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How the matter of "canada's" immigration law
is an Aboriginal issue

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Written remarks presented by gkisedtanamoogk to the "canadian" immigration legislative review committee. This group of people had the responsibility of recommending to the Minister of Immigration changes to the current immigration act of "canada."

Our Personal Story

Since time immemorial, WABANAKI People have continuously inhabited the territories now known to "north america" as the maritimes of eastern "canada" and the northeast-middle atlantic region of eastern "united states." Throughout the period of over thousands of generations, the WABANAKI have developed a Way of Life based on the intimate connection and knowledge of these territories. This Way of Life is known as the LONGHOUSE. Formal and informal social, political, and spiritual relationships have bonded the WABANAKI throughout time and space. Whether acts of inter-tribal conflict, peace, marriage, councils, or political alignments, the WABANAKI remain a distinct and obvious presence throughout these territories.

There has never been a time when the WABANAKI ceded any lands. Despite current conditions, the moral and technically legal ownership, jurisdiction, and sovereignty over the territories of our many Nations, remains WABANAKI. Since the arrival of europeans, particularly the french and english peoples, territorial disputes with euro-"north american" governments and citizens and the WABANAKI/Indigenous Nations have yet to cease. Stemming from the british occupation, political boundaries established two current nation-state systems within WABANAKI territories, "canada" and the "united states." Their political sub-divisions have created numerous state, provincial and municipal jurisdictions. Despite the rule of law, WABANAKI Territories and Peoples remain under socio-political domination and occupation of the "united states" and "canada."

My Family and i are born WABANAKI and have always lived in WABANAKIK (our Homelands). We live, work, and are governed by our customs, established through the Lifeways of our traditions. We have three minor Children who have known no other Life than the Life of WABANAKI Culture. Miigam'agan and i, married in 1984 by WABANAKI customs, have lived together for thirteen years. Our Home, for this entire period, has been established in Miigam'agan's Community of ESGENOOPETITJ ("Burnt Church Reserve"), in the GESPEGEOAGIG District ("new brunswick") of the MII'GMAG ("Micmac") Nation.

My People's area of WABANAKI is known as "massachusetts" of the "united states." My birthplace is there.

On February 2, 1996, i was prevented from returning to my Home in ESGENOOPETITJ, while passing the "canadian-united states" border between "houlton, maine" and "woodstock, new brunswick" by an immigration officer acting under the authority of "canada's" immigration act. This action taken against me was based upon the determination that:

1. i was not a citizen of "canada"; and that,
2. i am not a permanent resident possessing a "canadian" visa; and that
3. i was determined to be illegally entering into "canada" by virtue of section A 9(1), of the immigration act of 1978, which requires that i possess a "canadian" visa; and therefore,
4. by sub-section 20(1) i was determined inadmissible: Paragraph 19(2)(d): Persons who cannot or do not fulfill or comply with the conditions or requirements of this act or the regulations or any orders or directions lawfully made or given under this act or the regulations.

i had spent six excruciatingly painful months in exile from my Family and Home. This was not a unique development, nine years prior to this incident, i was similarly refused entrance upon the same determination, and spent 9 months in exile from my Family. Through our attorney, a visitor's visa of "canada" was arranged for me in order to enter and come Home to ESGENOOPETITJ. This temporary arrangement, will expire on the 1st of "august."

As of this moment, Immigration "canada" has yet to be directed to honour WABANAKI Treaties as part of their constitutional obligations and responsibilities. As well, recognition for the obligations arising from other international sources of law, such as the Treaty of Amity of 1794 (commonly known as the "Jay Treaty") and the Treaty of Ghent, 1814, apparently is beyond their authority to observe, recognize or implement. These treaties specifically recognize, as an inherent aboriginal right, the free and unrestricted mobility/movement of First Nations People to pass and repass the border between the "united states" and "canada. Accordingly, it then appears that the authority of Immigration "canada" is restricted to the requirements of the act, and virtually does not have a mandate to implement its constitutional responsibilities and obligations to recognise and affirm our Aboriginal Rights and Treaties.

