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3. Aboriginal Issues in British Columbia

Key Terms

Key Terms

Aboriginal: people who inhabited the land before the arrival of colonists. Includes the distinct subgroups of Inuit, Métis and First Nations peoples.

Aboriginal Healing Foundation:  An Aboriginal-managed, national, Ottawa-based, not-for-profit private corporation established March 31, 1998,which was provided with a one-time grant of $350 million by the federal government as part of Gathering Strength — Canada’s Aboriginal Action Plan. The Aboriginal Healing Foundation was given an 11-year mandate, ending March 31, 2009, to encourage and support, through research and funding contributions, community-based Aboriginal-directed healing initiatives that addressed the legacy of physical and sexual abuse suffered in Canada’s Indian residential schools, including intergenerational impacts.

Assimilation: A process of social integration that requires adopting, by choice or necessity, the ways of a different and often hegemonic culture or society.

British Columbia Treaty Process (BCTP): A land claims negotiation process started in 1993 to resolve outstanding issues, including claims to unextinguished Aboriginal rights, with British Columbia’s First Nations.

Constitution Act, 1982 Section 35: The section of the Canadian Constitution that  “recognizes and affirms” the existing Aboriginal and treaty rights in Canada. These rights protect the activities, practice or traditions that are integral to the distinct cultures of Aboriginal peoples. The treaty rights protect and enforce agreements between the Crown and the Aboriginal peoples. Section 35 also provides protection of Aboriginal title over the use of land for traditional practices. These rights extend to Indian, Inuit and Métis people.

Cultural genocide is the process of undermining, suppressing and ultimately eliminating native cultures (Sociology Index).

Douglas Treaties: Also known as the Vancouver Island Treaties or the Fort Victoria Treaties, a series of treaties signed between certain indigenous groups on Vancouver Island and the Colony of Vancouver Island.

First Peoples Culture Council: A First Nations-run Crown corporation with a mandate to support the revitalization of Aboriginal language, arts and culture in British Columbia. It provides funding and resources to communities, monitors the status of First Nations languages and develops policy recommendations for First Nations leadership and government.

Grease trails: Aboriginal trade routes named after the oil produced from oolichan fish and extending from the coast inland.

Indian Magna Carta Another term used by some scholars for the Royal Proclamation of 1763.

Modern treaty:  A negotiated agreement that sets out clearly defined rights and responsibilities of First Nations and the federal and provincial governments over far-reaching matters.

Nisga’a agreement:  BC’s first modern-day land treaty. It is a comprehensive agreement that includes surface and subsurface rights, removal of Indian Act application, cash compensation, agreements around wildlife and fisheries and self-government provision.

Numbered treaties: A series of 11 treaties signed between the Aboriginal peoples in Canada and the reigning monarch of Canada (Victoria, Edward VII or George V) from 1871 to 1921.

Registered Indian Status: Under the Indian Act, means being eligible for Indian status (i.e., registered Indians). The Indian Register is the official record identifying all Status Indians in Canada. https://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1100100032472/1100100032473

Royal Proclamation of 1763: A proclamation that affirmed Aboriginal rights and title. Sometimes referred to as the Indian Magna Carta. The proclamation is enshrined in the Constitution Act, 1982 in Section 25 (of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms) and has bearing on Section 35 which provides constitutional protection for Aboriginal treaty rights. While the proclamation now forms the basis of many Aboriginal claims to land and resources in Canada, the historical implementation of the proclamation may have undermined the sovereignty of existing indigenous communities.

Truth and Reconciliation Commission: A Commission organized by the federal government and Aboriginal people with a mandate to learn the truth about what happened in the residential schools and to inform all Canadians of those findings. The Commission will rely on records held by those who operated and funded the schools, testimony from officials of the institutions that operated the schools and experiences reported by survivors, their families, communities and anyone personally affected by the residential school experience and its subsequent impacts.

 

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