations, and animosity towards the accused; and
WHEREAS Louis Riel was wrongfully accused, convicted of
high treason and executed by the Government of Canada on
November 16, 1885; and
WHEREAS in light of the foregoing, it is incumbent on the
Parliament of Canada to rehabilitate Louis Riel and to further
recognize Louis Riel as a father of the Canadian Confederation;

AITENDU que les promesses et le "rairplay" furent assures au


peuple metis par l'acceptation en bonne et due forme et par
l'adoption de la liste des droits de Riel par le Parlement
canadien le 15 juillet 1870,
AlTENDUqu'afinderepondrealapressiondecertainsgroupes
politiques, le gouvernement du Canada prefera ignorer la crise
desmetisetdespeuplesautochtonesvivantdanslesTerritoires
du Nord-Ouest,
ATTENDU que le gouvemement du Canada envoya des
troupesafin d' ecraser la rebellion et d' arreter Riel pourtrahison,
AITENDU que l'accusation de Riel fit I' objet d'un prod~s pour
trahison qui fut orchestre par un pouvoir judiciaire ayant parti
pris envers un parti politique,
AITENDU que la moitie d'un jury fut forme de cinq jures qui
n'etaient pas les pairs de Riel et dont les affiliations politiques
et l'animosite envers I' accuse etaient bien connues,
AITENDU que Louis Riel fut faussement accuse, condamne et
execute pour haute trahison le 16 novembre 1885 par le

gouvernement canadien et
AITENDU qu'a la lumiere de ce qui a ete dit precedemment,
i1 revient au Parlement canadien de rehabiliter Louis Riel et
d'ensuite reconnaitre Louis Riel comme pere de la
Confederation canadienne;

BE IT RESOLVED that the Liberal Party of Canada shall


introduce a bill in the House of Commons, to posthumously
rehabilitate and recognize Louis Riel as a father of the Canadian Confederation.
St. Boniface Federizl Riding Associiztion

IL ESTREsOLU que le Parti Liberal du Canada presentera un


projet de loi a la Chambre des communes afin de rehabiliter a
titre posthume et de reconnaitre Louis Riel comme pere de la
Confederation canadienne.
Associlztion th circonscription fldtrizle th St. Boniftlce

Aboriginal Peoples

THE PLACE OF ABORIGINAL PEOPLES IN THE GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT OF

Canada is a litmus test of our beliefs in fairness, justice, and equality of


opportunity.
For generations, Canadian society has failed this test. Many Aboriginal people face enormous problems, both in their communities and in the cities across
Canada where they live: absence of meaningful employment and economic
opportunities, unequal educational opportunity and results, poor housing,
unsafe drinking water, and lack of health services. They suffer also from the
destruction and lack of respect for Aboriginal languages, values, and culture.
Past and current ways of dealing with these conditions are not working. It is
time for a change. We must define and undertake together creative initiatives
designed to achieve fairness, mutual respect, and recognition of rights.
The role of a Liberal government will be to provide Aboriginal people with
the necessary tools to become self-sufficient and self-governing. Our priority
will be to assist Aboriginal communities in their efforts to address the obstacles
to their development and to help them marshal the human and physical
resources necessary to build and sustain vibrant communities.
The Aboriginal population is an overwhelmingly young population. If we
do not focus. on the potential of these young people, we will face increasing
costs to our social security, health, and justice systems, and we will have lost a
generation able and willing to make a contribution. Canada needs their talent
and energy.

THE FABRIC OF-CANADIAN LIFE

Our goal for Canada must be a future where:


Aboriginal people enjoy a standard of livi~g and quality of life and
opportunity equal to those of other Canadians;
First Nations, Inuit, and Meris peoples live self-reliantly, secure in the
knowledge of who they are as unique peoples;
all Canadians are enriched by Aboriginal cultures and are committed to
the fair sharing of the potential of our nation;
Aboriginal people have the positive option to live and work wherever they
choose; and
perhaps most importantly, Aboriginal children grow up in secure families
and healthy communities, with the opportunity to take their full place
in Canada.

RENEWING THE PARTNERSHIP

A Uberal government will be


committed to building a new
partnership with Aboriginal
peoples that is based on trust,
mutual respect, and participation in the decision-making
process.

A Liberal government will act on the premise that the inherent right of self
government is an existing Aboriginal and treaty right.
A Liberal government will be committed to building a new partnership with
Aboriginal peoples that is based on trust, mutual respect, and participation in
the decision-making process. It does not make sense for the federal government
to be unilaterally making policy or budgetary decisions that affect the lives of
- Aboriginal people, without their involvement. A Liberal government will develop a more comprehensive process for consultation between federal ministers
and Aboriginal representatives with respect to decision-making that directly
affects First Nations, Inuit, and Meris peoples.
A Liberal government will be committed to gradually winding down the
Department of Indian Affairs at a pace agreed upon by First Nations, while
maintaining the federal fiduciary responsibility. We will work with Aboriginal
peoples to identify where existing federal expenditures for Aboriginal peoples,
currently in excess of $5 billion a year, can be redirected into more productive
uses. A Liberal government will also explore new fiscal arrangements with
Aboriginal peoples.
A Liberal government will seek the advice of treaty First Nations on how to
achieve a mutually acceptable process to interpret the treaties in contemporary
terms, while giving full recognition to their original spirit and intent.
The Inuit are seeking a process for the negotiation of regional self-government agreements for Inuit living outside the future territory of Nunavut. A
Liberal government will support this objective.
A Liberal government will take the lead in trilateral negotiations involving
the provinces to define the nature and scope of federal and provincial responsibility for Metis and off-reserve Indians. A Liberal government will also provide
assistance to enumerate the Meris.

Income of Aboriginal People Compared


with the National Awerage, 1985

35

:\ YOUNG POPULATION

Age distributions reveal other differences


between-the total Canadian population and the
.population who identified with an Aboriginal
group. The Aboriginal Peoples Survey reveals
that the population identifying with an
Aboriginal group tended to be much younger
than Canada's total population: 37 percent were
under the age of 15, compared with 21 percent
for Canada's total population. Seven percent of
the population identifying with an Aboriginal
group were aged 55 and over, compared with 20
percent for Canada's total population.

30

Aboriginal

Canadian V<nF

25

20

15

10

0
$5,000
and andcr

$5,000 IO
$10,000

$10,000 10
$20,000

$20,000 to
$35,000

$35,000
and abme

Canadian Population by Age, 1991


Soun:e: Statistics Canada, 1990

Total

Age
group

population

(years)

(%)

Population
identifying as
Aboriginal(%)

{)-4

7.1

14.0

S-14

14.0

23.4

15-24

14.2

19.4

2S34

17.9

17.6

35-54

27.1

18.4

30

SS+

19.7

7.2

l5

Source: Sutistics Canada, 1993

Education of Aboriginal People Compared


with the National Average, 1986

3S

Aboriginal

Canadian """F

20

15

10

"'
tS

.;
ij

t-.

.....

~ . I dJ
i

.. e"'tt
~
e ....t-.
,jl

-~

....I')
i.::

~~-

.~;

u.... .!:"f....""'c ...


.....
.....
.H
zi
.ee
~~

c"

.~,

E...
;:-

:Ji

....~

s!-..

a
;J

Sour= Statistics Canada, March 1989

TH"E FABRIC OF CANADIAN LIF"E

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

The untapped potential of


Aboriginal peoples is untapped
potential for Canada.

The socio-economic conditions of Aboriginal peoples are the poorest in the


country. A Liberal government, in partnership with Aboriginal peoples, will
work towards improving their economic and social conditions. The untapped
potential of Aboriginal peoples is untapped potential for Canada. Government
studies show that a reduction of the Aboriginal unemployment rate to the
national average by the year 2000 would increase the gross national product
of Canada by 2. 3 percent.
Aboriginal-controlled community enterprises and effective community
development institutions will be supported as the main engines of economic
growth for Aboriginal peoples. A Liberal government will also explore new
approaches to obtaining capital for Aboriginal development projects, such as
..through a National Aboriginal Development Bank, whose initial capital will
come from banks, corporations, and prosperous Aboriginal communities. Its
mandate could include the issuance of Aboriginal Development Bonds, which
Canadians could purchase to finance Aboriginal community development.
A Liberal government will adopt federal procurement policies designed to
stimulate the growth of Aboriginal business and will set up an Aboriginal
Trade Commission to cultivate national and international markets for
Aboriginal goods and services, including tourism, arts, crafts, and the products
of traditional economies.

