In the Network: Media Co-op Dominion   Locals: HalifaxMontrealTorontoVancouver

Support the VMC, donate today!

Original Peoples

Group notifications

This group offers an RSS feed. Or subscribe to these personalized, sitewide feeds:
Advertisement

No Canada, Not Here.

by Kerry Coast

Original Peoples, →Dominion Stories

This text graphic uses exerpts from the following documents, attached in full below as text, and  in pdf and jpeg scans at this link -

https://kerrycoast.wordpress.com/category/indigenous-declarations/

:

The Lil'wat case, Edmonds v. Canada, IACHR 12-929. Currently at Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

Carrier Sekani Declaration and Claim, April 15, 1982

Declaration of the Tahltan Tribe, 1910

Aboriginal Title and Rights Position Paper, Union of BC Indian Chiefs, 1979

Okanagan Nation Elders' Declaration, March 1993

Musqueam Declaration, June 10, 1976

Lheidli Tenneh Declaration 1992

James Gosnell, Nisga'a Chief, famous statement in reply to British Columbia's attampts to negotiate to the province's advantage.

Declaration of the First Nations of Vancouver Island within the E&N Land Grant Area

Declaration of Secwepemc Sovereignty 1983

The Coastal First Nations Declaration, 2010

Nuxalk Nation Position, House of Smayusta, September 1995

Xwe-Nal-Mexw (CoastSalish) Declaration

The North West Tribal Treaty, 1991

Save The Fraser Declaration, 2010

 

Carrier Sekani Declaration and Claim

April 15th, 1982

Whereas we of the Carrier and Sekani Tribes have been, since time immemorial, the original owners, occupants and users of the north central part of what is now called the province of British Columbia and more specifically that area of the said province outlined in red contained in the map attached hereto as schedule “A” [herein referred to as “the said lands”].

And whereas in addition to the original ownership, occupancy and use, we have exercised jurisdiction as a sovereign people over the said lands since time immemorial,

And whereas this original ownership, occupancy and use, and jurisdiction by our people over the said lands has never been surrendered by our people through conquest, treaty or any other legal means to the British Crown or to its colonial governments or to the Crown in right of the province of British Columbia or to the Crown in right of Canada or to any other government,

And whereas this original ownership, occupancy and use by our people, and jurisdiction over the said lands has never been superseded by law,

And whereas much of the said lands is, without our consent, now occupied and its resources used by peoples not indigenous to our lands,

And whereas such occupation and use by non indigenous people to the said lands is without compensation to our people,

We, the representatives of the Carrier and Sekani Tribes hereby declare and assert our continued original ownership, occupancy and use of, and jurisdiction over the said lands and all its resources,

And we further declare and assert the continued existence of those rights which flow from our original ownership, occupancy and use of, and the jurisdiction of the said lands and all its resources,

And further we hereby demand of the governments of Canada and British Columbia compensation for their past, present and proposed use and occupancy of our lands and all its resources.

Executive of the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council

 

 

1910 Declaration of the Tahltan Tribe

We, the undersigned members of the Tahltan tribe, speaking for ourselves, and our entire tribe, hereby make known to all whom it may concern, that we have heard of the Indian Rights movement among the Indian tribes of the Coast, and of the southern interior of B.C.. Also we have read the Declaration made by the chiefs of the southern interior tribes at Spences Bridge on the 16th July last, and we hereby declare our complete agreement with the demands of same, and with the position taken by the said chiefs, and their people on all the questions stated in the said Declaration, and we furthermore make known that it is our desire and intention to join with them in the fight for our mutual rights, and that we will assist in the furtherance of this object in every way we can, until such time as all these matters of moment to us are finally settled. We further declare as follows:—

Firstly—We claim the sovereign right to all the country of our tribe—this country of ours which we have held intact from the encroachments of other tribes, from time immemorial, at the cost of our own blood. We have done this because our lives depended on our country. We have never treated with them, nor given them any such title. (We have only very lately learned the B.C. government makes this claim, and that it has for long considered as its property all the territories of the Indian tribes in B.C.)

Secondly--We desire that a part of our country, consisting of one or more large areas (to be erected by us),be retained by us for our own use, said lands and all thereon to be acknowledged by the government as our absolute property. The rest of our tribal land we are willing to relinquish to the B.C. government for adequate compensation.

Thirdly—We wish it known that a small portion of our lands at the mouth of the Tahltan river, was set apart a few years ago by Mr. Vowell as an Indian reservation. These few acres are the only reservation made for our tribe. We may state we never applied for the reservation of this piece of land, and we had no knowledge why the government set it apart for us, nor do we know exactly yet.

Fourthly---We desire that all questions regarding our lands, hunting, fishing, etc., and every matter concerning our welfare, be settled by treaty between us and the Dominion and B.C. governments.

Fifthly—We are of the opinion it will be better for ourselves, also better for the governments and all concerned, if these treaties are made with us at a very early date, so all friction, and misunderstanding between us and the whites may be avoided, for we hear lately much talk of white settlement in the region, and the building of railways, etc., in the near future.

