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FNSS Curriculum Integration Project Click here to download this lesson.
Bob Gronowski (MS-Word format.)

Grade: 11
Lesson 3: Comparing Self-Government Processes
Time: 1 hour

Topic: Defining self-government practices using a comparison of the Nisga'a and Westbank First Nations.

Rationale: The Indian Act of 1876 has caused inequities between Native and non-Native people. Self-government would help to alleviate the inequality.


Materials and Resources

  • Overhead projector
  • Self-Government Agreements Introduction (overhead)
  • "Summary of the Nisga'a Self-Government Agreement" (transparency)
  • Quiz sheet for Nisga'a Self-Government vocabulary words
  • "Summary of Westbank First Nations Self-Government Agreement" (transparency)
  • Quiz sheet for Westbank First Nation Self-Government vocabulary words

Main concepts:

  • The Indian Act was imposed on aboriginal people.
  • It has been a hindrance to Native culture and economic development.
  • Self-government would help provide stability and allow for self-reliance

Intended Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate awareness of the provisions of the Indian Act and its impact on the citizenship of Aboriginal Canadians
  • Demonstrate understanding of the history and present status of Aboriginal land claims and self-government in Canada
  • Recognise connections between events and their causes, consequences, and implications
  • Identify elements that contribute to the regional, cultural, and ethnic diversity of Canadian society
  • Develop and express appropriate responses to issues or problems
  • Reassess their responses to issues on the basis of new information
  • Describe the role of Canada's First Nations peoples in shaping Canadian identity
  • Demonstrate the ability to think critically, including the ability to:
    1. Define an issue or problem
    2. Develop hypothesis and supporting argument
    3. Communicate effectively in written and spoken language or other forms of expression, as appropriate to the social sciences


Vocabulary (in Material)

  • Assimilation
  • Colonialism
  • Impose
  • Ward
  • Indian Act
  • Indian Agent
  • Paternalism
  • Self-Government
  • Enfranchise

Planned Learning Activities

  • Give a quiz on the vocabulary words. (Read the definitions from the previous day and have students match with the terms).
  • Self-government may be addressed within the treaty process or as a separate issue. The Nisga'a have made it part of the treaty process.
  • Introduce highlights of the agreement dealing with self-government. (overhead notes provided) Through discussion, compare the agreements.
  • Essay assignment: In a democratic system, people have a say, or input, into rules that govern them. How did the Indian Act of 1876 affect the Native people and hwo could self-government help to change and improve circumstances for them in British Columbia?
OPTION:
Invite Dr. Tim Raybould, the chief negotiator for the Westbank First Nations, as a guest speaker to introduce the WFN agreement government and to generally speak about the issue.


Assessment/Evaluation

  1. Test of vocabulary and assign an essay involving main concepts.


Extensions:
Gifted Student Activities:

  • Research self-government issues in Australia, Africa, or South America.
  • Research current federal government interest in making changes to the Indian Act and possible motivation.

Special Student Activities:
What is the difference between being told what to do and choosing what to do? Is it better to choose or have choices? Write, draw or talk about examples: cleaning your room, doing chores, etc.


Other Integration Opportunities:

  1. Voting rights and legal representation in Parliament.
  2. Violation of democratic ideology.
  3. discussion of political ideology.


Resources Used and Supplementary Materials Available:

  1. The Indian Act and What It Means, Union of B.C Indian Chiefs, 700-73 Water St., Vancouver, B.C., V6B1A1
  2. Shaking off paternalism, Darshan Lindsay, A3-A4, Capital News, May 4th, 1994, 2495 Enterprise Way, Kelowna, B.C., V1X 7K2
  3. The Inherent Right to Self-Government, Fred R. Fenwick, 40-41,Law Now, Feb/ Mar. 1999
  4. What's the deal with treaties? B.C Treaty Commission 2000 (video and booklet) 203-1155 West Pender St. Vancouver, B.C. V6E 2P4
  5. Course Manual, First Nations Study 1, Opening Learning Agency
  6. Bringing BC Together, The Nisga'a Treaty, Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs, Victoria, BC. 1998