HOUSING AND INFRASTRUCTURE

A Uberal government will


work with Aboriginal peoples to
develop an approach to housing
that emphasizes community
control, local resources, and
flexibility in design and labour
requirements.

Adequate shelter is a fundamental need of any society and a basic prerequisite


for community prosperity. Properly designed projects for the construction of
housing and infrastructure should also create jobs and training for members
of that community.
Aboriginal peoples are suffering an extreme housing crisis, brought on in
part by the growth in the Aboriginal population, coupled with the Conservative regime's refusal, over nine years, to provide adequate resources to remedy the housing-need backlog. The 1992 report of the all-party Standing
Committee on Aboriginal Affairs recommends a number of ways that existing
resources could be reallocated to better address the housing crisis.
A Liberal government will work with Aboriginal peoples to develop an
approach to housing that emphasizes community control, local resources, and
flexibility in design and labour requirements. A Liberal government will bring
together Aboriginal leaders, business and investment leaders, and other levels
of government to define the appropriate legal instruments that will provide the
security of repayment necessary to encourage private-sector financing to meet
the need for housing.

ABORIGINAL PEOPLES

EDUCATION AND TRAINING

Too many Aboriginal children are dropping out of school. Less than half the
Indian school-age population reaches Grade l 2., and in the Northwest
Territories the success rate for Aboriginal children is approximately 3 percent.
Many causes for the dropout rate are poverty-related or reflect an educational
system that is not relevant to the lives of Aboriginal young people. The education system is not preparing these young people to meet the minimum
educational requirements of the Canadian labour force.
The needs of off-reserve, urban Aboriginal people are not currently being
met. A Liberal government will initiate an Aboriginal Head Start program for
preschool children and their parents, to be designed and run by Aboriginal
peoples (see chapter 5 ).
A Liberal government will establish, with the participation of Aboriginal
peoples, an Aboriginal Educational Institute that would specialize in curriculum
development for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal schools, teacher orientation,
distance education, standards development, Aboriginal languages, literacy, and
the development of cultural survival programs for youth.
Postsecondary education assistance for Aboriginal students was first introduced by a Liberal government in the late 1960s as a deliberate strategy to
close the gap between Native and non-Native education in Canada. The
Postsecondary Education Program continued to meet the growing demand
from the Aboriginal community for higher education until 1987, when the
Conservative government restricted the criteria and capped the budget for
the program. Eligible Aboriginal students are now being turned away from
postsecondary institutions for lack of funding, while at the same time the government is more than willing to support many of these young people with
welfare payments.
A Liberal government will remove the cap on postsecondary education
specifically to provide adequate funding for Aboriginal students accepted at
colleges, universities, and vocational institutes, and in adult education programs and professional degree programs. An additional ho million per year
will be budgeted initially to address the backlog of eligible students who have
been deferred as a result of the cap on funding. A review of the Postsecondary
Education Program will also be undertaken with Aboriginal peoples to determine fair criteria for eligibility and special needs, including adequate child care
for students in need of such a service.

HEALTH AND HEALING

The need for a new approach to health issues in Aboriginal communities is


starkly obvious. Aboriginal young people are committing suicide at a rate six

The education system is not


preparing Aboriginal young
people to meet the minimum
educational requirements of
the Canadian labour force.

THE FABRIC OF CANADIAN LIFE

A Uberal government will


initiate a comprehensive health
policy, designed by and for
Aboriginal peoples, which supports an integrated approach
to dealing with physical
and mental health issues and
incorporates traditional healing
methods.

times the national average, and many are falling into a life of hopelessness
characterized by a lack of education, alcohol and drug abuse, and, for too
many, incarceration in our prisons.
A Liberal government will work in partnership with Aboriginal peoples to
provide their communities with the tools and resources necessary to tackle
these problems. Some communities have identified an urgent need for crisisintervention counsellors, drop-in centres for youth, cultural survival programs,
healing centres, or other resources. Successful models for these initiatives
already exist. A Liberal government will initiate a comprehensive health policy,
designed by and for Aboriginal peoples, which supports an integrated approach to dealing with physical and mental health issues and incorporates
traditional healing methods.
Many Aboriginal communities, particularly in remote areas and the North,
. lack qualified mental health counsellors and facilities. A Liberal government
will commit the necessary resources to train professional counsellors in
traditional and contemporary methods and to assist communities to develop
traditional healing centres or other culturally appropriate initiatives. A Liberal
government will triple the current number of bursaries and scholarships
available through Health and Welfare Canada for training Aboriginal health
professionals and will make the bursaries and scholarships accessible to all
Aboriginal peoples.

ABORIGINAL JUSTICE ISSUES

A Liberal government will act


on Aboriginal justice issues as
a priority and will consider
alternative justice systems for
Aboriginal peoples.

There is ample evidence to demonstrate that the conventional justice system is


not working for Aboriginal peoples. They continue. to be imprisoned at a rate
greater than that of the overall population. Several years ago, the Canadian
Human Rights Commission made the observation that Native youth today are
more likely to go to prison than to college or university.
Numerous studies and inquiries have examined the Canadian justice system
and Aboriginal peoples, including the Marshall Inquiry and the Manitoba
Justice Inquiry. The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples has held a
National Round Table on justice issues. There is clear agreement that change is
needed and now is the time for action. Studies to date have been moving in the
direction of either a separate Aboriginal justice system or, at the very least,
major reforms to the present justice system to accommodate the unique cultures of Aboriginal peoples.
A Liberal government will act on Aboriginal justice issues as a priority and
will consider alternative justice systems for Aboriginal peoples. We will also
continue to support innovative alternative justice projects.

ABORIGINAL PEOPLES

SECURE LAND AND RESOURCE BASE

The resolution of outstanding Aboriginal claims must be a priority for all


Canadians. Aboriginal peoples require cenainty with respect to land rights if
their communities are to have a productive future. Until claims and grievances
are resolved, uncenainty over land rights will limit the possibilities of economic
dev,elopment in many parts of Canada.
The objective of a Liberal government will be to uphold the honour of the
Crown by settling claims through a fair and equitable process. The resolution
of land rights will allow the federal government to meet its obligations and
guarantee a secure land and resource base for self-government.
The current process of resolving comprehensive and specific claims is simply
not working. A Liberal government will implement major changes to the current approach. A Liberal government will be prepared to create, in cooperation
with Aboriginal peoples, an independent claims commission to speed up and
facilitate the resolution of all claims. This commission would not preclude
direct negotiations.
Most Crown land in Canada south of the 6oth parallel is held by the
provinces. A Liberal government will engage the provinces in redressing the
grievances of the Aboriginal peoples over land and resource rights, including
negotiating agreements for resource revenue-sharing. We will also promote comanagement agreements between Aboriginal peoples and federal, provincial,
and territorial governments.

AUberal government will


be prepared to create, in cooperation with Aboriginal peoples,
an independent claims commission to speed up and facilitate
the resolution of all claims.

"Liberal .News Release


.~

...r

For immediate release

October 8, 1993

CHRETIEN CALLS FOR NEW PARTNERSHIP WITH ABORIGINAL


PEOPLES AS HE UNVEILS ABORIGINAL PLATFORM
SASKATOON - Liberal Leader Jean Chretien declared today that a Liberal
government will bring a new approach to :-elations with Aboriginal peoples as he
unveile.d a compre~ensive reform plan on aboriginal issues.
The socio-economic conditions of Aboriginal peoples are the poorest in the country.
"Aboriginal communities are tired of government foot-dragging on these serious
problems," Chretien said.
The Liberal Leader said "the cornerstone of our approach will be the recognition of the
inherent right to aboriginal self-government." He noted it is not necessary to re-open
the constitutional debate in order to move ahead on self-government.
..A Liberal government is committed to building a new partnership with Aboriginal
peoples based on trust and mutual respect," Chretien said. "We will provide
Aboriginal peoples with the tools to become self-sufficient and self-governing."
The aboriginal population is an overwhelmingly young population, and the Liberals
argue that if Canada does not focus on the potential of these young people, we face
increasing costs to our social security, health, and justice systems. Chretien noted that
a native youth today is more likely to go to jail than to college or university.
The Liberal plan includes a proposal for an Aboriginal Head Start Program, a
preschool program for disadvantaged aboriginal children in urban centres and large
northern communities. The program will help children make the transition to school by
offering child care, nutritional counselling for parents, and programs with an aboriginal
cultural component.
"I have a vision of Canada where no aboriginal child has to go hungry, where
Aboriginal peoples are given the opportunity to share fully in Canada's wealth and
resources," Chretien said.

