Strength in unityYear Published: 1983
Resource Type: Serial Publication (Periodical)
Cx Number: CX2851
Abstract: STRENGTH IN UNITY is the official newsletter of the Association of Iroquois and Allied Inidans, an organization established to represent its member bands in any negotiation or consultation with any level of government affecting the welfare of the member bands as a whole. This special edition of STRENGTH IN UNITY (October 1982) is devoted to one concern: Indians and Constitution. the newsletter gives the history behind the current concern about the Constitution and puts forth the Indian's position on the issue.
The authors begin by pointing out that special legislature and consitutional provisions for Inidan people have been continuing part of Canadian Life for over 250 years. For example, the Royal Proclamation of 1763 confirmed the rights of the Indian nations to the lands they occupied and used. Other treaties confirmed the rights of the Indian nations to the lands; they did not "grant" or"give" rights; rather they recognized rights which had existed from time immemorial. Aboriginal rights have been held in law to be tribal and communal in nature; they cannot be bought, sold or transferred except to the Crown and then only with Indian concent. The specific aboriginal rights held by a tribe, land or nation depends on the nature of the use and occupancy of the land. Aboriginal rights include the right to hunt, trap, or fish, as ell as the right to use the natural resource of the land.
Indian people have always maintained that aboriginal and treaty rights must be entrenched, protectd and enhanced in any new constitution. To ensure that this happens, Indian people must secure full, ongoing, and equal participation in the constitutional discussions at all levels.