Indigenous leader calls for new reconciliation agreement with the monarchy – National

One of the leading experts on treaty rights and First Nations governance in Canada said the queen’s death marks an opportunity to improve relations between the Royal Family and the indigenous people of Canada. Canada.

Sol Sanderson, 80, is a former leader of the League of Sovereign Indigenous Nations and has spent nearly 65 years fighting to dismantle what he calls colonial repression of indigenous peoples’ right to self-government. location in Canada.

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“We need to make our own form of government based on the worldviews, philosophies, traditions and values ​​of the countries.”

He was also born in the James Smith Cree Nation and claims the knife attack that led to one of the worst mass murders in Canadian history stems in part from the British royal family’s domineering power , making cruel and senseless acts of violence completely predictable.

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“There’s still a lot of shock in the families and a lot of people there are hurt… the sad thing for me is, I’ve been warning about this kind of thing going on for years,” Sanderson told Global. News returned to her Saskatoon home after spending time this week supporting grieving members of the community.

The horrific mass stabbing that left 10 people dead and 18 others injured has shocked people around the world.

“Suicide, mental, physical and emotional abuse, all kinds of addictions… there are about 4.5 pages of symptoms that you can identify today that are affecting us due to a total loss of control. , lost a way of life,

because we have suffered from imperial oppression and colonial policies for 500 years,” he said.

Click to play video: 'Reaction from London: conversation with a UK resident about the passing of Queen Elizabeth II'

Response from London: conversation with a UK resident about the passing of Queen Elizabeth II

Response from London: conversation with a UK resident about the passing of Queen Elizabeth II

Sanderson points to basic precedents such as the Pope’s bull order in 1493 allowing the land inhabited by non-Christians to be “discovered” by European explorers being defeated and the peoples subdued. He said it was used to confirm the theft of Indigenous lands and resources, and set the stage for more than 500 years of systemic racism and cultural genocide.

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“Nobody knew there was a dominant law that made it legal to kill ‘Indians’ and we are still doing it to this day without fixing and taking the proper steps from within,” he said. and outside.”

Sanderson condemned the senseless killings of First Nations family members. The two men accused of being members of the same country, like many around the country, struggle with high rates of suicide, mental health problems, substance abuse, violence force and addiction, all problems he believes to be the product of colonial problems, centuries of manufacturing.

“That’s all that happened, taking away our way of life so that we could destroy ourselves… the violence would break out internally, that’s what’s happening today like in James Smith Cree Nation,” he said.

Sanderson called the Pope’s widespread denial of the impact of the bull, known as the Doctrine of Discovery, and the ongoing assimilation efforts still being applied to this day a ‘rule of silence. .’

“De-tribalization policies were created with ‘Christianization’ to make us like them, then population schools, integration, assimilation, civilization, those are the goals,” he said. pepper”.

Now that the queen has passed away, Sanderson says he doesn’t believe the monarchy should be abolished or Canada should cut ties with it, but he is renewing calls to action from the royal institution.

“There has to be a new agreement to be considered in terms of agreement, a conciliatory-implementation agreement that provides recognition of everything they refused in 1493 under that papal bull,” he said. and added that he believes King Charles favors the natives of Canada and is the hope for a better future.

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Dr Kisha Supernant, who is descended from Métis on her father’s side and English on her mother’s side, said she understands the impact generational trauma can have. She is directly involved in ongoing investigations at former residential schools as an expert in Indigenous archaeology.

“For me, it’s unfortunate that the king’s death has taken some much needed attention away from those events and the families at the James Smith Cree Nation,” Supernant told Global News.

She said the queen’s departure leaves a complicated legacy for indigenous peoples that needs to be acknowledged now.

“I think we are at a very important moment to bring this conversation to a fourth time and if we have any hope of reconciliation, we must remember that the truth must come first and that includes any truth. no about the British monarchy and the British Empire…if there’s ever a time to talk about legacy, it’s when someone crosses over,” said Supernant.

Sanderson agrees and remains optimistic that a major change is possible, ensuring promises are unfulfilled and longstanding abuses against Indigenous peoples will one day become history.

In the meantime, he is working to bring Indigenous self-governance ideas to the attention of political and religious leaders around the world, including pitching ideas Indigenous stakes in large resource projects and the telecommunications industry, as well as improved federal funding models to ensure first states can better support their communities.

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“The time has come for us to move the field to occupy our own land and jurisdiction,” Sanderson said.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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