CAID

 

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Last Updated September 15, 2017

 

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Canada was colonized at the expense of its Indigenous Peoples. The British started the forced assimilation and cultural genocide of Aboriginal people in North America but the federated Dominion of Canada continued the policy after Canada’s 1867 confederation.

Canada’s official policy of forced Aboriginal assimilation started with its first Prime Minister, Sir John A. MacDonald, and used four primary tools to destroy Aboriginal culture and infrastructure. They were: Wardship, the Indian Act, forced relocation and forced residential schooling. Central in the Government of Canada’s plan was the utilization of the Christian church. The Canadian Department of Indian Affairs oversaw Christian mission work and mandated most residential school administration to Christian churches. The result of forced assimilation was two Canada’s; one for those of privilege, European colonists; and one for those without rights or a future, “Indians.”

In 1982, Aboriginal and treaty rights were included in the Canadian Constitution and by 1996 the last residential schools in Canada were closed. Most church organizations have apologized for their roles in Indian Residential Schooling. Federal, provincial and territorial governments in Canada apologized to Canada’s Aboriginal Peoples between 2005 and 2016. In 2015, the Liberal Government of Canada under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau adopted the 2007 United Nations’ Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People. Unfortunately, very little has changed in legislation, regulation or service programming to include First Nation, Inuit and Métis rights into Canada and resolve the iniquities embedded in the country.

CAID is about a practical approach to rebuilding what was destroyed; Aboriginal societal infrastructure and a shared destiny in Canada. Through a culturally respectful consultation process, Indigenous and mainstream rights can be harmonized to create an underlay for detailed consultation, infrastructure rebuilding, the reconciliation of rights, culturally respectful healing, resource and land management, and programs for service delivery.

 

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