..J2
i

l\ATIONAL CAMPAIGN HEADQUARTERS


200 Laurier ../venue West, Suite 200, Ottarva, Ontario KJP 611!8

-2-

Other highlights of the package announced by Chretien today are plans to:

improve the well-being of aboriginal communities by using aboriginal controlled


community economic development institutions as the engine of economic
growth;
.
.
remove the Tory cap on funding for the Postsecondary Education Program, and
commit an additional $20 million a year initially to address the current backlog
of eligible native students;

gradually wind down the Department of Indian Affairs at a pace agreed upon by
Aboriginal peoples;

increase the number of skilled health counsellors working in remote and


northern communities;

take the lead in negotiations with the Matis and the provinces to define the
scope of government responsibility for Matis people;

initiate a major overhaul of federal land claims policy, and establish an


independent Claims Commission to help expedite claims; and

return to the negotiating table immediately to settle the long outstanding land
claim with the Inuit of Labrador.

Chretien emphasized that the Liberal Party has consulted with Aboriginal peoples and
the party's Aboriginal Peoples Commission in developing its platform. "We will work
hand in hand with Aboriginal peoples on initiatives to improve their well-being," said
Chretien, a former Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development.
The Liberals' aboriginal proposals, like ali programs in the Liberal Platform, will be
financed through the reallocation of existing federal budgets, and through cutbacks to
or cancellations of Conservative government programs. The complete, detailed list of
government cuts is included in the Liberal Platform unveiled on September 15.

-30Press Office: (613) 783-8414

'I.

Summary
- September 1993
THE ABORIGINAL PEOPLES OF CANADA
SUMMARY

The Liberal Party of Canada has set out in its election platform document, Creating
Opportunity: The liberal Plan for Canada, a number of principles and programs that
a Liberal government would be prepared to act on in partnership with Aboriginal
peoples. The framework within which a Liberal government and Aboriginal peoples
will move ahead will be the recognition that Aboriginal peoples have the inherent
right of self-government within Canada. Within this context, a Liberal government will
assist Aboriginal peoples to become self-sufficient and self-governing through
initiatives that promote aboriginal community development and a sound economic
base for the future.

Canadians understand fully the economic and social advantages of effectively


addressing the needs of Aboriginal communities. All Canadians are struggling with
an unacceptably high unemployment rate; at the same time unemployment for
Aboriginal Canadians is at the appalling rate of 25% or two and one-half times the
national rate. The greatest causes of Aboriginal unemployment are the lack of
opportunities in Aboriginal communities and a lack of education or work experience
for those jobs that are available.

The federal government, through its constitutional mandate and its fiduciary
obligation to Aboriginal peoples, can and should play a key role in ensuring that
Aboriginal communities have the tools and resources necessary to resolve the
issues they have identified as critical to their well-being. Only in this way will the
fullest potential of Aboriginal peoples be tapped for the good of all Canadians.

Key initiatives in the Liberal platform on Aboriginal economic development include


measures which are consistent with the Liberal focus on small and medium-size
business, such as:
support for Aboriginal-controlled community development institutions, and better
access to community development resources for Metis and off-reserve Indian
institutions in urban areas;
procurement policies that stimulate the growth of Aboriginal business;

NATIONAL CAMPAIGN HEADQUARTERS


200 Lauri.er Avenue Wat, Suite 200, Ottawa, Ontario KJP 6M8
TeL (6fJ)Z'J7-0740 FO.%: (6JJ)ZJ.J-7Z08

Aboriginal Peoples

initiatives to obtain capital for Aboriginal development projects, such as through


an Aboriginal Development Bank; and

establishment of an Aboriginal Trade Commission to promote Aboriginal goods _


and services at home and abroad.

If Aboriginal communities are to become self-sufficient, they must have an adequate


land and resource base upon which to grow. That is why a Liberal government is
committed to overhauling the land claims policy in ways that will make the process
more fair, more efficient, and less costly.

Most of the Liberal commitments will not require new funding. They will, however,
necessitate a re-allocation of existing resources. Too often past programs have
been dictated by government without sufficient Aboriginal participation, with the
result that programs are doomed from the start. Community control over the design
and implementation of programs, adequate fiscal resources, and a sufficient land
and resource base, are key elements in the development of Aboriginal communities.

Nevertheless, in keeping with the importance of education to Liberals, a Liberal


government will devote new funding to address the backlog of Aboriginal postsecondary students deferred because of the cap on the post-secondary program and
to establish a pilot Head Start program for Aboriginal pre-school children. Both the
budget for Aboriginal Head Start, at $100 million over four years, and the budgetary
increase of $80 million over four years to address the backlog of eligible students
will be paid out of the cuts to existing Conservative programs outlined in the Liberal
platform document Creating Opportunities.

We believe that a focus on Aboriginal children and young people through the
educational, training, and health initiatives which we propose in the liberal platform
will assist this predominantly young population of Indian, Inuit, and Metis peoples to
realize their potential while preserving their identity and culture. Helping Aboriginal
communities to improve the circumstances which have resulted in a sense of despair
for too many children is not only the just thing to do. The Liberal commitment to
investing in people includes enabling Aboriginal people to five healthy and productive
lives. Canada's social security, health, and justice systems will in turn benefit.

The development o_f the 1993 Liberal platform on Aboriginal peoples is a continuation
of the strong policy resolutions on Inherent Right of Self-Government, Treaties and
Claims, and Aboriginal Affairs passed unanimously at the 1992 National Liberal Party
Convention. Both the policy resolutions and the platform on Aboriginal peoples have
been guided by the strong hand of the Aboriginal Peoples' Commission of the Liberal
Party of Canada, created by Jean Chretien in 1990 and made up of Aboriginal
representatives from across Canada .
.
Moreover, Liberal Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Parliamentarians have worked hard
to ensure that the Liberal principles of justice, fairness, and respect for Aboriginar

Aboriginal Peoples

peoples - principles that a Liberal government in 1982 entrenched in the Constitution


with the recognition of Aboriginal and treaty rights - would be developed into
concrete and realistic platform commitments in 1993.

1.- -

At the 1990 Aboriginal Policy Forum of the Liberal Party, Mr. Chretien told Aboriginal
people that,
"as Leader of the Liberal Party, I want not only to make our party the party
of the Aboriginal people, but I want Aboriginal issues to be front and centre
on the agenda of a Liberal government."

Our commitment to Aboriginal peoples and to all Canadians on these issues is on


the record. With the cooperation of a Liberal government, the Aboriginal peoples of
Canada can begin to find their own solutions and to take charge of their future.

September 1993
THE ABORIGINAL PEOPLES OF CANADA

INTRODUCTION
The Liberal Party believes that rebuilding and strengthening relationships
with Aboriginal peoples and improving Aboriginal social and economic conditions are
issues which Canadians want addressed as a priority. The United Nations has also
designated this year, 1993, as the International Year of Indigenous People.
We realize that the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples is currently
studying these issues and is expected to release its report next year. The Liberal Party
does not want to pre-empt the findings and recommendations cf the Royal Commission.
However, there are a number of issues that have clear solutions or require immediate
attention and, in addition, there are issues upon which the Royal Commission has
already expressed its views. We are prepared to proceed in these areas now.
A new approach to relations between Aboriginal peoples and the federal
government is needed. Decision-making processes must change. Aboriginal peoples
must be full participants. We want to develop, in partnership with Aboriginal peoples,
a new vision which is comprehensive and realistic. We want to work with Aboriginal
peoples toward the creation of an Aboriginal program based upon the following
principles:

Recognition of the inherent right of Aboriginal self-government as an existing right.

Provision of support and assistance to encourage the healing which is taking place
within Aboriginal communities.

Promotion of education and training as a planning priority to develop the skills


necessary for self-government and economic improvement.

Support for community development, to stimulate economic development and job


creation amongst Aboriginal peoples.

An economic foundation for Aboriginal self-government through restoration of lands


and resources by an equitable resolution of land claims.

Aboriginal Peoples

The main elements of an Aboriginal program which a Liberal government


would be prepared to pursue with a view to implementing these principJ~s are set forth
in this document.

RENEWING THE PARTNERSHIP: SELF-GOVERNMENT

A Liberal government will be committed to building a new relationship - based on


trust and mutual respect - between Aboriginal peoples and the federal government
through recognition of the origins of this historic partnership.

