A revolutionary agenda

Sol Sanderson, right, speaks with members of the James Smith Cree Nation.

A plan discussed at the Prince Albert Grand Council’s sovereignty and treaty forum completely rethinks the relationship between Ottawa and First Nations

Delegates to the Prince Albert Grand Council’s forum on sovereignty and treaty relations walked away with a stash full of documents, saved on flash discs – 50 discs in all. Organizers asked the delegates to make ten copies each, and get the information out to 500 people across their communities.

The documents set out an ambitious plan – a plan to establish an equal relationship between First Nations and Canadian governments, both provincial and federal. They survey the history of colonization, treaty making and treaty violation, but also set out how those sacred agreements create a foundation for moving forward.

The plan is most strongly set out in a series of recommendations, authored by Senator Sol Sanderson, a former chief of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations. In his remarks to the forum, Sanderson called on First Nations leaders to organize and push forward with a comprehensive political agenda, aiming at real independence.

“Moving forward with that agenda requires new legal and political institutions,” he said.

In other words, Sanderson wants to see a future where First Nations people make their own laws, form their own government and establish their own courts.

For more on this story, please see the Jan. 20 print or e-edition of the Daily Herald.