Immigration "canada" also does not honour nor recognize our marriage because it is a marriage of Aboriginal customs and spirituality. We have been encouraged to marry either by a justice of the peace or by way of a church affiliation or service. Neither of which are viable options since our union has been consecrated by our own customs, ceremony, and spiritual obligations. Neither of us recognize a need to undermine, or otherwise subvert, the integrity of our faith emanating from our spirituality and ceremonial practice. However, immigration has made it clear to us that a bona fide marriage to whom they consider to be a "canadian" citizen, would carry considerable weight to recognition of my right to live freely in my own Homelands.

Furthermore, the immigration act of "canada" does not explicitly specify inclusion of or application to Aboriginal/First Nations People of "north america." For the act to legally apply to First Nations, the action would have to conform to the requirements of the nation-to-nation protocol currently in existence between the WABANAKI and the government of "canada." This would then compel a consistency in both the spirit and the letter of the law, in regards to "canadian" constitutional obligations and responsibilities to affirm the integrity of Aboriginal Rights and Treaties. Since there has been no such formality of Treaty, the immigration act can not apply to Indigenous Nations of this Turtle Island. There is no basis of authority to engage compliance of WABANAKI nationals to the immigration act or any other acts. By virtue of the principals of the rule of law, recognition, both in WABANAKI Sovereignty and Jurisdiction, and in "canada's" constitution, make any such unilateral application of immigration requirements and the act, void and of no effect upon WABANAKI nationals and any other Indigenous People of Turtle Island ("north america").

Neither Miigam'agan and i are, and have no intentions of becoming, citizens of "canada" or the "united states." Our citizenship, responsibilities, obligations, and accountabilities belong to our own Nations, that of the MII'GMAG and the WAMPANOAG, both Nations of the WABANAKI. We do not claim to be citizens of any government and country other than WABANAKI. According to the municipal laws of the "united states" and of "canada", however, we are both unilateral termed and labelled citizens of these two respective countries, despite our objections.

Herein lies the dilemma and initial source of contention. Both "canada" and the "united states" have risen from the occupation and claim to WABANAKI territories. These territories have never been alienated by the WABANAKI and therefore have not passed from our People to these "north american" nation-states. Equally, passage of municipal legislation designed to effect unilateral application to WABANAKI Nations and their members, is not enough to demand compliance and legally subject and usurp our peoples, our sovereignty, our rights to remain a Nation and a People without the formality of consent through the well-established protocols exhibited in our treaties with the Queen and recognized by the succeeding government of "canada."An unconsented, thus unauthorized, unilateral action by one people over another, separate people, is in violation of that people's right and contrary to the rule of law.

On this basis, and according to our sovereignty, we have the right to state that we live on our own territories and not within the boundaries of "canada" or the "united states." We have the inalienable right to live, work, and develop from our own Indigenous/WABANAKI Ways of Life; to freely exercise our self-determination to maintain and perpetuate our lives as a people. We are sovereign of Sovereign Nations, who continue to hold effective and binding treaties with the "united states" and "canada." It remains our rightful choice to effect the obligations of being WABANAKI and live according to our reality, customs, traditions, and laws. We have the right to live and enjoy our Life under our own sovereignty and jurisdiction. We have our own form of Spirituality, our language and recognition of our Peoples. In WABANAKI, the only boundaries that exists for our People are the boundaries of sharing cultural, linguistic, social, economic and political ties with one another on a shared and common geographic territory.

As with other nationals of other countries, we take pride in, love for, and loyalty to our People and for our territories. Our obligations to perpetuate our Lives and all that matters to our Peoples, raise our Young, care for our Elders, maintain viability of Life and Home, is no different among other Peoples of the world; no different from what any responsible citizen of "canada" would feel for their Home, Land and Life.