The cornerstone of a new relationship with Aboriginal peoples will be the recognition
of the inherent right of Aboriginal self-government. A Liberal government will act
on the premise that the inherent right of self-government is an existing Aboriginal
and treaty right within the meaning of section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982.
Recognizing the inherent right is consistent with the historical fact that Aboriginal
peoples governed this land prior to the arrival of Europeans to the various regions
of.North America.

It is time for the government of Canada to recognize the inherent right of Aboriginal
peoples to govern themselves. The Liberal Party is not suggesting reopening the
constitutional debate at this time, but it is necessary to move ahead on Aboriginal
self-government and we believe it is possible to do this within the existing
constitutional framework. The approach is consistent with the views of the Royal
Commission on Aboriginal Peoples as set out in its interim report on selfgovernment.

We do not expect self-government to solve all the concerns of Aboriginal. Canadians


overnight. But it is the key which will enable Aboriginal people themselves to begin
finding their own solutions in the long term. It is time for the federal government to
start trusting Aboriginal people to make their own decisions. Mistakes may be made,
but successive governments have demonstrated time and again that they are illequipped to deal with the concerns of Aboriginal people. The Liberal Party believes
it is time for Aboriginal people to be given a chance to take charge of their future.

In negotiating self-government agreements, careful attention will need to be paid to


the issue of financial resources. We will work with Aboriginal peoples to identify
where existing federal expenditures for Aboriginal peoples, currently in excess of $5
billion a year, can be redirected into more productive uses. A Liberal government will
also explore new fiscal arrangements with Aboriginal peoples.

Implementing self-government will involve building a better framework for relations


between the federal government and Aboriginal peoples. A Liberal government will
develop a more comprehensive process for consultation between federal ministers
and Aboriginal representatives with respect to decision-making that directly affects
First Nations, Inuit, and Metis peoples. Moreover, a Liberal government will
2

Aboriginal Peoples
establish a process for engaging provinces to participate in consultations as
appropriate.

Implementing self-government will involve a variety of approaches depending upon


the Aboriginal peoples and their particular circumstances.

1) Indian First Nations

There are approximately 540,000 Indian people in Canada, organized into 604 First
Nation communities, about 55% of whom reside on reserves. For the last 117 years
or so, the federal government has administered their affairs under the Indian Act
through the Department of Indian Affairs.

Currently, control of Indian Affairs is centralized in the hands of the Minister and
senior management in the Department of Indian Affairs. Budgets, spending priorities
and cutbacks are decided upon in isolation from First Nations. Consultations are
undertaken with First Nations on an ad hoc and selective basis. A Liberal
administration would change this approach by supporting a bilateral consultative
process developed in cooperation with First Nations.

A Liberal government will be committed to gradually winding down the Department


of Indian Affairs at a pace which is agreed upon by First Nations, while maintaining
the federal fiduciary responsibility. In the meantime, the Department should continue
delivering services to those First Nations that require them.

A Liberal government will be prepared to undertake a program of reform oriented


toward the implementation of the inherent right of self-government, through
negotiated self-government agreements, while safeguarding treaties and respecting
the fiduciary duty of the federal Crown. This program of reform would differ from the
community based self-government program currently being implemented by the
Department of Indian Affairs. At the same time, a Liberal government would support
the self-government arrangements now in place or in the process of being
negotiated.

Indian Treaty Nations have unique interests and concerns.


Their original
relationships with the Crown are founded upon their historic treaties and any new
relationship must be based upon respect for the treaties. A Liberal government will
seek the advice of Treaty First Nations on how to achieve a mutually acceptable
process to interpret the treaties in contemporary terms, while giving full recognition
to the original intent and spirit of the treaties.

Aboriginal

Pee:.~

2) Inuit

The federal government has a special trust relationship with the 35;000 Inuit peo;:: e
of Canada.

Land claims settlements have been signed with Inuit in the Arctic and NortheQuebec. The claim of the lnuvialuit in the Western Arctic was settled in 1984. June, 1993, Parliament ratified the claim of the Inuit of Nunavut. Quebec In~ settled their claim in 1975. However, the claim of the Labrador Inuit remairs
outstanding because of the federal refusal to return to the negotiating table.

A liberal government will begin negotiations, without preconditions, with the Inuit c:
Labrador and the province of Newfoundland to settle this outstanding claim. ;..
Liberal government would also be prepared to discuss with the Labrador lnur:
alternative funding arrangements to the current bilateral arrangement betweer
Canada and Newfoundland.

The Inuit are also seeking a national process for the negotiation of regional selfgovernment agreements within the existing constitutional framework. A Libera!
government would support this objective.

Legislation passed by Parliament in June will see the new territory of Nunavut
established in the central and eastern Arctic by 1999. A Liberal government wi!:
work in cooperation with the people of the Eastern and Western Arctic to ensure a
smooth transition to Nunavut.

3) Metis

The Metis people emerged as a distinct cultural and political entity out of the
convergence of cultures of Indian peoples and early settlers. A large number of
Metis are concentrated in western and northern Canada.

The Metis are recognized as an Aboriginal people in the Constitution; the federal
government has not historically recognized legislative responsibility for Metis under
section 91 (24) of the Constitution Act, 1867. A Liberal government will take the lead
in trilateral negotiations with the Metis and provincial governments to define the
nature and scope of federal and provincial responsibility for Metis people.

A Liberal government will also provide assistance to enumerate the Metis.

Aboriginal Peoples

4) Urban Aboriginal people

While the total number and distribution of urban-based statu~-- and non-status
Indians, Inuit, and Metis are unclear, approximately 45% of status Indians are now
living off reserve.

The Liberal Party of Canada recognizes that the needs of the urban Aboriginal
population are not currently being fully met. Aboriginal migration into urban centres
will continue. This coupled with the growing Aboriginal population will create
increased demand for culturally supportive social.and economic institutions in urban
centres. This demand will be particularly acute for western provinces with significant
numbers of Aboriginal people and which do not have sufficient resources to meet the
needs of thi"s growing population.

A Liberal government will b"uild upon the network of urban Aboriginal institutions and
will support community controlled development l:istitutions. We. will also initiate a
head start program for pre-school Aboriginal chlk!~en and their parents living in urban
centres and large northern communities.

ABORIGINAL JUSTICE

The agenda for self-government will be established in consultation and cooperation


with Aboriginal peoples. However, an obvious priority will be the administration of
justice. There is ample evidence to indicate that the present system is not working
for Aboriginal peoples. They continue to be over-represented in our prisons.
Several years ago, the Canadian Human Rights Commission made the observation
that a native youth in Canada today is more likely to go to prison than to college or
university.

There have been numerous studies and inquiries into the subject of Aboriginal
peoples and the justice system, including th~ Marshall Inquiry and the Manitoba
Justice Inquiry, to name just two. In addition, the Royal Commission on Aboriginal
Peoples recently held a National Round Table on justice issues.

There is a clear consensus from all the studies to date that change is needed and
now is the time for action. There is an emerging consensus that what is required
is a separate Aboriginal justice system or, at the very least, major reforms to the
present justice system to accommodate the unique cultures and interests of
Aboriginal peoples.

A Liberal government will urge the Royal Commission to issue early


recommendations on Aboriginal justice issues. We are committed to acting on
Aboriginal justice issues as a priority and will be prepared to consider alternative
justice systems for Aboriginal peoples. We will also continue to support innovative
alternative justice projects.

Aboriginal Peoples

HEALTH AND HEALING

A nation's greatest resource is its children. Yet many native communities are losing
their children at an alarming rate. Aboriginal young people are committing suicide at
a rate that is six times the national average and many are falling into a life of
hopelessness characterized by a lack of education, alcohol and substance abuse,
and for too many, incarceration in our prisons.

While the causes of suicide and substance abuse among young Aboriginal people
may differ, there are common threads which have surfaced in communities from East
to West to the Arctic - poverty, harsh living conditions, overcrowding, family violence,
lack of recreational facilities for youth, and a loss of identity and traditional values.
The daily dose of an alien T.V. culture only serves to remind these children that their
lives bear no resemblance to the rest of North American society.

The consequence of a failure to assist Aboriginal communities to deal with the roots
of these problems will be an escalation in the climate of despair, which in turn
means a higher human and monetary cost. It must be recognized, for example, that
overcrowding in northern communities and on reserves, which is sixteen times worse
than in other Canadian homes, is directly related to school drop-outs, family
violence, and suicide. A Liberal government must work in partnership with Aboriginal
peoples to ensure that their communities have the tools and resources necessary
to tackle these problems.

