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kim
Member

Post Number: 303
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Wednesday, November 3, 2010 - 3:54 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

I am confused?
What does all of this mean?


Who is a member of the Temagami First Nation? Today, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada decides. TFN members will vote on the return of that right.
The federal department exercises the power under the Indian Act. It has done so for 100 years. The statute gives First Nations the power if their membership approves.
The TFN sent out notice to its members of information sessions and the upcoming vote.



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brian
Moderator

Post Number: 1255
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Thursday, November 4, 2010 - 11:02 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Jews decide who are Jews. Canadians decide who are Canadian citizens. But First Nations cannot decide who is aboriginal.

Indian Affairs, under powers given by the Indian Act, says only "status" Indians can be members of a First Nation, or any government-recognized aboriginal community. The Act defines what a status Indian is.

"My aunt [Rita O'Sullivan] next door was considered non-status and my mother [Laura McKenzie], her sister, was status," said John McKenzie. "That made no sense to me. We are all blood related." O'Sullivan lost her status, under Indian Act rules, when she married a non-Indian.

And the descendants of those the government doesn't recognize are not status. The non-status are members of the TAA (the super-tribe and a group the people created, but not an Indian Act community), not the TFN.

Now if a First Nation wants to choose its members it can obtain that power under the Indian Act through a community-wide vote. Essentially the TFN could regain the right to decide and could, if it chose to, make all the non-status in the TAA into members of the TFN.

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kim
Member

Post Number: 304
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Thursday, November 4, 2010 - 11:09 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Thanks Brian

This is a very important vote coming up then.
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brian
Moderator

Post Number: 1256
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Thursday, November 4, 2010 - 11:11 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

It is hugely important, a step toward self-determination and greater self-government.

I should add that if the TFN obtained the power to determine its membership, it would still not have the power to grant status to individuals. That would remain with Indian Affairs and the Indian Act.
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fireman
Member

Post Number: 132
Registered: 08-2009
Posted on Friday, November 5, 2010 - 12:22 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Interesting topic I look forward to following.
Although, Brian, I would argue the point that Jews decide who are Jews. Hitler made the decision determining Jewishness independent of any Jews, and today in Israel, a North American Western self-identifying Jew may find that he or she does not meet the criteria of "Jewishness" set down by the rabbinical court but is a member of a Jewish congregation here in Canada or the USA. I am not sure that the situation facing any group is fundamentally different.
I think those in power determine how things run.
I understand that there are legal details in this case specific to the Canadian Government and its relationship with First Nations members.
However, my personal experience, Jewish father, Christian Mother, not Jewish enough to be Jewish but enough to be Israeli and serve four years in the IDF....citizenship, yes, but Jewish status, NO...Not that I am looking for it, either. It is a strange and complicated aspect of the world we live in that rarely seems to make any sense.
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kim
Member
Post Number: 305
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Friday, November 12, 2010 - 8:57 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

What happened here?
Was there a vote yet?

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