QUESTIONS WITH ANSWERS

smolinski's picture

#1 In what ways in the Aboriginal world view reflected in their governments?

Aboriginal societies were all grounded in a common world view based on a spirituality that involved living in harmony with the environment. They also valued and respected the rights of the individual, each of whom had a role to play in the decision-making process and in the selection of rulers and chiefs. In this case, aboriginal societies were egalitarian and democratic. They also contained all elements of political communities and nationhood: their own culture, language, values, heritage, and territory.

#2 How did various Aboriginal government structures reflect their societies?

The basic political unit, in aboriginal societies, was the extended family. The Family was the most important variable in indigenous social-life. Despite family principle, at the hearth of aboriginal political culture were two other fundamental principles: one was respect for the rights of the people, and the preservation of the environment. Aboriginal societies were also very democratic, which perfectly reflect great admiration to the human right of freedom. Leaders were elected by the people and could be removed by the people, if they do not hold their office properly. Aboriginal societies placed profound importance on the opinions of Elders, both male and female.

#3 What impact did treaties have on Aboriginal government structure?

Long before Europeans arrived on the North American continent, Aboriginal societies were negotiating treaties with one another. The Iroquois Confederacy was “signed” in 1142 CE. Originally, the Confederation consisted of five First Nations the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca. The Iroquois Confederacy stated that indigenous tribes shall to cooperate in ritualized systems for choosing leaders and making important decisions. Later in 1722, confederacy extended its power on the Tuscarora’s tribes and became known as the Six Nations Confederacy.

Early treaties between the Dominion of Canada and First Nations relocated Aboriginal peoples from their territories to small, isolated reserves. In 1763, the British government proclaimed that no European settlement would be allowed on dedicated indigenous territories. In 1783, the Mi’kmaw chief John Julian was granted a licence to occupy 8100 hectares along the Miramichi River.   

Nevertheless, aboriginal societies were repressed by European Colonists. Many treaties constricted aboriginal freedom and self-governance.    

#4 What is the basis for the concept of Aboriginal self-government?

European powers were aware that political situation of indigenous people is not regulated properly. So in 1876, they signed The Indian Act, which stated that aboriginal people have right to self-governance. Self-government includes the right for Aboriginal people to govern matters affecting their culture, language, traditions, and institutions. 

Group content visibility: 

Public - accessible to all site users