WENDAKE, QC, Oct. 7, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - October 7, 2013 marks the 250th anniversary of the Royal Proclamation of 1763 issued by King George
III. This day marks an important moment in Canadian history. "It is a
moment that Canadians need to reflect upon and recall that this
proclamation was a proposed fair and voluntary land dealing between the
British government and Aboriginals but it is also a day of
contradiction.", stated AFNQL Chief Ghislain Picard.
For First Nations one of the key highlights of the Royal Proclamation is
the acknowledgment of Aboriginal title and that all land would be
considered Aboriginal land until ceded by Nations through treaty. The
Royal Proclamation is enshrined in Section 25 of the Constitution Act;
this section of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees that
nothing can terminate or diminish the Aboriginal rights outlined in the
Proclamation. We need to celebrate this part of the proclamation but we
need to ask the question, is the government of Canada currently
maintaining the spirit and intentions of the proclamation?
The downside of this proclamation is that it reserved land for
Aboriginal people and ordered non-aboriginal peoples to leave these
lands. It respected Aboriginal right to hunt and fish on these lands.
The irony of this agreement is that it gave way to British paternalism
and the Crown a monopoly on all future land. Aboriginals are considered
to be British subjects and not equal and independent nations. The
interpretation of the agreement is still debated and has serious
constitutional, legal and political implications and must be fully
recognized to achieve justice for Aboriginal.
We need to celebrate the positives of this proclamation as it set the
foundation for Treaty-making between First Nations and the Crown
(Canada), an approach that was to be based on partnership, mutual
respect and mutual recognition. This anniversary marks an important
opportunity to review the relationship between Aboriginals, Britain and
"We need to move from colonization to de-colonization and set a new path
moving forward based on the principles of recognition and respect, we
need to move forward to an era of action and no one government or
nation should dictate over another", indicated Chief Ghislain Picard.
About the AFNQL
The Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador is the political
organization bringing together 43 chiefs of the First Nations in Quebec
and Labrador. www.apnql-afnql.com.
SOURCE: Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador
For further information:
Mélanie Vincent (email@example.com)
Cell.: 418 580-4442