Indigenous Peoples Of Aboriginal Communities

1592 Words7 Pages
“Indigenous peoples are commonly among the poorest and most vulnerable segments of society” (World Bank, 2001). Confronted with these bleak economic statistics, nations across the world are being forced to recognize the plights of their Indigenous communities. (Peredo, 2009). Across Canada, Aboriginal communities are diverse and widespread, including First Nations peoples, Inuit and Metis, many of whom live in far isolated northern communities, and many yet in bustling metropolises. Despite the tremendous diversity among Indigenous peoples, they all share one thing- the harvesting of fish, wildlife, and plant materials has been their historical basis for economic life. For Canadian Aboriginal cultures, land means far more than property- it…show more content…
As such, Aboriginal title and rights are separate from rights afforded to non-Aboriginal Canadian citizens under Canadian common law. However, these legal interpretations and definitions of “Aboriginal title” often differ from Aboriginal understanding of title, which are centuries-old. The Delgamuukw decision of 1997, for example, defines Aboriginal title as a burden on the Crown’s underlying title- this means that Aboriginal title can be ceded or transferred only to the Crown.(UBC, 2009). This decision accepts the Crown’s underlying title as a given, and did not require the Crown to prove or validate its claim to sovereignty. Some- if not many- Aboriginal people view this decision as controversial, as it assumes the Crown’s sovereignty without questioning its legitimacy. As such, some Aboriginal leaders and key figures oppose the government’s methods of defining Aboriginal rights. Mohawk scholar Taiaiake Alfred argues this definition distracts Aboriginal peoples from asserting a “more meaningful definition of Aboriginal rights” that does not rely upon a “colonial government structure”. He explains: “To enlist the intellectual force of rights-based arguments is to concede nationhood in
Open Document