Some communities have identified an urgent need for crisis intervention counsellors,
drop-in centres for youth, cultural survival activity centres, healing centres or other
resources. Successful models for these initiatives already exist. A Liberal
government will take the advice of Aboriginal peoples in determining the priorities for
their communities in this regard.

As an immediate first step, a Liberal government will initiate a .comprehensive health


policy, designed by and for Aboriginal peoples, which supports an integrated
approach to physical and mental health issues and incorporates tr~ditional
approaches to healing.

A Liberal government will also address the shortage of skilled health counsellors and
facilities, particularly in remote and northern communities, by committing the
necessary resources to train counsellors in traditional and contemporary methods
and by assisting communities wishing to develop traditional healing centres or other
culturally appropriate initiatives.

As a long-term investment in people, a Liberal government is committed to


increasing the number of Aboriginal health professionals, with an emphasis on local
training ~here possible. As a start, the current number of bursaries and scholarships
available through Health and Welfare for the training of Aboriginal health
professionals will be tripled and made accessible to all Aboriginal peoples.

Aboriginal Peoples

A Liberal government will also explore with other governments ways of increasing
the number of Aboriginal doctors, nurses, counsellors, and other health professionals
and will encourage their employment in Aboriginal communities. A Liberal
government will work with post-secondary institutions to build upon current initiatives
which help to prepare Aboriginal students for medical and related studies, and will
promote the integration of traditional methods and medicin.es into mainstream
programs.

EDUCATION AND TRAINING

Improving the educational and training environment for Aboriginal. Canadians is one
of the major objectives of the Liberal Party of Canada. All Canadians will benefit
from enhancing the educational system to meet the needs of Canada's youngest and
fastest growing population. Failure to act today will mean a major financial burden
.tomorrow.

According to a 1993 study prepared for the Assembly of First Nations, federal
government spending on Aboriginal education over the last ten years has increased
by only 3%, when inflation and population growth are taken into account. The study
found that while spending on income maintenance has increased by 34 %, spending
on economic development and housing capital, both related to education, jobs, and
training, has decreased by 66%. A reallocation of existing resources in the
Department of Indian Affairs alone would go a long way to putting limited resources
to a more productive use - in education, training, and community capital projects.

Too many Aboriginal children are dropping out before graduating from high school.
Only 41% of Indian children in Canada finished grade 12, as at 1990. The success
rate in the N.W.T., according to testimony before the Royal Commission on
Aboriginal Peoples, is as low as 3%. Many causes for the drop-out rate are povertyrelated, such as the cost of clothing, serious overcrowding at home, or poor health.
Moreover, many children from northern and rural Aboriginal communities must still
leave home to attend high school, where for the first time they become a minority
among non-native students. In most instances, the education is neither responsive
to the needs nor relevant to the culture of Aboriginal peoples.

Progress has been made in increasing First Nation administrative control over
education at the local level; however, due to fiscal constraints there is very little
capacity for Aboriginal peoples to develop their own curriculum. This, together with
the incapacity of existing non-native schools to provide culturally supportive and
relevant materials to deal with the large number of Aboriginal students, requires
action.

There are existing schools and facilities working independently of each other across
the country in Aboriginal curriculum development. Their efforts need to be
coordinated and the product of their development shared amongst all Aboriginal

Aboriginal Peoples

peoples. The federal government has a role to play in resourcing and facilitating this
coordination.

A Liberal government, with the participation of Aboriginal peoples, will establish an


Abor'iginal educational institute and networking facility that will coordinate and build
.upon existing initiatives in Aboriginal curriculum development for Aboriginal and nonAboriginal schools, standards development, distance education, Aboriginal
languages, teacher orientation, and the special needs of many communities such as
literacy, adult basic education, and special education. This facility will also work with
communities wishing to develop culturally appropriate programs which integrate
traditional knowledge and survival skills with academic and jo~-related training.

In addition, First Nations have expressed dissatisfaction with the existing system of
Master Tuition Agreements with the provinces for the funding of Aboriginal children
in provincially-run schools. A Liberal government will review the Master Tuition
Agreements; with a view to ensuring that Aboriginal peoples are involved fully in
decision-making and control of the process.

Post-secondary education assistance was first introduced by a Liberal government


in the late 1960s as a deliberate strategy to close the gap between native and nonnative education in Canada. The postsecondary program continued to meet the
growing demand for higher education until 1987, when the Conservative government
restricted the criteria and capped the program. Students who wish to undertake
postsecondary education are now being turned away. At the same time, the current
government is more than willing to support many of these young people with welfare
payments, which in some cases exceed the cost of sending them to school.

The Liberal Party's commitment to assisting Aboriginal postsecondary students has


not faltered. Mr. Chretien stated recently that Liberals will lead a government "that
does not put a cap on knowledge, but instead ensures that there will be greater
participation in our educational institutions."

A Liberal government will, therefore, remove the cap on postsecondary education


specifically to provide adequate funding for Aboriginal students accepted at colleges,
universities, and vocational institutes, and in adult education programs and
professional degree programs. An additional $20 million per year will be budgeted
initially to address the backlog of eligible students who have been deferred as a
result of the cap on funding. A review of the Postsecondary Education Program will
also be undertaken with Aboriginal peoples to determine fair criteria for eligibility and
special needs, including . adequate child care for students in need of such a service.
.

liberal initiatives for a National Apprenticeship Program and National Youth Service
will accommodate the special circumstances of Aboriginal communities. For
example,. literacy is a major problem which hinders the successful completion of
training programs designed for Aboriginal peoples. A Liberal government will also
promote training programs which respond to the needs of Aboriginal communities.

Aboriginal Peoples
This will mean a greater focus on training in such areas as environmental
technologies, resource management, community development, survival skills, and
computers in addition to the traditional trades and services.

ABORIGINAL COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

The socio-economic conditions of Aboriginal people are embarrassingly poor. 1991


census data confirms high unemployment, lower earned incomes and a high
concentration of Aboriginal workers in lower end occupations. Figures show a large
number of young Aboriginal people joining an already large pool of Aboriginal people
in the labour market particularly in the North and in Western Canada. New
Aboriginal labour market entrants and those already in the labour force suffer from
inadequate levels of education. The untapped potential qf Aboriginal peoples is
untapped potential for Canada.

The Liberal Party recognizes that an investment in Aboriginal peoples is an


Aboriginal community enterprises and community
investment in Canada.
development institutions will be supported as the main engines of economic growth
within Aboriginal communities. Existing top-down bureaucratically controlled
developmental programs will be replaced with a new generation of community-based
developmental initiatives.

Community economic development is designed to facilitate a more holistic


developmental approach and is a shift away from the failed selective economic
program interventions that characterized previous developmental programming. The
Economic Council of Canada has endorsed community development as an important
regional development tool. The following initiatives, which a Liberal government
would be prepared to implement, are designed to maximize the use of limited
resources and recognize that Aboriginal people themselves are the principal ones
to achieve meaningful progress:
1.

Strengthen and, where necessary, expand the network of existing Aboriginalcontrolled development institutions, through the transfer of control and delivery
of federal development programs to community development institutions;

2.

Consistent with Liberal community development strategies outlined in the


platform, we will ensure that community development resources are betteextended to Metis and other off-reserve Indian institutions in urban areas witr
a particular focus on small businesses, economic planning, housing, huma ..
resource development (employment and training) and comprehensive communit!
planning;

3.

As the single largest purchaser of goods and services in the country, a Libera
government will adopt procurement policies designed to stimulate the growth :Aboriginal business;
9

Aboriginal. Peoples

4.

Explore with Aboriginal peoples and other northern nations ways in which
Canada can promote the freer movement of persons, goods, and seryices in the
circumpolar region;

5.

Explore new approaches to obtaining capital for Aboriginal development projects,


such as a National Aboriginal Development Bank, with initial capital coming from
banks, corporations, and prosperous Aboriginal communities;

6.

Establish an Aboriginal Trade Commission to identify and protect Aboriginal


products and to cu~tivate national and international markets for both traditional
and contemporary Aboriginal goods and services, including products with valueadded Aboriginal input.

HOUSING

The deplorable housing conditions of Aboriginal peoples are described in the 1992
Report of the all-Party Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs, entitled A Time for
Action: Aboriginal and Northern Housing. A Liberal government will work with
Aboriginal peoples toward the implementation of the recommendations in that
Report.

In light of the current fiscal environment, the Liberal Party acknowledges the
economic importance of the construction industry and capital expenditures as tools
for stimulating economic growth and job creation. Better use of capital expenditures
will form part of the Liberal strategy on Aboriginal community development.