Web Sites

  1. Aboriginal Self-Government in Canada, Denis Wall, Ph.D. www.ualberta.ca
  2. Negotiations Completed on Westbank First Nation Self-Government Agreement www.ainc-inac.gc.ca
  3. Indian Act, Department of Justice, laws.justice.gc.ca
  4. Canada's Native Peoples, About Canada, www.pch.gc.ca
  5. Further criteria for essay marking on Page 72 of "From A-Z, Classroom criteria" Olson, Terry and Cathie Peters. (2000) Classroom Criteria From A to Z (Second Edition). Kamloops: Student Centered Publications.

NOTE: Information for transparencies




Self-Government Agreements Introduction
Self-government may be in included in the treaty process, as in the Nisga'a treaty, or negotiated separately, as the Westbank First Nation has done. In the Nisga'a treaty, land claims and implementation procedures have been agreed to. A phase in period of all aspects of the treaty is established. The WFN self-government agreement does not deal with land claims. The preferred term for treaty is now "agreement". But the distinction between the two shown here is considerable even though they are both agreements. The land claims of the Nisga'a agreement will not be discussed here.

There are those who believe that self-government means "above the law". This is not true. The Federal criminal code, Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and Provincial statutes will still apply. An individual will not "get away with murder" because of First Nation self-government.

A fair comparison of self-government would be municipal government. A fair comparison of self-government would be municipal government; whereby local government is responsible for local affairs. Now, a government official in Ottawa is responsible for many aspects of local life of First Nations people living on reserves. Fair treatment is all that is really wanted.

The main goal of the Indian Act in 1876 was assimilation. It was not intended to stay on the books for 125 years.

The government of the day intended to make Native issues non-existent by now. This hasn't happened. There have been some changes to the Indian Act, but not nearly enough. The Indian Act is a throw back to colonialism.

Those were the days of European superiority. Native people were seen as savages and heathens by some. The whole point of the Indian Act was to assimilate, or absorb the Native people so that their own culture would disappear. The Act sets up the federal government in a paternalistic role. That is, the government looks out for the well being of Native people and doesn't trust them to make decisions for themselves. They were, and for the most part still are, wards of the government.

Summary of the Nisga'a Self-Government Agreement

  • Nisga'a will have a government comparable to a municipality and Subject to the Canadian Constitution, Charter of Rights and Freedoms and provincial and federal laws.
  • Nisga'a citizens will not be taxed without representation.
  • The Nisga'a government will consist of four village governments and a central government.
  • Non-Nisga'a residents may participate in decisions and Nisga'a public institutions which may directly and significantly affect them, for example, school board and health board.
  • Nisga'a government powers establishing standards are required to meet or exceed provincial standards.
  • Federal laws will prevail over Nisga'a laws in the event of conflict.
  • Three catagories of Nisga'a government powers are:
    1. land use planning, zoning, business licenses, public works traffic regulation, and health services.
    2. authority over culture, language, adoption, liquor prohibition and gambling, and the regulation of fisheries entitlements
    3. legalizing marriages, post secondary education, wills and estates, environmental assessment and regulation of wildlife entitlements
  • with the exception of adoption, social services, and legalizing marriages, Nisga'a government powers will be limited to Nisga'a lands
  • Nisga'a govt. may assume responsibility for policing
  • the government may establish a Nisga'a court
  • the government will have authority to provide correctional services, such as probation and parole supervision on Nisga'a lands for persons sentenced under Nisga'a laws


