Aboriginal Land Title | Amending The Constitution Of Canada

The only process known to international law whereby an independent people may yield their sovereignty defeat and war or by voluntary
abandonment of it formerly evidenced good evening there’s agreement tonight
on the first amendment to our new constitution it comes at the end of a
two-day conference on native rights the amendment doesn’t promise immediate
action it promises more talk native leaders now have a guarantee they’ll be
sitting down with government leaders again to talk about their rights with
Frazer reports the problems the native groups in the provinces and federal
government had today were perhaps more because of their different traditions
than different political beliefs much has changed in Canada since 1983 we’re
now facing a crisis with climate change and damage to our ecosystems due to the
exploitation of Natural Resources which is polluting our water and deteriorating
a way of life and the cultural traditions of Canada’s First Nations
peoples the Tsilhqot’in nation is a great
defender of our water nature and land in British Columbia where I live they
understand that if the lakes and rivers are not clean that their way of life
will come to an end they’re thinking about the bigger picture and understand
that through environmental stewardship we can have sustainability for more
years to come so future generations can enjoy what we’ve abused and taken for
granted this journeys so important because it’s
been 20 years in this country of Canada the Constitution talks about average her
rights and title and yet the First Nations aboriginals across Canada are
still struggling we’re still fighting for our average rights and title when we look at this this case and where
it’s headed you know the issue of Aboriginal title is starting to break
down some of those legal fictions out of that have stood withstood the test of
time far too long we believe and we’re very honored because we do know that
this case is a potential precedent for the entire nation I pray in a good way
that it comes out in a good way because you know I think all our ancestors are
with us on this you know and there was a supportiveness and everybody along the
way everybody is supporting us all that people that have been lost to nothing
you know it’s just an honor to be here yes we need the lab we need to learn for
our future and there are a lot of people hope I mean we’re going a lot of a
Supreme Court care not to get title and I know what the previous one before this
they are introducing the postage stamp in but all I gotta say is no thanks
we already got that we got resource here and there all the word our area doesn’t
work for us too much destruction is happening to our lab and we don’t like
what we see so that’s what we are doing here fighting for our very existence and
rights and you know it’s not just just for us is for all the natives native
people right across right from Canada right across the world this is the most important case that is
before the country and so as such this is one of the most important moments in
the assertion of who we are of standing firm and our title and rights and you do
us all very proud by making the stands that you have and that you continue to
do to bring us here to Ottawa as we complete this portion of the journey
going to the Supreme Court of Canada we as people testified in this trial about
our land about our ways and how we honor our lands our resources our people
there’s only one decision we will accept and it’s long overdue in this country
and that’s full acknowledgement of our average and reign title to acknowledge that traveled from
Chilcote country in British Columbia to be here today a journey that released
him belies as the journey that Aboriginal people have taken in the
courts over the last 40 years fighting for our right and coming here today
chief Roger seeking the first declaration of Aboriginal title in this
country the only acceptable decision for the Chilcotin people for the elders for
all indigenous peoples of Turtle Island and certainly for the citizens of this
country to complete the business of Confederation for the Supreme Court to
take this opportunity to bring forward an honorable decision that fully
acknowledges and embraces the title the indigenous land rights of the
cilco Teen People in order for that to leave the foundation for true and
genuine reconciliation to begin to take place this litigation was provoked by
forestry activity provincial forestry activity so it was a defence of action
that finding was made by the trial judge and the Court of Appeal so that if you
like the claim area was defined from the outset in response to threatened
devastating forestry of what the Chilcotin perceived to be their
Aboriginal title lands it’s all backwards they need to start listening
to our laws and the chins that he’s turned like that’s that’s our law how
did the province gain control of the homelands of indigenous peoples in
British Columbia in the absence of treaty to shift the colonial paradigm to
complete the unfinished business of Confederation this court we asked
acknowledge the centrality of van to the Chilcotin and declare Aboriginal title
it’s an incredibly important case not only in Canada but for around the world
and I was actually more broadly for the cause of human rights because the
situation of indigenous peoples the denial of their land rights the
suffering and the harm that that causes is one of the most crucial human rights
issues of our time and what the SoCo teen are doing here today
are advancing a standard that that everybody should should stand behind HTG
submits that the only practical compromise is to construct a new
paradigm based on the promotion and protection of human rights by
integrating the framework of international law into the domestic
Aboriginal rights law to provide a way forward to achieving reconciliation
through more effective processes it’s very exciting and heartening to see
the cilco team people finally get their day in court for the elders to be there