A Liberal government will work with Aboriginal peoples to develop an approach to


housing that emphasizes community control, local resources, and flexibility in design
and labour requirements. A Liberal government will bring together Aboriginal leaders,
business and investment leaders, and other levels of government to define the
appropriate legal instruments that will provide the security of repayment necessary
to encourage private-sector financing to meet the need for housing.

RESTORATION OF LANDS AND RESOURCES

The restoration of a land and resource base sufficient to sustain Aboriginal societies,
through the equitable resolution of land claims, is the key to the future and long-term
cultural and economic success of self-government. The dispossession of their
traditional territories is one of the root causes of the contemporary social and
economic ills and inequities that exist amongst Aboriginal peoples in Canada.

The first federa~ claims policy was introduced in 1973 by a Liberal government in
response to intense political pressure from Indian leaders and the Calder decision
of the Supreme Court of Canada. A major review of claims occurred in 1980 also

10

Aboriginal Peoples
under a Liberal government. This led to the issuance of two separate claims
policies: the federal comprehensive claims policy entitled In All Fairness in
December 1981, and the specific claims policy Outstanding Business in May 1982.
Both were issued under a Liberal government. The specific and comprehensive
claims policies have not been fundamentally changed since.

The comprehensive claims policy was reviewed in 1985 by the Coolican Task Force .
Unfortunately, the Conservative govemmenfs response, the Comprehensive Land
Claims Policy announced in 1986, fell far short of the recommendations in the
Coolican Report.

Major reforms are now needed to these claims policies and processes. First, they
are out of step with the legal and political evolution of Aboriginal and treaty rights.
There have been no fundamental changes to federal claims policy since the last
major review by a Liberal government in 1980. Yet, there have been major legal
and political developments since then. In April 1982, existing Aboriginal and treaty
rights wers recognized and affirmed in section 35 of t'1e Constitution Act. 1982.
There have also been no less than five important decisions of the Supreme Court
of Canada including the Nowegiiick case (1983), the Guerin case (1984) the Simon
case (1985), the Soarrow case (1990), and the Sioui case (1990). All of these
decisions affect claims.

Second, current claims policies have not resulted in an expeditious resolution of land
claims. As of February, 1993, out of the 578 specific claims submitted since 1973,
no more than 44 ctaims have been settled. Many more claims are in the research
and development stage and a considerable number are in litigation. With respect
to comprehensive claims, in 20 years seven claims have been settled or are on the
verge of final settlement, covering Northern and Northeastern Quebec, the Yukon,
Eastern Arctic and part of the Western Arctic. Vast parts of the Maritimes, Quebec
and British Columbia remain subject to outstanding claims of Aboriginal title.

Claims negotiations have been difficult in part due to the strong objections by
.Aboriginal people to certain aspects of the current policy, in particular extinguishment
and the reluctance of the federal government to negotiate self-government as part
of claims. Negotiations have been unduly protracted, resulting in the accumulation
of massive amounts of debt for claimants. Problems in the implementation of some
land claims agreements also give cause to reconsider the merits of the existing
policy.

The Conservative government has made only minor changes to the claims process,
including the establishment of a Specific Claims Commission with a very limited
mandate announced in 1991. A Treaty Commission .has also been established tc
deal only with comprehensive claims in British Columbia.

A Liberal government, in consultation with Aboriginal peoples, would undertake i


major overhaul of the federal claims policy on a national basis. The objective of i

11

Aboriginal Peoples
Liberal government regarding land and resource rights would be to uphold the
honour of the Crown by settling these matters through a fair and equit3ble process.

Many have criticized the artificial distinction between specific and comprehensive
claims in the current claims policies.
Instead of separate specific and
comprehensive claims, we propose a general policy encompassing all claims. Under
a Liberal government, the negotiation of claims relating to Aboriginal and treaty
rights could Include the right of self-government. In order to be consistent wi_th the
Canadian Constitl~tion which now "recognizes and affirms" Aboriginal and treaty
rights, a Liberal government will not require blanket extinguishment for crafms based
on Aboriginal title.

The existing land claims process has also created a conflict for the federal
government in deciding whether to accept or reject claims against itself. Under a
Liberal government a new process for resolving land claims will be established. A
Liberal government will create, in cooperation with Aboriginal peoples, an
independent Claims Commission for both specific and comprehensive clairps. Its
mandate will be jointly developed with Aboriginal peopies.

The Commission, composed of members jointly selected by Aboriginal peoples and


the federal government, could have the following features - to report regularly to
Parllament; to facilitate claims negotiations; to establish time frames: to develop
criteria for validating claims; to inquire into the need to cfarffy or renovate treaties to
make their express terms consistent with their spirit and intent, and to have an
ongoing role in the implementation of claims agreemen1s.

One of the most.costly aspects of the current claims process has been the length
of time to settle claims and the litigation that results when negotiations are stalled.
Jt is expected that the independent Claims Coryimlsslon will lead to speedier
settlements and lower costs for both Aboriginal claimants and the federal
government

This Commission will not replace direct negotiations between the Federal
government and claimants. It will instead facilitate and bring fairness to the
negotiation process.

A Liberal government, in cooperation with Aboriginal peoples, would build upon the
positive aspects of the existing Indian Claims Commission and the British Columbia
Claims Commission In these proposed reforms.

Most Crown land in Canada south of 60 degrees is held by the provinces. A Liberal
government would engage the provinces in redressing the grievances of Aboriginal
peoples over land and resource rights, including negotiating agreements for comanagement and resource revenue-sharing

....
12

Aboriginal Peoples

CONCLUSION

We believe that the changes we propose are overdue and that the program we have
sketched out is realistic and achievable.

The Liberal Party acknowledges the fiscal limitations Canada faces. But we believe
better use can be made of existing funds. For example, it is misguided thinking for
the Department of Indian Affairs to be increasing spending on social assistance while
cutting resources for economic development and education.

The Aboriginal population is a young population. If we do not focus on the potential


of these young people, we will face increasing costs to our social security, health
and justice systems and we will have lost a generation able and willing to make a
contribution.

...
,
,,

13

Aboriginal Head Start


ABORIGINAL HEAD START

A Liberal government will establish, in cooperation with Aboriginal peoples, an


Aboriginal Head Start program on a pilot project basis, initially for Aboriginal
families living in urban centres and large northern communities. A Liberal
government will begin this project with commitments of up to $10 million in the
first year of its mandate, up to $20 million in the second year, up to $30 million in
the third year, and up to $40 million in the fourth year. The precise design and
delivery of the program will be determined and controlled by Aboriginal peoples.

BACKGROUND

Poverty among children has been associated with poorer health, lower ievels of
educational attainment, and higher rates of incarceration. More than one million
Canadian children under the age of 16 live in poverty.. Canadian and American
studies have shown that early and sustained interventions with children result in
social and economic benefits. The Canadian Council on Children and Youth cites
studies which have concluded that each dollar invested in high-quality preschool
programs can save $4.75 through lower costs for special education, public
assistance, and the administration of justice.

In the 1991 census, over one million persons in Canada reported having Aboriginal
origins, either as their only ancestry or in combination with other origins. This
represents 3.7_percent of the Canadian population, although in Manitoba,
Saskatchewan, and Alberta the percentage is considerably higher, at 11 percent,
10 percent and 6 percent respectively. In the Northwest Territories, Aboriginal
peoples make up 62 percent of the population, and 23 percent in the Yukon.

Well over half of Canadian families of Aboriginal origin live off reserve, many of
those in urban communities. For example, Winnipeg (population 645,000) is home
to approximately 15,000 Matis and 20,000 Indian people. Edmonton (population
832,000) includes 13,500 Matis and 16,000 Indian people. Regina (population
189,000) has an Aboriginal population of 3,700 Metis and 7,300 Indians.

The Aboriginal population is a much younger population than Canada's total


population - 38 percent are under the age of 15, compared to 21 percent of the
Canadian population. Statistics Canada projects that Aboriginal peoples living on and
off reserve will continue to tiave a higher population growth rate and a younger
demographic base than the overall C~nadian population.

Aboriginal peoples generally are economically disadvantaged compared to all


Canadians. Among the off-reserve Aboriginal population, Saskatchewan, Manitoba
and the Territories have the highest proportion of Aboriginal peoples - 60 percent -

14

F"

Aboriginal Head Stan


earning less than $10,000 (1985 figures). The corresponding figure for the Canadian
population as a whole was 39 percent

The educational levels attained by Aboriginal peoples living off reseri/e are higher
than those of the on-reserve population but still significantly lower than the general
. population. In 1986, 21 percent of the off-reserve population over the age of 15 did
not have a grade 9 education, compared to 17 percent of the Canadian population
as a whole.

