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This feature essay written by a non-Indigenous critical theorist Len M.Findlay helps Canadians understand how racialization of Aboriginal peoples comes without a critical perspective of the contesting position of Eurocentric superiority that underlies race relations.My essay, Marie Battiste, offers how First Nations peoples education is a treaty right, different from other citizens of Canada, but needs since 1982 and the Constitutional affirmation of Aboriginal and treaty rights, the constitutional powers of the provincial/territorial and federal laws and policies must be reconciled with the constitutional rights of Aboriginal people.
He offers Canadians three pillars to take up challenge. Ladner’s examines the contributions Indigenous peoples have made to the concepts of governance to Canada, recognizing how treaties made that possible in the first place.A petition to the Inter America Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) for violations caused by nations that disregard this fact is the basis for Katherine Minich’s essay that suggests further the limits of international law for helping to address the problems among the Inuit, but provides a process for asserting self-determination on the basis of their Inuit identities.Sharon Venne asserts we are living in a colonial Canada, not a decolonized neocolonial Canada.Canadians no longer know the truth, believing that Aboriginal peoples’ third world living conditions are derived from racial or cultural inferiority and believing their requests for respect for their rights—treaty, aboriginal, and human— are the products of an irrational or special interests minority who are unwilling to accept their status.These crafted rationalizations generate persistent prejudice and discrimination against Aboriginal peoples rather than remedies.Yet, she notes, once established, settlers’ political and economic self-interests motivate them to break the promises of the treaties, ignore Crown orders for payment and consultation with First Nations to receive any land, and attempt to destroy the First Nations governments through legislation, replacing "inclusive consensual and democratic Indigenous political systems with undemocratic and unrepresentative systems of colonizers." Sakej Henderson argues that the governments of Canada, federal and provincial/territorial "continue to block Aboriginal nations from assuming the broad powers of governance that would permit them to fashion their own institutions and work out their own solutions to social, economic, and political problems." Systemic discrimination ushered in by racial and cultural superiority is its source.Education is one of those places where Canadians believe Aboriginal peoples get "free" education.The courts have affirmed the rights, but government resists implementing them.Aboriginal peoples have proposed that creating an Aboriginal Attorney General can protect their constitutional rights from abuse by politicians and bureaucrats, yet this proposed solution has met with deaf ears.Constitutional and systemic remedies can eliminate systemic discrimination.Our feature essay written by Patricia Monture offers an overview of the characteristics and the damages of systemic discrimination, how it is understood and tested in courts, as well as the limits of such tests in courts that miss the real context and effects of racism that affect the mental, emotional, as well as the spiritual and physical well-being of individuals and collectives.