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Opinion: The specific claims process is about justice for First Nations, not charity – CBC

by ahnationtalk on July 11, 201862 Views

Legal obligations have been breached or unfulfilled, and these failings must be remedied

Jul 11, 2018

“Specific claims” is a simple phrase that describes a hugely important issue: the body of outstanding violations against First Nations, accumulated through colonial and post-colonial mistreatment and negligence. These violations, allegedly committed by the federal government, generally concern treaty obligations, reserve lands or the administration of Indigenous property.

These historical grievances plague the present, and unless these claims can be resolved, we will never achieve the national project of reconciliation.

In an opinion piece published last month in the Globe and Mail, Fraser Institute senior fellow and University of Calgary professor emeritus Tom Flanagan made the case for winding down the specific claims resolution process. He cited the fact that there are more specific claims than once anticipated, and that the payment of compensation for their resolution isn’t improving social welfare outcomes. He called the specific claims process a “perpetual motion machine.”

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