THE HEAD START MODEL.

The Head Start program has been in operation in the United States for 28 years and
has served more than 13 million children. It is a federally funded, early intervention
program to provide child care and social, educational, health, and nutritional services
to disadvantaged children aged three, four, and five. The program places a strong
emphasis on parental and community involvement.

Eligibility is based on income but there is the flexibility to accept children whose
parents' income is over the poverty line, such as in smaller communities where
preschool or child care programs are not readily available. Head Start programs are
administered locally by community-based, non-profit organizations and school
systems.

In Canada, there are similar programs which are named Head Start or which follow
many of the principles of Head Start Examples of these include the Moncton
Headstart Program and the Ottawa-Carleton Headstart Association for Pre-schools.
There are also urban, Aboriginal child care facilities, such as the Circle Project in
Regina, whose programs are compatible with many of the objectives of Head Start.

ABORIGINAL HEAD START

The primary objective of an Aboriginal Head Start program would be to help


disadvantaged Aboriginal preschool children living in urban centres and large
communities in the north to prepare for the transition to school. Studies have shown
that Head Start has immediate and long-term positive impacts on a child's selfesteem, social behaviour, and desire to achieve. Through parental involvement, the
physical and emotional health of participating children and their families has
improved.

These same studies also show, however, that in some cases the Head Start
experience cannot reverse the cumulative effects of poverty, neglect, abuse, or ill
health suffered by some children and that some of the gains made by children while
enrolled in Head Start can be lost in later years.

15

Aboriginal Head Start

Aboriginal peoples have expressed the need for their educational system to reflect
the culture and experience of Aboriginal communities. An Aborigjnal Head Start
program would be designed and controlled by Aboriginal peoples at the community
level. Aboriginal. Head Start must be flexible to take into consideration the different
needs and priorities of the communities where they would be situated.

Central to the design of Aboriginal Head Start programs would be a strong cultural
component. Many Aboriginal children living in cities are cut off from relatives and the
elders of their traditional communities. Aboriginal children, no matter where they live,
should know their history, culture, and language. And above all, they need to know
that they are important.

One of the positive spin-offs of current Head Start programs has been the
opportunity for the parents involved to learn the skills required to work in the
program. A successful Head Start would ensure that there are support programs for
parents, including problem-solving and upgrading of skills. Some parents, many of
them single mothers, have become gainfully employed with Head Start as teachers
or counsellors.

A successful urban Aboriginal Head Start program could serve as a model for an
expanded program for other Aboriginal communities, reserves, and high-risk, nonAboriginal children.

According to the Circle Project of Regina, "the children of today are our leaders of
tomorrow and with the teaching of our philosophy of wholeness, wellness,
acceptance, and independence, our leaders of tomorrow will stand a chance in life".

16

September 1993
ABORIGINAL PEOPLES
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Q.:

Do we need to change the Constitution in order to proceed with negotiations


on self-government?

A.:

No. The present Constitution (s. 35) now recognizes and affirms the existing
Aboriginal and treaty rights of the Indian, Inuit, and Metis Peoples of Canada. The
Charlottetown Accord proposed wording tha~ s:mply would have affirmed that one
of these existing rights is the inherent right of Aboriginal peoples to govern
themselves within Canada. The provision dld r.vt claim to create a right or to grant
a right to Aboriginal peoples. It was intended merely to confirm the existence of the
right and give it constitutional status.
The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples released a report on self-government
in August, 1993 (Partners in Confederation) which supports the position of the
Liberal Party of Canada. The Report concludes that there are strong historical and
legal grounds for the inherent right of Aboriginal self-government within Canada
and that this right is likely one of the Aboriginal and treaty rights now guaranteed
in the Constitution.

Q.:

What would Aboriginal self-government look like and how would a Liberal
government and Aboriginal peoples implement self-government?

A.:

The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples has given some guidance in its
August 1993 report on self-government, on directions which the implementation of
self-government might take. A Liberal government will study the commission's
report,
The inherent right of self-government, in the view of the Commission, is not an
unlimited right. It would allow Aboriginal governments to operate within the
Constitution in the same way .as federal, provincial, and territorial governments do.
Secondly, the Commission points out that Aboriginal governments would not be
subordinate to other governments in certain core areas which impact most
immediately on peoples' lives, eg. education, social policy, or certain areas of

Aboriginal Peoples

justice. In other areas they would share jurisdiction with oth_er governments and in
still other areas they would accept exclusive federal jurisdiction.
Thirdly, individual members of Aboriginal groups would enjoy the protection of the
Charter of Rights and Freedoms in their dealings with Aboriginal governments, in
the same way that the Charter is available to all Canadians to challenge federal
and provincial laws and practices which may be discriminatory under the Charter.
The implementation of the inherent right of self-government, in the words of the
Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, will mean different things to different
Aboriginal groups. For some it may mean reviving traditional governmental
structures or adapting them to modem purposes. For others, it may mean new
structures. Or for other groups the immediate objective may be simply greater
control over the provision of governmental services such as education and health
care.

Q.:

What does removing the cap on postsecondary education for Aboriginal


students mean?

A.:

The Conservative government began to narrow the terms of the postsecondary


program in 1987 under Minister Bill McKnight, and again in 1989 when Minister
Pierre Cadieux introduced the guidelines which are still in use. The policy change
which most seriously hampered the effectiveness of the program concerned the
program budget. Previously, rt the Main Estimates underestimated the enrolment
of Aboriginal students in a given year, Supplementary Estimates were aflowed to
cover the shortfall. As of 1987, the budget was capped and no supplementary
funds could be requested during the year.
The capping of the postsecondary program has led to a serious backlog of eligible
Aboriginal students. The 1987-88 Auditor General's Report pointed out that the
Department of Indian Affairs' history of not projecting accurately the demand for
postsecondary education has led to inadequate funding under the fixed budget
policy imposed in 1987.
The Department of Indian Affairs does not keep records of the number of students
who have been deferred because of the cap. Liberals Will allocate a further $20
million to the post-secondary budget initially to address the backlog of eligible
students; however, the removal of the cap means that there will also be the
flexibility to make up a_ shortfall during the fiscal year.

Aboriginal Peoples

Q.:

can you give examples of aboriginal-controlled community enterprises and


community development institutions which a Liberal government will support
to boost community economic development?
--

A.:

According to the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB), there are
currently approximately 15,000 businesses owned by Indian, Inuit, and Metis
people. This represents close to 2 percent of all .businesses in Canada. CCAB
studies have shown that Aboriginal businesses are highly motivated to create local
employment. There is particular potential for Aboriginal businesses in tourism,
service sectors, traditional foods, environmental management, housing, and
construction of capital projects.
There currently exist approximately twenty-four Aboriginal capital corporations that
provide commercial loans to Indian, Metis, and .Inuit enterprises. These can be
effective mechanisms to provide capital to Aboriginal entrepreneurs; however, they
are limited by geographical and membership restrictions and are not seen as a
source of venture capital. A national Aboriginal Development Bank would
complement these capital corporations. The government's own 1992 report
Inventing Our Future: An Action Plan for Canada's Prosperity recommends
investments in Aboriginal capital corporations.
A Liberal government is also committed to increasing capital availability to small
and medium-size businesses in rural areas and the North through the vehicles of
cooperatives and credit unions.
There are a number of Aboriginal trust funds, development organizations, and
sectoral economic development institutions such as the Alberta Indian Agriculture
Development Corporation. The Economic Council of Canada, in its 1990 report
From the Bottom up: The Communitv Economic-Development Approach cited
Saskatchewan's Kitsaki Development Corporation as a development organization
that acquired new technology and production ideas which led to a market in Japan
for its beef jerky products. Kitsaki employs roughly 250 people. The lnuvialuit
Development Corporation, Makavik Corporation, and the Matis Development
Corporation are all examples of success stories in the North.
The government's 1989 CAEDS program (Canadian Aboriginal Economic
Development Strategy) supports a number of Aboriginal entrepreneurs and
development projects. For example, the Pe-kun-nee Windfarm Project of the
Alberta Peigan Nation Utilities Corporation is supported in part by CAEDS. CAEDS,
however, is not meeting the needs of many other communities nor of Aboriginal
women entrepreneurs: A Liberal government will review CAEDS and ensure that
economic development resources are reaching the community. enterprises and
development institutions that will drive community economic development.

