The First Nations Peoples Of Canada

1442 Words6 Pages
The First Nations peoples of Canada’s right to self-govern has been a widely debated and highly controversial topic since the British North America Act in 1867, when the Canadian government gained the authority to negotiate treaties with the First Nations and purchase their land. First Nations people believe that they have an inherent right to self-govern, as they were the sole inhibitors of Canada before the Europeans made contact in the 1500’s. Before colonization, the aboriginals had formed their own communities, each with it’s own culture, customs and laws; they occupied their own land and had chiefs to govern their people. In 1876, the government of Canada passed the Indian Act, a legislation which defined who is and isn’t…show more content…
The Semiahmoo recently became aware of their council’s exorbitant salaries through the First Nation Financial Transparency Act, learning that their chief was making an annual salary of upwards of $267,309, and their councillor $187,138, while the rest of the reserve survives in semi-squalor conditions. Members of the band have come forward with some of the living conditions; “band members were struggling month-to-month in mouldy homes with poor drinking water and lack of sewer pipes, while nothing had been done to provide social programs or other amenities”, as told by Darlene Clark, one of the two cousins who belong to the Semiahmoo band who are calling for an audit as soon as possible. Another resident also mentioned that he “relies on food banks to survive”. With so many people on reserves living in third world conditions in a country with such a high standard of living, due to greed and corruption by it’s leaders; the First Nation’s community is not ready for self-governance. With the little control that the state has allowed the First Nations, the majority have shown that they cannot uphold a suitable standard of living and next to no social programs for their people. If given the opportunity to govern themselves, this situation would likely stay the same. Allowing self-governing of First Nations groups is only continuing the racial apartheid in Canada. The government needs to implement a system of equality where racial
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