Can anyone honestly expect us, and our People to abandon our Homes and Life, ignore our traditions, responsibilities, and obligations to be and remain a People; is it then, plausible to surrender our nations and justify the genocide of our People and the destruction of what is left of our Homeland Territories? We are as forthright to maintain and remain WABANAKI as any other national in regards for their Homelands and People.

It is therefore impossible for me, my Family, my Nations to approach this problem/dilemma from any other perspective other than through the deliverance of our sovereignty, jurisdiction, and self-determination.

The Wider effect on WABANAKI Nations and Territories

A Brief Historical Over-view

Following the "american" revolutionary war, the Treaty of Paris, conducted in 1783 between the newly established "united states" and Great Britain, concluded hostilities and demarcated the territories between the "americans" and the "british" colonial governments. This action of establishing boundaries was committed without the approval or consent of the Indigenous Nations whose People and Territories were, and have been since, affected. Great concern for the division of these territories was voiced by the protesting WABANAKI and the other Indigenous Nations of that time. Over the years to follow, these protests became more pronounced and hostile only for the unresponsive inactivity of both colonial governments given to our Peoples. With the threat of war with the Indian Nations becoming eminent, talks got underway to ensure to our People that this boundary was not meant to usurp WABANAKI territories and alienate our Families and Nations (The border bi-sects our Homelands and separates our Families, Communities, Nations, and Confederacies). In 1794, a peace and friendship treaty was concluded between England and the "united states" that stipulated the third party interest of the WABANAKI and the other Indigenous Nations throughout "north america." This was the Treaty of Amity of 1794, known as the "Jay Treaty."

The provisions were made known to the WABANAKI that there would always be free movement and mobility of Indian People to pass and repass the boundary, that our People's territorial integrity would be recognized and respected by both the "united states" and Great Britain. Article 3 of the Treaty of Amity states:

It is agreed that it shall all times, be free to His Majesty's subjects and to the citizens of the United States, and also to the Indians dwelling on either side of the said boundary line, freely to pass and repass by land or inland navigation into respective territories and countries of the two parties on the continent of America...

Article 28 of the same treaty states:

...it is agreed that the first ten articles of this treaty shall be permanent... War eventual resumed between the "american" and british colonial government, in 1812. Following the hostilities, the Treat of Ghent, 1814, resumed normalcy to "north america." However, specific attention was given to, once again, ensure to the Nations of the WABANAKI and the other Indigenous People, that continued mobility and recognition for our territories would not be affected by that war...

Article 9 of the Treaty of Ghent states, in part,

The United States of America engage to put an end....to hostilities.....and His Britannic Majesty engages...to put an end to hostilities...with all the tribes or nations of Indians with whom they may be at war...and forthwith to restore to such tribes or nations, respectively all the possessions, rights, and privileges which they may have enjoyed or been entitled to in one thousand eight hundred and eleven, previous to such hostilities...

Many border officials of both "canada" and the "united states" claim that the war of 1812, abrogated the Aboriginal Right of free mobility to pass and repass the border. They do this as they attempt to deny passage of WABANAKI People through our territories.

Presently, the government of "canada" refutes any obligations arising from the Treaty of Amity, 1794, or the Treaty of Ghent, 1814, solely on the basis of being a non-signatory or its parliamentarian failure to effect the treaties through legislative endorsement. i believe this is the reason that immigration officials are not able to acknowledge the Aboriginal right of movement to cross the border, respect the free and independent mobility right of WABANAKI Nationals to traverse our own lands, and observe the integrity of WABANAKI Territories. i believe, likewise, that "canada" indeed must observe their responsibilities arising under Jay's Treaty in addition to their constitutional mandate to recognise and affirm the existing Aboriginal Rights and Treaties. i will briefly describe such obligation later in this presentation.

