File contains opening remarks by Commissioners Dussault and Erasmus from the sitting of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples at the Hotel Bonaventure in Montreal, Quebec on Friday, May 7, 1993. Following a brief introduction by Bernard Cleary, Co-Chair and Commissioner Rene Dussault discusses the history of the Mohawk nation, the Commission's round table format for the day's sitting, the preceding day's discussion of the Indian Act at Kahnawake, commonalities between the people of Quebec and Aboriginal peoples, the Commissions desire to build a new social contract between Aboriginal peoples, Quebecois, and Canadian society, the unique nature of the Oka hearings (relative to the recent events of the Oka Crisis), and the overall scope, mandate, and goals of the Commission's work in Quebec. Commissioner and Co-Chair Georges Erasmus then discusses the rationale for the Royal Commission's creation, the complexity and scope of its' mandate, the importance of the "land question" (ie land claims and entitlement), the importance of dialogue between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians in building a fairer power sharing arrangement, economic self-sufficiency, healing Aboriginal communities, and the importance of non-Aboriginal people coming forth to the Commission to share their views on the problems it faces. Erasmus also introduces the Commissioners, all of whom are in attendance with the exception of Allan Blakeney who resigned.
University of Saskatchewan Archives, Native Law Centre fonds, Reference Library, RCAP vol. 115 (Box 18); records from Our Legacy site, http://scaa.sk.ca/ourlegacy
Documents & Presentations