Summary of the Nisga'a Self-Government Agreement

  • Nisga'a will have a government comparablle to a _____________ and Subject to the Canadian Constitution, Charter of Rights and Freedoms and provincial and federal laws.
  • Nisga'a citizens will not be taxed without____________________.
  • The Nisga'a government will consist of four _________________ governments and a ________________ government.
  • ___________________residents may participate in decisions and Nisga'a public institutions which may directly and significantly affect them, for example, ______________ and ______________.
  • Nisga'a government powers establishing standards are required to meet or exceed ________________________________.
  • Federal laws will prevail over Nisga'a laws in the event of ________.
  • Three ___________________ of Nisga'a government powers are:
    1. Land use planning, ________, business licenses, public works, traffic regulation, and ___________________________.
    2. authority over culture, __________, adoption, liquor prohibition and gambling, and the regulation of ___________ entitlements
    3. legalizing marriages, post secondary education, ________ and estates, environmental assessment and regulation of ___________________ entitlements
  • with the exception of adoption, social services, and legalizing marriages, Nisga'a government powers will be limited to ______________________________.
  • Nisga'a govt. may assume responsibility for ____________________
  • the government may establish a Nisga'a _____________________
  • the government will have authority to provide correctional services, such as ______________ and parole supervision on Nisga'a lands for persons sentenced under Nisga'a law.


Summary of the Westbank First Nation Self-Government Overview

  • The inherent right to self-government is an existing Aboriginal right within Section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982
  • The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms continues to apply to Westbank government and institutions.
  • Under the Agreement, self-government will be phased in over time and as they are needed, the related provisions of the Indian Act will no longer apply.
  • Jurisdiction to make laws includes: lands management, Aboriginal language and culture, resource management and the nvironment.
  • Federal laws will apply concurrently with Westbank laws. Provincial laws of general application will also continue to apply to Westbank eserve lands. The Self-Government Agreement identifies which ls prevail in the event of a conflict.
  • The Westbank constitution sets out the structure, duties and membership of their government and ensures that it is open, democratic and accountable.
  • Westbank is responsible for determination of its own membership. Canadian citizenship, permanent residency and Indian status continue to be the responsibility of Canada.
  • The Agreement includes provisions for Non-Westbank members to provide input to the Westbank government on matters that will directly and significantly affect them.
  • Westbank government will receive the same tax treatment as local governments as set out in the Income Tax Act.
  • Tax exemption provided under the Indian Act will continue to apply to Westbank and its members who are registered in the Indian Registry maintained by Canada.


Summary of the Westbank First Nation Self-Government Overview

  • The _________right to self-government is an existing _____________ within Section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982
  • The Canadian _____________________________continues to apply to Westbank government and institutions.
  • Under the Agreement, _________________will be phased in over time and as they are needed, the related provisions of the ______________ will no longer apply.
  • Jurisdiction to make laws includes: _________management, Aboriginal ______________and _____________, resource management and the _________________.
  • __________laws will apply concurrently with Westbank laws. Provincial laws of general application will also continue to apply to Westbank reserve lands. The Self-Government Agreement identifies which laws prevail in the event of a _________________.
  • The Westbank ________________sets out the structure, duties and membership of their government and ensures that it is open, _______________________and________________________.
  • Westbank is responsible for determination of its own membership. Canadian citizenship, permanent residency and Indian status continue to be the responsibility of Canada.
  • The Agreement includes provisions for _______________________to provide input to the Westbank government on matters that will directly and significantly ________________them.
  • ______________________will receive the same tax treatment as _______________________ as set out in the Income Tax Act.
  • Tax exemption provided under the Indian Act will continue to apply to Westbank and its members who are registered in the Indian Registry maintained by Canada.



  • Summative Criteria

    Criteria Ratings Comments
    Student demonstrates an understanding of the important ideas about the topic (through interaction and activities) 4 3 2 1  
    The student was able to draw a comparison between the Nisga'a and the WFN agreementsand give examples 4 3 2 1  
    The student uses effective communication throughout the discussions 4 3 2 1  
    Group participation and cooperation 4 3 2 1  
    Is able to appreciate another perspective and value its worth 4 3 2 1  
    Essay demonstrates a clear understanding of concepts studied 4 3 2 1  

    Key:
    4-Powerful
    3-Good
    2-Basic
    1-Beginning

    Further criteria for essay marking on Page 72 of "From A-Z, Classroom criteria"

    Vocabulary Quiz marked according to definitions sheet (provided in lesson plan)