Contemporary Impact of the "canadian" Immigration Law to WABANAKI Nationals

"Canadian" refusal to honour the mobility rights of Aboriginal Peoples, as reflected in "Jay" and "Ghent", is also a refusal to recognize the territorial integrity of, the sovereignty of and the jurisdiction of WABANAKI Nations. In addition to not honouring and respecting Aboriginal rights to freedom of association, of thought and conscience, of our spirituality, the simple recognition and respect for justice and the rule of law application to the WABANAKI is also lost on such refusal.

Absent the respect for historical protocol and recognition of our rights of access to our own territories, the question of the border's application to the WABANAKI and other Indigenous Nations, creates a severe impact on the territorial integrity of our Homelands, and our free association, social, political, spiritual, cultural Familial bonds and relationships we have with one another. Our right to maintain a viable economy based on our inherent traditional practices and exchanges within these territories and among our Peoples, are equally afflicted. When choosing to exercise our rights fully within the context of our reality, the action of exercise becomes criminalized by "canadian" officials. Currently the laws and policies of "canada's" indian policy, amount to the trivialization and the criminalization of our rights and rights to exercise self-determination and defense of our People and Homelands/Life. i can find no other description for this indian political travesty other than the furtherance of euro-"north american"colonialism and racism.

Clearly, the first action of crossing the border initiates the process of immigration. This inaugurates the issues involved with the separation of our Families, Communities, Nations, and our Confederacies. Further to this, comes the labelling and application of "citizenship" on our Peoples making the process of alienation more distinctly felt. To refer to and apply to WABANAKI People, "canadian" or "american" citizenship at once separates and undermines our Familial integrity, denying our national identity and interconnection to one another. This colonial form of usurpation is tantamount to the illegal activities of conscription and impressment. WABANAKI Peoples, as well as our Sister and Brother Nations, have relentlessly struggled to maintain ourselves as members of our own nations and exist in this right. The existence of the Confederacies of the WABANAKI, and the terminology we consistently choose to use confirms that each member of our nations are family to this Great Body. Our historic clan-structures attest to the inalienable affinity we have for one another in the Oneness of this Great Body and simultaneously unites human and Creation in this Family.

Immigration and citizenship inaugurates a forced separation from one another and the alienation of our status as nations, dwelling upon our own territories, recognized and respected by international law and british north american indian policy. "canada" has sharply departed from the earlier british policy of recognizing and respect the territorial integrity and polity of our Peoples as depicted in numerous speeches and documents, including the following,

...your rights should be preserved, those rights which you enjoy as an independent people... At the Peace (of Paris, 1783) (King George 111) considered the Indian Nation as free and independent...he in no manner interfered with your rights admitted by european compacts as the Law of Nations and undoubtedly those of nature.
     --Lieutenant-Governor Simcoe, October 13, 1794

As "canada" maintains this position, WABANAKI Families are presently being systematically and painfully torn asunder. There are approximately thousands of WABANAKI who are immediately affected by the immigration application and the failure of "canadian" officials and the government to recognize Aboriginal mobility rights to move freely through the border. Without doubt, every Indian person throughout "north america" is in effect, excluded from the free enjoyment of the wholeness to their rights and Homelands. There are presently and approximately 200 WABANAKI children and Families throughout eastern "canada", in the territories of the MII'GAMAG (Micmac) and WOOLUSTIKIK (Maliseet), that are not receiving proper medical care and access to quality social services, due to immigration matters. (This is the analysis provided by Lee Cohen, our immigration attorney, and concurred by WABANAKI members). There have been instances upon instances of immigration removing our People from our communities. Currently there is a case now before the "canadian" immigration board regarding the impending deportation of a WABANAKI Youth[ Shawn Woodman], on the basis that he was born in the "united states" and therefore not eligible, as a status indian based on the "indian act" (not upon the determination of our People) to be in "canada." His mother is a member of a local Maliseet Community, a "status indian" considered to be a "canadian" citizen. She is fighting very hard to keep her Family together. This unfortunate crisis is common throughout our territories.

