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The Research Committee On Indian Rights And Treaties

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      SEPTEMBER 1971      v02 n07 p10  
Saskatchewan is one of the few provinces in Canada that is completely covered by Indian treaties.

Indian people in British Columbia and Quebec are not entirely covered by treaties so these people must attempt to gain aboriginal rights.

The treaties are important in that they represent our contract with the government for the province of Saskatchewan. In these treaties are provisions for medical care, education, economic development and self government. If we can get the treaties to work for us then surely we will progress and develope to our full potential.

Historically, it was nearly 100 years ago that our ancestors made treaties with the British Crown. Our people gave up millions of square miles of land to Canadians in return for certain promises which are contained in the treaties. These treaties when they were completed designed a new way of life for us all. The most important result for our people was the rights or privileges obtained through these agreements.

The Indian people of Saskatchewan are now firmly committed to the task of preserving and further identifying those rights and privileges to which they, are justly entitled according to the earliest agreements between the Indian people of Canada and the British Crown.

The emphasis in research into rights will mainly be upon:

a) Treaty Rights - Six treaty areas exist in Saskatchewan with some overlap into
Alberta and Manitoba. Research will, by necessity, involve a cooperative effort with other provinces possessing treaty areas.

b) Lands - The research will analyze all lands in Saskatchewan where there is or was controversy.

c) Hunting, Trapping, Fishing -
a. Treaty guarantees
b. Indian Act regulations
c. Provincial Act
d. Migratory Birds Act
e. Court case, relating to the above.
d) Medicare -
a. Treaties clauses concerning medicine
b. Indian Act clauses concerning medicine
c. Court cases
d. Indian interpretations concerning Medicare clauses.
e) Taxation -
a. Examine federal and provincial regulations as they apply to treaty Indians.
b. To further examine tax exemption as embodied in treaties.
f) Local band Government -
a. Examine process of making constitutional bylaws.
b. Examine band government structure; band status as part of the total judicial and government system in Canada.