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Removal Of BNA Act Concerns Senator

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      MAY 1976      v06 n05 p15  
Senator John Skeeboss
Senator John Skeeboss
The simple act of bringing the British North America Act to Canada does not in any way alter the traditional relationship between the Crown and Canada," Prime Minister Trudeau stated in a recent letter to Senator John Skeeboss.

The Prime Minister was replying to a letter Senator Skeeboss wrote questioning the relationship between the Canadian Government and the Treaties should the BNA Act be removed from Great Britain.

"The Treaties promised through the Kings and Queens of Britain that the Indian would be a protected race forever. It is my fear that such a move (removing the BNA Act) would sever our relationship with the British Crown."

In the Prime Minister's reply, he states that the Government is anxious to assure that the Treaties do last as long as "the rivers flow, grass grows and the sun shines" and therefore are examining claims with an eye to righting wrongs which may exist. He adds that he places a very high priority to resolving any outstanding grievances.

However, he also states that the BNA Act is a "curious hold-over from colonial days".

"If we want to amend our own constitution, we must ask the Government of Great Britain to do it for us. It is a very real impediment to changing the BNA Act. I hope to be able to correct this inacceptable situation."