The politics of the "canadian" indian policy, effects the way that immigration handles WABANAKI People born on the wrong side of the line. "North American" Indian People dwelling south of the line have no status as indians under the indian act in "canada." That result is tantamount to the termination of WABANAKI populations and access to our Homelands. This is contradictory to the reciprocal acts of the "united states" whose recognition of "Jay" and "Ghent" remains active and binding. "canadian"-born WABANAKI still can cross the border, live, work, be educated, and receive social services without having to abide by the requirements of "american" immigration.

Politicio-legal Implication of Border-crossing and Immigration

In addition to WABANAKI customary/traditional law, the rule of law, as also embodied in international law and "north american" political and case law concludes that the validity and legitimacy of the positions advanced by the WABANAKI/Indigenous Nations are rightfully taken. The following sources of this confirmative rule of law are concise examples demonstrating support for our position. These sources are taken from a variety of international law, of which "canada" is a signatory, and "north american" constitutional, case, and legal opinion.

Support of International Law

The United Nation's Declaration of Human Rights states the following:

Article 2:
Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs whether it be independent, trust, non-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty [emphasis mine]

Article 15:
(1) Everyone has the right to a nationality.
(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.

Article 16:
(1) Men and Women...without any limitation due to race, nationality, or religion, have the right to marry and found a Family....
(3) The Family is the natural and fundamental unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the state.

Article 21:
(1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country...
(3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government...

Article 27:
(1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community...

Article 29:

(1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible

The MONTIVIDEO Convention on the Rights and Duties of States, adopted on "december" 26, 1933, presents the working definition of what constitutes the requirements of nationhood:

Article 1:
Permanent population; defined territory; effective government; capacity for foreign relations

WABANAKI Nations, as well as the other Indigenous Nations of Turtle Island, has aptly demonstrated, and continues to demonstrate, qualification of those requirements of nationhood.

International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights declares in part, the following:

Article 1:
(1) All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social, and cultural development

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights declares, in part:

Article 17:
(1) No one shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his privacy, Family, Home...

Article 18:
(1) Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion. This right shall include freedom to have and to adopt a religion or belief of his choice, and freedom to either individually or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice, and teaching...
(4)...to have respect for the liberty of parents...to ensure the religious and moral education of their Children, in conformity with their own convictions.

Article 27:
...persons belonging to such minorities shall not be denied the right, in community with other members of their group, to enjoy their own culture, to profess and practice their own religion, or to use their own language.

During a jurisdictional dispute between the governments of Greece and Turkey over the Island of Cyprus in 1970, The Permanent International Court of Justice, at the Hague, defined the character of what constitute a People:
a group of persons living in a given country or locality, having a race, religion, language, and traditions of their own and united by the identities of race, religion, language, and traditions in sentiment of solidarity, with a view to preserving their traditions, maintaining their form of worship, insuring the instructions and up- bringing of their Children in accordance with the spirit and traditions of their race and rendering mutual assistance to each other.

Later, the International Commission of Jurists, which is a Non-Governmental Organization of the United Nations, expanded the definition to include the following:

having a common history, racial or ethnic ties, cultural or linguistic ties, religious or ideological ties, common territory or geographical location, common economic base, sufficient number of people.

Furthermore, in the Declaration on Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, the Declaration reads, in part:

A people is entitled to be free from internal and external domination, from discrimination on the grounds of race, color, creed, political conviction, to pursue their own economic, social, and cultural development, to enjoy fundamental human rights and equal treatment, to form a government of their choosing.

Although both the "united states" and "canada" have consistently recognized the validity of and active legal force of binding legal obligations, responsibilities, and accountabilities arising from Indigenous Treaties and International Law, they have equally sought to unilaterally change these circumstances through a variety of means, including acts of genocide perpetuated on WABANAKI and other Indigenous Nations. Currently, the more subtle forms of genocide are being enacted under the guise of citizenship, assimilation, integration, and the pursuit of multiculturalism.

