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Old 12-23-2011, 11:41 AM   #48
yaahl
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ECSN, you refer quite a lot to "we" and "our". Can you clarify who exactly are the "we" and "our"? It will assist with keeping your posts clear.

Have any of the legit native descendant groups ever considered forming a national organization to represent them? I encourage you to research Metis, off-reserve and non-status social and political groups in Canada for a template. I would also encourage you to research the development of the Assembly of First Nations - although they represent status Indians living on reserve or federal granted lands, they do have an interesting history for the inception to now being the government-go-to organization for Aboriginal Affairs.

I think what I'd like to see with your posts is more of your opinion/narrative on them rather than just cutting and pasting large amounts of text. Perhaps to make things easier for folks to read, you could give us a synopsis of the article you are referring to and then just give the links or citation. People tend to skip over blocks of pasted text if there is no conclusion/opinion/narrative/critique of it.

What I think I am seeing with respect to the USA is something we saw here for a number of years and that was the divide between status and non-status people. Although Canadian tribes were never forced to relocate to a central territory, our tribes were documented and treated with by both the pre-confederation UK and post-confederation Canada, people and bands were left of the registry and excluded from the treaties merely because of the time of the year in which the treaty was signed. Many folks were out in the summer fishing and hunting camps when the census and treaties were signed.

Add in the Indian Act enfranchisement of women who married out, and both men and women who went to college or university, joined the military or joined the clergy who were also enfranchised. Then other were enfranchised simply for wanting to leave the reserve and seek employment in the urban areas. Still others were enfranchised by being beaten by the Indian agents until they signed their enfranchisement papers. Children in residential schools were also enfranchised by force or appeal. Those enfranchisements made all those people instant white folks with no way to regain their status again.

I would encourage your group to research the development, implementation and enforce and effect of Bill C-31 of 1985. Thousands of people re-gained their status and children of women who had lost their status because of marrying out, could finally have their kids registered. Bill C31 has its flaws and gaping holes in what it covers but it was a start.

I see and understand the arguments of both sides regarding "there is a reason these people are not enrolled" but if I use my own country's history of enfranchisement and attempts to narrow down those bands in which were treated with, then we too would have reasons to not enroll someone. I also understand the notion of descendancy and if a person who claims to be a descendant can not prove it, then there is little that anyone should be expected to do.

Perhaps the arguments shouldn't be about who is eligible for enrollment but rather looking at why they were left off or enfranchised. I think some of the problems with the groups that are seeking federal recognition is that they are attempting it as a group rather than each "member" seeking their status with BIA. Up here, we have a few categories of status, each one is very specific to whether status can be passed on to children and where the status ends for that person's descendants. (I personally have issues with the ending of status because of a rule book - see McIvor v Minister of Aboriginal Affairs). I would recommend that your group ECSN, look into and research that as well.
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