and for their voices to be heard we’re very hopeful the Supreme Court of Canada
will take into account all of the evidence that those elders gave all of
those years of trial and firm what the trial judge did several years ago and
finally declare Aboriginal title to this core of honey with team in silico teen
land setting a precedent for Canada and hopefully setting a new way forward for
First Nations and Crown Relations for all Canadians
future regardless of what they say here we’re already winners because the more
issues that come down the pipe we don’t get the answer we want here there’s
gonna be a lot more disruption no matter what we’ll always will own this land
that we don’t own it for ourselves but it’s given to us by the our Creator only
for us to borrow to pass on to the next generation it is an historic first and a landmark
decision that could have huge implications right across Canada it came
from the Supreme Court of Canada a unanimous decision today handing victory
to a British Columbia Aboriginal group ending decades of battle over its right
to a piece of land the case revolved around this 4,000 square kilometre tract
west of Williams Lake BC the court ruled the group does have title or rights to
about 1,700 square kilometers of it to use enjoy and more but what about those
implications they’ll touch government industry and any future economic or
resource development on First Nations lands including the newly approved
Northern Gateway pipeline we have full coverage tonight beginning with more on
the decision itself from Duncan McCue what Roger Williams and the Chilcotin
chiefs told the courts their ancestors had been saying since settlers first
arrived their lands were still theirs today Canada’s highest court responded I
was ecstatic to find out that we we had title and it’s it’s about time for more
than 20 years the Chilcotin argued forestry officials had no business
permitting clear-cut since you’ll co-team traditional territory without
consulting them because their rights were tied to a vast swath of BC’s
interior where they hunted fished and lived no responded the province those
rights only exist in tiny areas such as their old village sites after hearing
the claim the Supreme Court of Canada was unanimous this Chilcotin hold
Aboriginal title to over 1,700 square kilometres stating the title holders
have the rights to the benefits associated with the land to use it enjoy
it and profit from its economic development and we’re title is found
governments and others seeking to use the land must obtain the consent of the
aboriginal title holders it’s the first time the High Court has recognized
Aboriginal title to a piece of land yet the justices made clear its
bill falls to the province to regulate land-use decisions in BC and the
province can justify development if it’s quote in the public interest First
Nations declared victory this has to be the wake-up call for governments both
the provincial and the federal government’s with large parts of BC not
covered by treaty the ruling will most certainly impact resource extraction
industries such as oil and gas mining or logging and we’re moving away from the
world mere consultation into a world of consent and that is absolutely enormous
when one considers an Bridges Northern Gateway pipeline proposal a Kinder
Morgan pipeline proposal the BC government cautiously welcomed certainty
around the rules we’ve seen the benefits that come to First Nations communities
and indeed to all of us when First Nations have the opportunities to fully
participate in the economy before today Aboriginal title this was kind of a
theory it existed somewhere out here but but no one was sure where now we know
First Nations essentially control pretty hefty chunks of their traditional
territory and Peter there’s no question that this is going to shake up the BC
Treaty process you’re right Duncan but it doesn’t end with BC there’s a lot at
stake here for aboriginal groups right across Canada right yeah certainly in
parts of Ontario Quebec the Maritimes anywhere where we’re land session
treaties don’t exist and the decision makes pretty clear there’s no question
that aboriginal groups are now going to have a stronger hand at the negotiating
table alright Duncan thanks very much Duncan
McCue in Vancouver tonight this area which we consider that’s our
most sacred site that’s Chilcotin people the higher the elevation the more sacred
that site is that’s what our people believe because we as First Nation
people we don’t believe in big huge structures we believe in the smallest
impact on the land so our churches and stuff are all out in the open in nature such as the river this is this is a the
heart of the Chilcotin is it’s good clean River here and that’s what we’ve
always fought protected and as a result we have the largest most consistent
sockeye run on the Fraser River system that’s what this is all about it’s about
the heart of the Chilcotin the heart of our spirituality we hope and wish that
people would just leave us and our beliefs and our spirituality to us and
not continue to talk and that’s what’s happening here with this project
whatever being proposed so people wonder why we’re going to why we fight so hard
you you attack somebody’s belief system you talk their religion their
spirituality they’re gonna fight back and that’s where we’re up so you know we
call on everyone get a hold of the provincial government and let them know
how you feel we call on anyone to come out to support us out tell Tom be fish
lake you know where we we’re we’re we’re peaceful people but you know we will we
will fight for what we believe in and that’s where we’re at again
unfortunately now after successfully opposing to
mining proposals at Fish Lake a place of profound cultural and spiritual
importance to the Tsilhqot’in people the Tsilhqot’in now face an imminent threat
of an extensive drilling program in the same area for the purpose of advancing a
mining proposal that the federal government rejected and cannot be built
as matters stand

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