Convention for the prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, 1948, reads in part:

Article 2:
In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such:
(1) Killing members of the group
(2) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group
(3) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part
(4) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group
(5) Forcibly transferring Children of the group to another group

Article 3:
The following acts shall be punishable:
(1) Genocide
(2) Conspiracy to commit genocide
(3) Direct and public indictment to commit genocide
(4) Attempt to commit genocide
(5) Complicity in genocide

Article 4:
Persons committing genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in Article 3, shall be punished, whether they are constitutionally responsible rulers, public officials or private individuals.

Article 7:
Genocide and the other acts enumerated in Article 3 shall not be considered as political crimes for the purpose of extradition....

Sources of Support in "north american" Laws for WABANAKI Treaties and Sovereignty

The Constitution of the "united states" reads in part,

Article 6, Section 2:
...and ALL Treaties made, or which shall be made under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and Judges in every state shall be bound thereby...

In the CHEROKEE Nation cases, Chief Justice John Marshall states, in part:

...the acts of our government plainly recognizes the CHEROKEE Nation as a state and the courts are bound by those acts; we have applied...the word treaty and nation to Indians, as we have applied them to other Nations of the Earth; they are applied in the same sense...

In another Supreme Court ruling,

...it must be assumed that the framers of the Constitution intended that it should extend to all those objects which in the intercourse of nations had usually been regarded as the proper subjects of negotiation and treaty... [HOLMES v. GUANOSINE]

The courts of the "united states" have explicitly confirmed that the immigration requirements normally in place against foreign applicants are not to be so construed as to apply to any "north american" Indian person, by virtue of their natural rights to freely move within their territories, and as affirmed by the Jay Treaty:

The boundary line to establish the respective territory of the United States and of Great Britain was clearly not intended to, and just as clearly did not, affect the Indians. It made no division of their country. The Jay Treaty of 1794 recognized...the provision that the Indians residing on either side of the line...should be unaffected in their right to pass and repass at will. It has been argued to us pro and con that this treaty was abrogated by the war of 1812. We do not see that the rights of Indians are in any way affected by the treaty, whether now existing or not....the right of the Indian remained, whether the agreement continued or ended...from the Indian point of view he crossed no boundary line. For him, this does not exist...and there is nothing...to work a change in our attitude. (DIABO v. McCANDLESS, 1927, Philidelphia]


...the intent of Congress...was to preserve the Aboriginal Right of American Indians to move freely throughout the territories originally occupied by them on either side of the American and Canadian border, and thus, to exempt Canadian-born Indians from all immigration restrictions imposed on aliens... [AKINS v. SAXBE,1974, Boston]

"canadian" Constitution and legal Opinion

The following sections of the "canadian" constitution make it obvious to me that "canada" and its federal departments, employers, and employees are bound to recognize and respect WABANAKI Rights, Treaties, and Territorial Integrity. Section 109 reads, in part,

...all lands...belonging to the several Provinces of Canada...at the union...shall belong to the several Provinces...subject to any trusts existing in respect thereof, and to any interests other than the Province in the same.

This section is particularly noteworthy because it recognizes that the territorial claims of provinces and even the federal government remains subject to the existence of Indigenous territories. Our territories remain ours until a legitimate process of formal and consensual, and explicit exchange is made. Until that happens, no WABANAKI lands belong to anyone other than our People.

Section 129 reads, in part,

...all laws in force in Canada...at the Union....shall continue...as if the Union had not been made; subject nevertheless, to be repealed, abolished, or altered by the Parliament of Canada...according to the Authority...under this Act.

This section is of importance because the early british proclamations, such as the Royal Proclamation 1763, clearly recognized the territories of Aboriginal Nations and the act has never been repealed.

