Author:
Jula Hughes Lakehead University, Canada

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Abstract

This article focuses on the issue of the relationship between constitutional recognition and constitutional imposition of identity. The Canadian state in its constitutional document describes itself as a liberal democracy governing a pluralist society. It also recognizes Aboriginal rights as constitutive. The first two elements have met with considerable success in terms of aligning state and citizen identity. This suggests that neutral constitutional identities or identities that respect individual diversity can be imposed successfully through the democratic process. However, these are not effective in meeting decolonizing objectives, which must instead be pursued through respecting Indigenous self-governance.

  • Albert, Richard , ‘Constitutional Amendment and Dismemberment’ (2018) 43 Yale J Int'l L 184.

  • Bill C-31: An Act to Amend the Indian Act (S.C. 1985, c.27).

  • Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Constitution Act, 1982, Schedule B to the Canada Act, 1982 c. 11 (UK).

  • Chartrand, Larry , ‘Indigenous Peoples: Caught in a Perpetual Human Rights Prison’ (2016) 67 UNBLJ 16786.

  • Coulthard, Glen , ‘Subjects of Empire: Indigenous Peoples and the ‘Politics of Recognition in Canada’ (2007) 6 Contemporary Political Theory 43760.

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  • Daniels v Canada (Indian Affairs and Northern Development), [2016] 1 SCR 99, 2016 SCC 12.

  • de Costa, Ravi , ‘Descent, Culture, and Self-Determination: States and the Definition of Indigenous Peoples’ (2014) 3 Aboriginal Policy Studies 5585.

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  • Descheneaux v. Canada (AG), 2015 QCCS 3555.

  • Gardiner-Garden, John , ‘Defining Aboriginality in Australia’ (2003) 10: 200203 Current Issues Brief 1. 132.

  • Gehl v Canada (Attorney General), 2017 ONCA 319.

  • Grammond, Sébastien , Identity Captured by Law: Membership in Canada's Indigenous Peoples and Linguistic Minorities (McGill-Queens's University Press 2009).

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  • Grammond, SebastienGroulx, Lynne, ‘“Finding” Metis Communities’ (2012) 32 Canadian Journal of Native Studies 3348.

  • Green, Joyce , ‘Canaries in the Mines of Citizenship: Indian Women in Canada’ (2001) 34 Canadian Journal of Political Science/Revue canadienne de science politique 71538.

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  • Green, Joyce , ‘The Impossibility of Citizenship Liberation for Indigenous People’ in Mann, Jatinder (ed) Citizenship in Transnational Perspective, (Cham: Springer, 2017) 17588.

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  • Hirschl, Ran , ‘Opting Out of “Global Constitutionalism”’ (2018) 12 Law & Ethics of Human Rights 136.

  • Hughes, Jula and Stewart, Roy, ‘Urban Aboriginal People and the Honour of the Crown – A Discussion Paper’ (2015) 66 UNBLJ 26399.

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  • Hughes, JulaStewart, RoyPlummer, Anthea, ‘Non-Status and Off-Reserve Aboriginal Representation in New Brunswick: Speaking for Treaty and Claims Beneficiaries’ (UAKN 2015).

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  • MacKenzie, David , ‘The Indian Act and the Aboriginal Peoples of Newfoundland at the Time of Confederation’ (2010) 25 Newfoundland and Labrador Studies 171926.

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  • McNeil, Kent , ‘The Constitutional Rights of the Aboriginal Peoples of Canada’ (1982) 4 SCLR 25565.

  • Napoleon, Val , ‘Aboriginal Discourse: Gender, Identity, and Community’ in Richardson, Benjamin, Imai, Shin and McNeil, Kent (eds) Indigenous Peoples and the Law: Comparative and Critical Perspectives (Hart Publishing 2009) 23355.

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  • O'Byrne, Nicole , ‘A Rather Vexed Question…: The Federal-Provincial Debate over the Constitutional Responsibility for Métis Scrip’ (2006) 12 Rev Const Stud 21553.

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  • Patterson, Lisa Lynne , ‘Aboriginal Roundtable to Kelowna Accord: Aboriginal Policy Negotiations, 2004 – 2005PRB 06 – 04E (Ottawa: Parliamentary Information and Research Service Ottawa, 2006).

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  • R v Blais, [2003] 2 SCR 236, 2003 SCC.

  • Reference re Refunds of Dues re Timbre Permits, [1933] SCR 616, aff'd In re Refund of Dues Paid Under s. 4769 of the Timber Regulations in Manitoba, British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Alberta, [1935] AC 184 (PC).

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  • Rosenfeld, Michel , The Identity of the Constitutional Subject: Selfhood, Citizenship, Culture, and Community (London: Routledge 2009).

  • Sandra Lovelace v Canada, Communication No. 24/1977: Canada 30/07/81.

  • Sawchuk, Joe , ‘Negotiating an Identity: Métis Political Organizations, the Canadian Government, and Competing Concepts of Aboriginality’ (2001) 25 American Indian Quarterly 7392.

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  • Sayers, Judith et al., ‘First Nations Women, Governance and the Indian Act: A Collection of Policy Research Reports’ (Ottawa: Status of Women Canada, 2001).

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  • 1.

    Cossette, Marc-André , ‘“Déjà vu” for First Nations women, as Ottawa seeks more time to rid Indian Act of sexism | CBC News’, (12 June 2017), online: cbcca <http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/indian-act-gender-discrimination-deja-vu-1.4153483> accessed 5 May 2018.

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  • 2.

    Prime Minister's Office , Statement by the Prime Minister of Canada on meeting with National Aboriginal Organizations, (2015) <pm.gc.ca/eng/news/2015/12/16/statement-prime-minister-canada-meeting-national-aboriginal-organizations.> accessed 5 May 2018.

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  • 3.

    Thomson, Aly About 80,000 denied eligibility for Newfoundland first nation band’ (2017) Globe and Mail, online: <https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/only-18000-eligible-for-newfoundland-first-nation-band-its-discriminatory/article33925034/>, accessed 5 May 2018.

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Hungarian Journal of Legal Studies
Language English
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ISSN 2498-5473 (Print)
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