Canada | Opinion

Chelsea Vowel: Native study provides foundation for change

""Canada is a test case for a grand notion — the notion that dissimilar peoples can share lands, resources, power and dreams while respecting and sustaining their differences. The story of Canada is the story of many such peoples, trying and failing and trying again, to live together in peace and harmony. But there cannot be peace or harmony unless there is justice. It was to help restore justice to the relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in Canada, and to propose practical solutions to stubborn problems, that the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP) was established." — Page IX, A Word From Commissioners

The quote above comes from a publication that is 150 pages long. Every Canadian should read it. This publication is called "People to People, Nation to Nation: Highlights from the Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples." If you want something less dense, there is a 51-page document that summarizes the report and its main recommendations. Included at the end is a nice breakdown of financial estimates for implementation of these recommendations.

The RCAP was established in 1991 and engaged in 178 days of public hearings, visiting 96 communities, commissioning research and consulting with experts. In 1996, the RCAP released a five volume report of findings and recommendations. The central purpose of the RCAP was to figure out what went wrong, how it went wrong, and what can be done to correct the problems identified. As the report asked, "What are the foundations of a fair and honourable relationship between the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people of Canada?""

Get the Story:
Chelsea Vowel: Regarding Idle No More (Indian Country Today 1/11)

Related Stories:
Chief Theresa Spence won't meet with Canada Prime Minister (1/10)
Attawapiskat leader dismisses audit as hunger strike continues (1/8)
First Nations challenge bill that spurred Idle No More campaign (1/8)
Opinion: First Nations need more funding -- not 'accountability' (1/8)
Doug George-Kanentiio: Natives are at point of outrage in Canada (1/7)
Delvin Cree: North Dakota event supports Idle No More movement (1/7)
Darren Bonaparte: Chief Theresa Spence should end hunger strike (1/7)
Winona LaDuke: Idle No More Movement sees worldwide support (1/3)
Gyasi Ross: Idle No More Movement will keep growing in power (1/3)
Charles Trimble: A deadly time for our tribal allies in Canada (12/31)

Join the Conversation