Section 132 reads, in part,

...the Parliament and Government of Canada shall have all powers necessary or proper for performing the Obligations of Canada... as part of the British Empire, towards Foreign Countries arising under Treaties between the Empire and such Foreign Countries.

The Jay Treaty, Ghent, and WABANAKI Treaties of pre-confederation times with the Crown obligates "canada' to fulfill the responsibilities arising from these treaties. i believe that on occasion, "canada" has done so.

Section 139 reads, in part,

...any Proclamation under the Great Seal of the Province of Canada issued before the Union to take effect at a time which is subsequent to the Union...shall continue of like force and effect as if the Union had not been made.

In 1867 the colonial government assuming a self-governing responsibility, became the "Province of Canada." As the province, "canada" then assumed the responsibilities and obligations to maintain the treaties with the "united states". "canada" remains obligated to recognize the Aboriginal Right of mobility to pass and repass the border...that recognition explicit exempts WABANAKI peoples from "canadian" immigration restrictions. Furthermore, the territories of the WABANAKI remain in tact and respected.

Section 25, Part 1 reads in part,

The guarantee of certain rights and freedoms shall not be construed so as to abrogate or derogate from any Aboriginal, Treaty, or other rights or freedoms that pertain the Aboriginal Peoples of Canada...including (a) any rights of freedom that has been recognized by the Royal Proclamation of October 7, 1763...

Section 35 (1) reads in part,

The existing Aboriginal and treaty rights of the Aboriginal Peoples of Canada are hereby recognized and affirmed.

Section 52(1) reads in part,

The Constitution of canada is the supreme Law of Canada, and any law that is inconsistent with the provisions of the Constitution is, to the extent of the inconsistency, of no force or effect.

Hence, does the immigration act of "canada" recognize the Aboriginal Right of Mobility, of Founding a Family, of Marriage by Customs, Territorial Rights...? Conclusively, all federal laws and policies are subservient to the "supreme law" of the land and must be in conformity with the intent and spirit of this document. Immigration is of no force or effect upon any Aboriginal person in "north america" despite where they were born, and must therefor be applied to the standard of recognizing and affirming the WABANAKI right and Treaties, be the rights of passage in our territories, socio-political associations, cultural identity, territorial integrity...The immigration act is subservient to the constitution; the constitution is not subservient to the immigration act.

While the federal government has steadfastly taken no action to recognize and implement obligations arising from these treaties, to the contrary, various legal opinions have stated and determined elsewise,

Department of Justice Opinion, 1951...

I am of the opinion that insofar as the reference to indians in the Jay Treaty is concerned, it would appear to be of full force and effect. It seems therefor that, in view of Article 3 of the Treaty, Indians dwelling on either side of the boundary between Canada and the United States may pass freely into the respective countries... Deputy Minister of Justice, F.P. Varcoe External Affairs Opinion, 1969... ...some of the reports of the Canadian government position with respect to the Jay Treaty have, rightly or wrongly, attributed to the government view that the treaty was concluded between Britain and the United States and that, since Canada was not a party to the treaty it is not bound by the treaty's provisions. This argument is unsound...Canada...took the position that they succeeded to the rights and obligations of the treaties entered into by Britain on their behalf prior to independence...Canada position taken at the time of independence the operative one for Canada...a great many treaties by which Canada is now bound by are treaties concluded on its behalf by Britain...Canada cannot, therefore, avoid the obligations of the Jay Treaty on the ground that it was not a party to that treaty.
     --Legal Division of External Affairs, J.S. Stamford


It is a long established principal of common law that BEFORE any basic rights are taken away, there must be clear legislative enactment to that effect.
     --MacKinnon to Deputy Minister of National Revenue, September 10, 1959

These passages are but a summery of the issues that have a tremendous impact of the lives of our peoples across our territories. Resolution to these issues, many of long standing, are vital to our concern for the integrity of our Families, Nations and Homelands and for our People's peace of mind and Well-Being.

