Transcription
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First of all we're dealing with two things. One is the general land claim based on Aboriginal Title which, in fact, the highest court in the land came to a split decision, you know, they didn't go one way or the other, three were for, three were against, the judges- seven judges sat on this Supreme Court and one of them voted against it on a technicality that didn't go anywhere near the existence or non-existence of Aboriginal rights. But Aboriginal rights in short is that Indian people owned this country before the white people came and the colonial powers that became existent in this country were given explicit directions of how they were to deal with Indians and their lands and they had to pay in cash or in kind when taking over Indian lands and this they did in the prairie provinces where they had treaties, but in British Columbia and a number of other provinces, there are no treaties, no agreements. So as far as the legal situation is concerned the issue has not been settled and this is what we're talking about is the unsurrendered title of Indian people to the province we now know as British Columbia, that's what we're dealing with. In setting up of the reserves, they set up a legal area that was defined for the use of Indian people. This is all the Indian people got. And then they set up a commission forced by the provincial government of the time that Indian people probably weren't using the land in the way that the provincial government thought they should be and the commission had very clear terms of reference that the they wouldn't take any land away from Indian people unless they had their participation, but the provincial government forced the federal government or prodded them on to going into taking this land without the participation or knowledge of Indian people and this is the issue. The indian people in these 22 bands want that 36,000 acres returned to them and if we succeed in doing that then we're dealing the larger issue of the general land claim. And that is the disctintion between the two I hope I've clarified.