Essay about Native Sovereignty

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July 11th 1990, marked the beginning date of the Oka Crisis in Quebec Canada. It lasted until September 26th 1990 resulting in one fatality of a local police officer. The violent clash was triggered by something as simple as a golf course extension and as complicated as native burial traditions. It had drawn world attention, catapulting native land rights into the mix. The Oka Crisis is just one of many conflicts between the Aboriginals and the Canadian government. A major issue that has been of much debate in the 20th century has been Native sovereignty. The demand sounds simple, allow Aboriginals of Canada to govern themselves; however, coexisting with the Canadian government makes this idea extremely complicated. Roger Townshend states …show more content…

Townshend describes how Aboriginals view the Canadian government as a foreign government. Furthermore, Townshend disputes the process of assimilation, integrating Aboriginals to the modern Canadian society. The solution is to create a third tier government that would work in cohesion with the Federal and Provincial levels. Different levels of government and the “…sharing of jurisdictional powers between government institutions is already part of the essence of the Canadian state,” (Townshend 39). If Canada is able to increase globalization and trade agreements on an international level, than Canada should not be so unwilling to share jurisdiction with an Aboriginal government.
Thomas Flanagan disapproves the idea of Native sovereignty ever coexisting with Canadian sovereignty. Flanagan identifies the flaws in Townshend’s arguments referring to them as a theoretical approach and not a practical approach. It is true that the sharing of jurisdictional power is the essence of the Canadian state but this cannot apply to the Aboriginals of Canada. One reason a third level of government cannot work in Canada is “In the 10 provinces, Canada has over six hundred Indian bands living on more than 2200 reserves, plus hundreds of thousands of Métis and non-status Indians who do not possess reserves,” (Flanagan 44). Flanagan draws the fact that “No one has proposed a workable mechanism by which this far-flung archipelago could

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