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Proposed 1984 Constitutional Accord On The Rights Of The Aboriginal Peoples Of Canada

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      APRIL/MAY 1984      SPECIAL EDITION p16-17
WHEREAS pursuant to the 1983 Constitutional Accord on Aboriginal Rights a constitutional conference composed of the Prime Minister of Canada and the first ministers of the provinces was held on March 8 and 9, 1984, to which representatives of the aboriginal peoples of Canada and elected representatives of the governments of the Yukon Territory and the Northwest Territories were invited;

AND WHEREAS it was agreed at that conference that certain amendments to the Constitution Act, 1982 would be sought in accordance with section 38 of that Act;

AND WHEREAS that conference had included in its agenda the following matters that directly affect the aboriginal peoples of Canada:

AND WHEREAS as it was agreed in the 1983 Constitutional Accord on Aboriginal Rights that future conferences be held at which constitutional matters that directly affect the aboriginal peoples of Canada will be discussed;

AND WHEREAS the Senate and House of Commons of Canada and the legislatures of nine provinces that have, in the aggregate, more than fifty per cent of the population of all the provinces have passed resolutions supporting changes to the Constitution of Canada that were the subject of the 1983 Constitutional Accord on Aboriginal Rights;

NOW THEREFORE the government of Canada and the provincial governments hereby agree as follows:

1.The Prime Minister of Canada will lay or cause to be laid before the Senate and House of Commons, and the first ministers of the provinces will lay or cause to be laid before their legislative assemblies, prior to December 31, 1984, a resolution in the form set out in the Schedule to authorize a proclamation to be issued by the Governor General under the Great Seal of Canada to amend the Constitution Act, 1982.

2.The government of Canada and the provincial governments are committed to negotiating with representatives of the aboriginal peoples of Canada to identify and define the nature, jurisdiction and powers of self-governing institutions that will meet the needs of their communities, as well as the financing arrangements relating to those institutions, and to presenting to Parliament and the provincial legislatures legislation to give effect to the agreements resulting from the negotiations.

3.The government of Canada and the provincial governments, in consultation with representatives of the aboriginal peoples of Canada and representatives of the governments of the Yukon Territory and the Northwest Territories, shall review all aspects of social, cultural and economic programs for and services to the aboriginal peoples of Canada, with the following objectives: (a) clarification of federal and provincial responsibilities for programs and services provided to the aboriginal peoples of Canada, having regard to the existing and potential roles of aboriginal governments;

(b) enhanced participation of the aboriginal peoples of Canada in the area of programs and services,including their increased involvement in the design and delivery of programs and services, taking into account the special social, cultural and economic needs of the aboriginal peoples of Canada;

(c) assessment of financial provisions, including consideration of existing arrangements between the government of Canada and the provincial governments;

(d) examination of eligibility: requirements of programs and services for the aboriginal peoples of Canada, including residency requirements; and

(e) examination of programs and services to the aboriginal peoples of Canada, including the degree to which they are comparable with services received by other Canadians residing in similar communities.

4.The government of Canada and the provincial governments shall report on the findings of the review referred to in article 3 to the first constitutional conference held pursuant to the proposed section 37.1 of the Constitution Act, 1982, as agreed to in the 1983 Constitutional Accord on Aboriginal Rights.

5.In preparation for the constitutional conferences contemplated by the changes to the Constitution of Canada that were the subject of the 1983. Constitutional Accord on Aboriginal Rights, meetings composed of ministers of the government of Canada and the provincial governments, together with representatives of the aboriginal peoples of Canada and representatives of the governments of the Yukon Territory and the Northwest Territories, shall be convened at least annually by the government of Canada.

6.Nothing in this Accord is intended to preclude, or substitute for, any bilateral or other discussions or agreements between governments and the various aboriginal peoples and, in particular, having regard to the authority of Parliament under Class 24 of section 91 of the Constitution Act, 1867, and to the special relationship that has existed and continues to exist between the Parliament and government of Canada and the peoples referred to in that Class, this Accord is made without prejudice to any bilateral process that has been or may be established between the government of Canada and those peoples.

7.Nothing in this Accord shall be construed so as to affect the interpretation of the Constitution of Canada.

SCHEDULE

Motion for a Resolution to authorize His Excellency the Governor General to issue a proclamation respecting amendments to the Constitution of Canada

WHEREAS the Constitution Act, 1982 provides that an amendment to the Constitution of Canada may be made by proclamation issued by the Governor General under the Great Seal of Canada where so authorized by resolutions of the Senate and House of Commons and resolutions of the legislative assemblies as provided for in section 38 thereof;

AND WHEREAS the Constitution of Canada, reflecting the country and Canadian society, continues to develop and strengthen the rights and freedoms that it guarantees;

AND WHEREAS it is fitting that the government of Canada and the provincial governments work with the representatives of the aboriginal peoples of Canada to develop their special place in Canadian society through the strengthening of self-governing institutions and the preservation of their cultural heritage. NOW THEREFORE the [Senate] [House of Commons] [legislative assembly] resolves that His Excellency the Governor General be authorized to issue a proclamation under the Great Seal of Canada amending the Constitution of Canada as follows:

PROCLAMATION AMENDING THE CONSTITUTION OF CANADA
(1) Section 25 of the Constitution Act, 1982 is renumbered as subsection 25(1).

(2) Section 25 of the said Act is further amended by adding thereto the following subsection:

Rights of equality of both sexes

"(2) Nothing in this section abrogates or derogates from the guarantees of equality with respect to male and female persons under section 28 of this Charter."

(2)The said Act is further amended by adding thereto, immediately after Part II thereof, the following Part:

PART 11.1 COMMITMENTS RELATING TO ABORIGINAL PEOPLES OF CANADA

Commitments relating to cultural heritage and self-government

35.2 Without altering the legislative authority of Parliament or of the provincial legislatures, or the rights of any of them with respect to the exercise of their legislative authority, (a) Parliament and the legislatures, together with the government of Canada and the provincial governments, are committed to

(i) preserving and enhancing the cultural heritage of the aboriginal peoples of Canada, and

(ii) respecting the freedom of the aboriginal peoples of Canada to live within their heritage and to educate their children in their own languages, as well as in either or both of the official languages of Canada;

(b) the aboriginal peoples of Canada have the right to self- governing institutions that will meet the needs of their communities, subject to the nature, jurisdiction and powers of those institutions, and to the financing arrangements relating thereto, being identified and defined through negotiation with the government of Canada and the provincial governments; and

(c) the government of Canada and the provincial governments are committed to participating in the negotiations referred to in paragraph (b) and to presenting to Parliament and the provincial legislatures legislation to give effect to the agreements resulting from the negotiations."