Section 35 of the Canadian Constitution Act and Indigenous Self-Determination in Canada
This research paper analyzes the impacts of Section 35 of the Canadian Constitution on the enhancement of Indigenous rights in Canadian politics. As outlined in Section 35, Indigenous rights are recognized as pre-existing prior to the Constitution Act of 1982 and the identity of Aboriginal, Inuit and Métis peoples are defined. Academic literature, television broadcasts, and personal accounts of the implementation and effects of Section 35 were used to conduct this research and investigate the origins of this section in the Constitution. Notably, this analysis demonstrated that the inclusion of Section 35 in the Constitution has led to more public discussion and court cases to claim treaty rights by Indigenous peoples. The effect of including Indigenous rights in the Canadian Constitution has expanded the role of the courts in adjudicating relations between the Canadian government and Indigenous people, effectively expanding the accountability of the Canadian government to upholding treaty rights. Overall, the findings of this paper were that Section 35 plays a large role in promoting awareness of reconciliation to the Canadian public, however, it stops short of including Indigenous people as meaningful participants in their own self-determination.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Hailey Lothamer
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