Resolve and Implementation of the Rule of Law in the Social Interest

The integrity of our social systems, those of the WABANAKI/Indigenous Nations, and those of "north america", depends on the vigilant regard for and respect for the ideals which these systems are founded upon. Ideals such as respect for the principals of the rule of law, respect for the dignity of all peoples, recognition of the diversity of Life as exemplified through the polity, governance and desicion-making powers among and between Aboriginal Nations and those of "north america." It is of vital importance that the pursuit of these ideals be real and therefore implemented with the fullest of integrity and spirit. Often times, governments would take the position that such ideals are designed for gradual transition rather than immediate implementation. These problems outlined in this brief are needless. Should the rule of law have been observed there would have been no travesty of justice to our Peoples, there would not have been the holocaust of Turtle Island, and the relationship between our respective cultures would have been indeed and in reality, as it should be: as Family, Friends, and Allies to the peoples of "north america."

It is my purpose to convince both immigration "canada" and its government, that the case and concerns of the WABANAKI, as outlined in this brief, have merit and necessitates political resolve. That political resolve must in fact, accommodate the treaty process, protocol, and recongition of our inalienable Aboriginal Rights and Responsibilities already in existence and constituting the rule of law.

Aboriginal Nations and representatives have repeatedly called on the governments of "north america" to respect our Ways of Life, honour our respective commitments to one another, and acknowledge our dignity to Live as we choose upon our own territories. Repeatedly, our voices are not heard. In spite of this, we remain hopeful that justice for our peoples will ultimately be achieved and the life that we desire for our Young people and our Generations Yet To Come will manifest in Wellness and Peace.

We are respectful of the rule of law. For thousands of generations preceding the coming of europeans to our Homelands, the rule of law was integral to our Ways of Life, because those laws came from the Creator. We remain steadfast in calling upon the governments of "north america" to abolish all immigration requirements imposed on all our peoples throughout Turtle Island and to recognize and accept our inalienable rights as a People and as allies. The Dignity of all human beings, the Integrity of all social institutions, and the Perseverance of the rule of law is in jeopardy should justice not come for our Peoples.

KI'E'TAN/ETJINISGAMITJ, the Creator of All that is, provided for the Life of the WABANAKI and All peoples. The Great Creator founded this Life upon principals that guides All people to Wellness and Well-Being. The WABANAKI acknowledge these principals as the Creator Laws, commonly known as the Original Instructions. Since time immemorial, we have strived and struggled to maintain and accomplish these Instructions, from one generation to the next. The Creator Laws are embodied in our Original/Traditional Ways of Life; they become our Customs; they manifest in our Ceremonies; our Spirituality becomes the character and Life of our People. We are directed to become responsible and aware of ourselves in all our daily activities: the ways we think, the manner in which we live, work, and play. These ways form our social and political government, the ways we make our decisions.

The manifestation of the WABANAKI was an act of Love given and shown by KI'E'TAN/ETJINISGAMITJ. So too, we must continue to create and to Love one another by demonstrating our eternal Thanksgivings for and to All Those in Creation, who live and sacrifice for the Well-Being of all that is WABANAKI, for All That is human. It is the act of Love that we hold for KI'E'TAN/ETJINISGAMITJ that we continue to strive for the Well-Being and Wellness, the quality of Life from within us and for those all about us. It is from our Love for the Sacred Gift and Privilege of Being Created WABANAKI that we must continue our Being: who we are, what we are, where we are, and why we are.

The Balance of Life remains steadfastly in our care, for and of the Earth, to provide Wellness of Being to our Families and to continue to live as we have been so instructed by the Creator. It can only be the Creator who can release the WABANAKI from our responsibilities and obligations to maintain and Keep this Well-Being, Balance, and these Original Instructions.

miingignoti-keteaoag homepage Site Designed by Laura Brooks. Copyright 1997
Date Page Posted: Monday, December 29, 1997
Graphics and Background Courtesy of Dreamfires