That General Synod support Native people in their opposition to the recommendations of the Nielsen Task Force: "Improved Program Delivery-Indians and Natives: A Study Team Report to the Task Force on Program Review"; and
That General Synod inform the Prime Minister of Canada and the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development of its continued support for Native self-determination. CARRIED IN ALL ORDERS Act 32
That General Synod reaffirm its position that resource development should not take place on unsurrendered land until either there is a claims agreement in place or terms governing that development are negotiated satisfactorily with the Native people concerned, and that the National Executive Council be instructed to continue the implementation of this commitment. CARRIED IN ALL ORDERS Act 30
That this General Synod reaffirm its support of aboriginal peoples in their efforts to obtain justice through the recognition of aboriginal title, aboriginal rights and treaty rights and through a just settlement of land claims. CARRIED IN ALL ORDERS Act 29
That this Council of General Synod join with the Aboriginal Rights Coalition and the Canadian Ecumenical Jubilee Initiative in calling on the federal government "to act immediately to establish a truly independent commission with the mandate to implement Aboriginal land, treaty and inherent rights." CARRIED #05-11-00
The Most Rev. Michael Peers, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, has accused the federal government of ignoring "its constitutional responsibility to deal directly with the Mohawk Nation" to resolve the aboriginal land rights conflict at Oka, Quebec.
In a first letter to the Prime Minister, dated July 12, Archbishop Peers urged the Federal Government to "become more directly involved with the negotiations until there is a land claims agreement in place which is acceptable to the Mohawk nation." He also urged that the situation be resolved by nonviolent means; that all armaments be put down; and that the police be withdrawn.
He pointed out that "underlying the conflict are the issues of Land Claims and development of Aboriginal Lands. These issues are a federal responsibility."
In a follow-up letter, dated July 26, the Primate expressed dismay that the federal government continues to ignore its constitutional responsibility to deal directly with the Mohawk Nation.
"The actions of your government lead me to the conclusion that you reject the Supreme Court of Canada's position in the recent Sparrow case that 'the relationship between the Government and aboriginals is trust-like, rather than adversarial...'."
"I am also disturbed," he added, "by the continuation of human rights violations by the Surete du Quebec. Yesterday the Quebec Human Rights Commission declared that 'the massive police operation against Mohawks in Oka is illegal'. The provincial police, through harassment and discrimination, are violating the fundamental rights of people living behind blockades, including the denial of food and medical services. As External Affairs Minister Joe Clark told the House of Commons two years ago, 'food should not be used as a weapon.'."
The Anglican Church of Canada has long been an advocate of the justice struggles of Native peoples in Canada. The General Synod in 1989 expressed its support of nonviolent direct action in defence of unsurrendered Aboriginal Ancestral land, stating "That Aboriginal Peoples and Anglicans and others involved in nonviolent direct action in defence of unsurrendered Aboriginal ancestral lands and their environment be supported."
"It is crucial that the Federal Government make the just settlement of land claims a priority. Such action would do much to create healing between the government and the First Nations of this land" the letter concludes.
For more information, contact: The Reverend Peter Hamel, Anglican Church of Canada, 600 Jarvis Street, Toronto, Ontario, 416-924-9192
"I was approached by the Program Committee of the Anglican Church of Canada to undertake this assignment shortly after the Canadian Conference on Church and Society, held in Montreal in May, 1968. The theme of the Conference was 'Christian Conscience and Poverty' and during the Conference I talked with Indians, Metis and Eskimos. I became acutely aware that the native people of Canada are in serious trouble. .... This present action-oriented analysis is based on the assumption that the Anglican Church of Canada can make a substantial, strategic and significant contribution in relation to the needs, human resources and potential development of the native peoples of Canada. .... In this Report we look briefly at Canada's native people and some of the forces that have shaped them: we list some of the things the churches and the nation have done and some of the things they have failed to do; and we offer recommendations for action." -- Intro.
Contents: Introduction -- Acknowledgements / Charles E. Hendry -- Part One: The situation of Canada's native peoples -- The relationship of Western European missionaries to non-European peoples -- Value orientation re-examined -- Part Two: Anglican involvement in perspective -- Current policy and program orientation -- Missionary syndrome -- Part Three: Goals, strategies and tactics for change -- Implications for The Anglican Church of Canada -- Patterns for action: specific steps to implement change -- Part Four: Recommendations -- Appendix A: Specific Steps (Emphasis on the planning process) -- Appendix B: The Breakdown of Tribal Culture: A.D. 1769-1820 / George Irving Quimby -- Appendix C: A Position Paper Concerning the Stance of the Anglican Church to Indian Work, Prepared for Discussion Purposes dated 9 May 1966 / Edward W. Scott -- References.