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Chief Crowe Welcomes The Constitution

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      SEPTEMBER 1992      v21 n06 p02  
Chief Roland Crowe
Chief Roland Crowe
Chief Roland Crowe of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations welcomed yesterday's news of the unanimous approval of the Aboriginal package in the Constitution of Canada.

"This agreement marks the first time in 500 years of contact that the indigenous people of this country have been duly recognized," Chief Crowe said. "It is a great day for Saskatchewan Indian Nations, and it is a great day for Canada.

Yesterday's negotiations left the July 7th "Pearson" agreement virtually intact. The recognition of the inherent right of aboriginal peoples to govern their own affairs, and provisions for the implementation of Treaty Rights, heralds the dawn of a new day for Saskatchewan Indian people. For the first time since Confederation, Indian people will be able to make their own choices, direct their own lives.

Chief Crowe stated that he viewed it important that the agreement was reached honourably, and without resort to violence of bloodshed. "It is important that Indian and Non-Indian people continue to work and live together in the same spirit of co-operation which prevailed at the time of the signing of the Treaties," he said.

With the impending settlement of Treaty Land Entitlement issues, the Federation will be well placed to begin self-government negotiations with the Federal and Provincial Governments. It is anticipated that this process will commence immediately upon the Constitutional changes being proclaimed.

Chief Crowe stated that the recognition of Aboriginal Governments as one of three orders of Government within Canada will result in fundamental changes for on and off reserve Indian people in this Province. "We are willing to accept the challenges which lie before us, and we are ready to take our rightful place in Canadian Society," he said.

"The task of building a third order of Government will take some time, and the work will be difficult. However, Indian people have never shied away from hard work in the past, and we will not do so in the future. With a co-operative attitude from the Federal and Provincial Governments, we will build a society which is honest, fair and just for all of us," Chief Crowe said.