Aboriginal Peoples
Q.:

The idea that a Liberal government will adopt procurement policies to


stimulate the growth of aboriginal business - what kind of policies? Can you
offer an example?
'

A.:

The Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business has recommended in its submission
to the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples that "a fixed percentage of federal
contracts be allocated to competent Aboriginal governments and businesses, in
much the same way that provinces receive such contracts." (The American
government has such a policy in its "Indian Preference Contracting Act".) This and
other possible options will be explored. They would not require an additional outlay
of government funds.

Q.:

Who will fund and manage the Aboriginal Trade Commission? Why can't a
special support program for aboriginal goods and services within the Export
Development Corp. be developed rather that creating a new bureaucracy?

A.:

The Aboriginal Trade Commission would be a body of predominantly Aboriginal


people involved in Aboriginal economic development and trade. The Commission
would work to identify existing products and services in Canada; develop a
coherent business plan; survey and develop international markets for Aboriginal
goods and services; and make links with existing trade-related initiatives such as
the Canadian Exporters Association, the Export Development Corporation, the
Forum for International Training, and other sectoral advisory groups. The Trade
Commission could also work with Aboriginal organizations involved in trade issues,
such as the Inuit Circumpolar Conference.
The Export Development Corporation is primarily a financial institution which
facilitates export trade and foreign investment by providing financing and related
services to Canadian companies and their global partners. As such, its mandate
is sufficiently different from an Aboriginal Trade Commissionthat the Commission
should not be an adjunct of the Corporation. The cost of maintaining an Aboriginal
Trade Commission would be relatively small.

Q.:

The December 1992 housing report of the Standing Committee on Aboriginal


Affairs, "A Time for Action: Aboriginal and Northern Housing" states that the
on-reserve housing and related infrastructure needs alone could cost over
$500 million, according to the Department of Indian Affairs, or as much as
$3.3 billion, if Assembly of First Nation numbers are accepted. Does this
mean that a Liberal government will spend this kind of money? What about
off-reserve housing needs?

Aboriginal Peoples

A.:

The housing crisis in Aboriginal and northern communities will be addressed at the
earliest opportunity by a Liberal government. Discussions will begin with Aboriginal
representatives and other governments on how, given the fiscal constraints faced
by all governments, to implement the recommendations of the Standing
Committee's Report on Aboriginal housing on-reserve and off-reserve and northern
housing.
The Report's key recommendations include:
streamlining housing delivery by delivering all government funding through one
agency;
utilizing local resources and labour instead of importing goods and services
that do not meet the needs of Aboriginal communities;
providing greater opportunities for home ownership; and
gradually transferring control over housing to Aboriginai peoples to ensure that
there is greater community control over the development and delivery of
housing programs;

Responding adequately to Aboriginal and northern housing needs will require not
only government resources but also private-sector investment, such as through
development bonds which Canadians could purchase to finance housing and
infrastructure in Aboriginal communities. At the same time, existing resources can
be utilized in more productive ways that will create more houses and employ more
Aboriginal people in their design and construction.

Q.:

What will an Aboriginal Educational Institute and networking facility look like?
Given that there are three distinct Aboriginal peoples .in Canada, do you
envisage separate facilities for First Nations, Inuit, and Metis?

A.:

There are already a number of aboriginal educational centres and programs across
Canada which conduct research and provide services in the areas of aboriginal
language training, curriculum development, traditional customs, literacy and other
aspects of education for the benefit of both aboriginal and non-aboriginal students.
The Woodland Cultural Institute, the Saskatchewan Indian Cultural Centre, the
Montagnais Cultural and Educational Institute, and the Dene Cultural Institute are
a few examples. In addition, several universities and colleges and Aboriginal
organizations have established native studies programs, aboriginal languages
instruction, or research programs.

Aboriginal Peoples

A recent initiative in the Arctic illustrates the progress that is being made in the field
of distance education. Students in 7 Arctic communities spread across 3000
kilometres recently took part in an experimental management training course
developed by a non-profit Inuit agency and transmitted by satellite from Iqaluit.
We believe that the federal government has a role in bringing together the
expertise which currently exists in facilities involved in Aboriginal education. The
Educational Institute and networking facility would encourage the development and
dissemination of educational and cultural materials to schools and Aboriginal
communities. .
The Institute could have three parts in order to reflect the different cultures and
languages of the Indian First Nations, the Inuit, and the Metis. They would likely be
housed in existing educational centres to take advantage of on-site programs and
networking resources. The actual design and mandate of the Institute will be
developed with Aboriginal peoples and will be supported through the existing
budget of Indian Affairs.

Q.:

A Liberal government would increase the number of health counsellors to


work in aboriginal communities and will triple the number of bursaries and
scholarships for the training of aboriginal health professionals. How much
wilJ this cost?

A.:

Health Canada currently has a budget of $836 million for Indian and Northern
Health Services; however, the approach to dealing with issues such as suicide,
family violence, substance abuse, and past abuse in residential schools has not
worked well, particularly in remote communities, in part because of the absence of
an overall mental health policy and because traditionally a non-native approach has
been used to resolve these problems.
There is a serious shortage of skilled Aboriginal health counsellors. For example,
there are only nine mental health counsellors to cover twenty-three communities
in the Nishnawbe-Aski Nation territory in northwestern Ontario. All twenty-three
communities are remote and accessible by plane only. When a suicide occurs in
an Aboriginal community, it is not uncommon to see a chain reaction. An
investment in the training of more skilled mental health counsellors to practise in
these communities will mean quicker crisis intervention and a greater ability to take
preventive action.
We believe that current expenditures in Indian Affairs and Health and Welfare can
be redirected into areas which have been identified as priorities by Aboriginal
peoples. The training and employment of more health counsellors is one priority.
In addition, the cost of tripling the number of Health Canada bursaries and
scholarships for Aboriginal students in health careers studies will mean an increase
in the current budget from $100,000 to $300,000.

Aboriginal Head Start


ABORIGINAL HEAD START
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Q.:

Why will a Head Start program for Aboriginal children be implemented in


urban areas only?

A.:

Aboriginal Head Start will be initiated as a pilot program. Initially the focus will be
on urban centres, primarily because of the migration of large numbers of
Aboriginal families from their reserve communities to the cities. Many of these
families are headed by single-parent women from small Aboriginal communities
trying to survive in a non-aboriginal, urban environment.
If the pilot program is successful, Aboriginal Head Start could be expanded to
reserves and other Aboriginal communities where there is an expressed interest.
The program should be flexible and transparent enough that it .can be adapted to
serve disadvantaged non-Aboriginal children.

Q.:

Are there any existing Aboriginal Head Start programs which could serve as
a model for the Liberal initiative?

A.:

There is at least one excellent Aboriginal child care centre that we know of which
incorporates many of the objectives of Head Start. It is the Circle Project in
Regina, which offers as one of its many programs a day care, a hot lunch
program for hungry children, and counselling and healing programs for parent and
child. It is obvious that Aboriginal Head Start programs will need to be tailored
to the individual community, whether it be a Prairie city or a large Inuit community.

Q.:

How do we know that the Aboriginal community wants. an Aboriginal Head


S~rtprogram?

A.:

We have done a preliminary consultation with Aboriginal people involved in urban


preschool education and child care. Obviously, much more needs to be done.
The premise of the program, however, is that it would be designed, controlled,
and run by Aboriginal peoples at the community level. A Liberal government,
together with Aboriginal representatives, will work out the details of the program
and identify the urban centres which could accommodate such a program. The
Aboriginal Peoples' Commission of the Liberal Party of Canada has also
recommended the establishment of an Aboriginal Head Start program.

Aboriginal Head Start

Q.:

Why are you targetting Aboriginal children for Head Start and not all
disadvantaged children?

A.:

In Canada the provinces have exclusive jurisdiction over education and have the
primary responsibility for delivering social services, including child care. The
federal government, however, has a legal responsibility for Indian and Inuit
peoples. This means that the federal government can work directly with Aboriginal
peoples on initiatives to improve their well-being.
The Liberal Party is aware that a Head Start program for all disadvantaged
children would be a positive initiative. If ~ur pilot Head Start program for
Aboriginal children in urban centres and large northern communities is successful,
we would consider cooperating with the provinces and territories to expand the
program to non-native.communities. Existing services such as the Moncton Head
Start Program are ample proof of the neeci to help young children everywhere
counter the effects of poverty, and in some cases, neglect and abuse, before they
enter the school system.