Signed at Telegraph Creek, B.C., this eighteenth day of October, nineteen hundred and ten, by

Nanok, Chief of the Tahltans

Nastulta, alias Little Jackson

George Assadza, Kenetl, alias Big Jackson

and eighty other members of the tribe

 

Aboriginal Title and Rights Position Paper, UBCIC, 1979

Introduction:

It is our undeniable responsibility as leaders to clearly say what we have been directed by our Indian Governments to state which is contained within these pages.

Traditionally, as aboriginal people, we had uncontested, supreme and absolute power over our territories, our resources and our lives. We had the right to govern, to make laws and enforce laws, to decide citizenship, to wage war or make peace and to manage our lands, resources and institutions. We had our own political, legal, social and economic systems.

The power to govern rests with the people and, like our aboriginal rights, it comes from within the people and cannot be taken away.

Our Aboriginal Rights Position Paper represents the foundation upon which we, the Indian people of British Columbia, will negotiate a better relationship within Canada. It is presented on behalf of our people in the spirit of optimism, dignity, co-operation and strength. The goals of our people from our past through the present, to those yet unborn provide the framework through which we will possess the tools necessary to further develop and strengthen our Indian identity within Canada. An effective implementation of our position will resolve the current political, economic, educational and social problems facing our people. It will mean that, for the first time, Indian people will be able to share in the wealth of Canada and at the same time other Canadians will have the opportunity to enjoy the full benefits of our rich heritage.

Since 1969, the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs has been involved in extensive research and consultation with Indian people throughout the province in relation to the totality of Aboriginal Rights. We have found through this work that our people have no desire, under any circumstances to see our Aboriginal Rights extinguished. Our people have consistently said that our Aboriginal Rights cannot be bought, sold, traded or extinguished by any government. Our responsibilities and our right to be who we are can never be relinquished.

The foundation of our position is:

a) recognition that we are the original people of this land,

b) recognition that we have the right to choose and determine the type of authority we      wish to exercise through our Indian Governments,

c) the expansion of our Reserve Lands,

d) the expansion of our Indian resources including finances based on needs as identified   by our people,

e) the expansion of the jurisdiction and authority of our Indian Governments (Band          Councils).

Aboriginal Rights must be recognized, expanded and entrenched within the British North America Act.

Indian people have a strong role to play in strengthening the unity of Canada. We have every reason and right to bear our responsibility in this regard. We are confident that the foundation we build today is a solid one and that the final result of true negotiations will mean a stronger Canada.

 

Declaration of Secwepemc Sovereignty 1983

Secwepemc Chiefs and Representatives, collectively the only spokespersons for Secwepemc, declare that on this day, January 17, 1983, that we reaffirm our sovereignty over our traditional territory.

We follow the path of our Elders and our Forefathers in standing firm for our sovereignty over our territory so that the future generations of our children will also have what has been handed down to us by our Creator. Today through this Declaration we ensure that Secwepemc sovereignty over our territory comes from the past, to the present and forever on into the future.

We have governed, managed, controlled, developed, protected and defended our territory since time immemorial. We have never abandoned our territory or sold it. We have never conceded our sovereignty by agreement or by conquest to any other nation.

We declare our sovereignty over all our lands, waters, air and all their resources in the Interior of what is now known as British Columbia, the land generally speaking that lays between latitude 50degrees, 30 minutes and 53degrees north, from the Fraser River area to the Rocky Mountains.

We will work arm in arm with Secwepemc and other peoples who are willing to support our mandate which is to affirm our sovereignty over our traditional territory.

We, Secwepemc, will work towards self-reliance on the basis of co-operation.

We declare our support in the struggle for self-determination and independence of Indigenous and Third World Nations.

 

Northwest Tribal Treaty

We, the Northwest First Nations have occupied and governed our respective territories since time immemorial. The Creator put us on our territories and gave us laws in which to define and govern our relationships with each other and with the animals, plants, lands, waters and air.

We have maintained our spiritual beliefs, our languages, our way of life and traditions. We have done this through intermarriage and the exchange of material and food resources, and shall continue to do so through infinity.

We, the signatories to the Treaty, are of one heart in the advancement and protection of our common interests identified in the following principals:

1) We shall continue to practice our own tribal political system and laws, and we intend these separate jurisdictions to continue.

2) We shall continue to express our sovereignty as Nations.

3) We shall assist each other to reaffirm our continuing Hereditary Title and give expression to our rights; and to defend these rights against any erosion through external forces.

4) We shall collectively join the other First Nations efforts to pursue the explicit recognition of aboriginal title in Canada's constitution.

5) We shall continue to enter into bilateral and multilateral relationships with each other to strengthen and assist in settling matters and common concerns regarding our respective cul tural identites, traditions, diversity, equality of our peoples, and our common boundaries according to our traditional laws.

6) We shall, in the spirit of sharing and co-existence, continue to enter in mutually beneficial relationships regarding access to traditional territories and natural resources. These include all resources that come from our territories.

We, as represented by the undersigned leaders of the respective First Nations, reaffirm these principles by this Treaty.

Signed by: Tsimshian Nation, Haisla Nation, Wet'suwet'en Nation, Gitxsan Nation, Gitanyow Nation, Carrier Sekani Nation, Lake Babine Band.

February 11, 1991

Catch the news as it breaks: follow the VMC on Twitter.
Join the Vancouver Media Co-op today. Click here to learn about the benefits of membership.

Creative Commons license icon Creative Commons license icon

User login

Advertisement