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In the following assignment I will discuss the issue of native sovereignty in Canada and address the question Can native sovereignty coexist with Canadian sovereignty To answer this question I will summarize two articles that discuss the issue The first by John A Olthius and Roger Townshend entitled The Case for Native Sovereignty and the second by Thomas Flanagan entitled Native Sovereignty Does Anyone Really want an Aboriginal Archipelago I will be taking the position against the coexistence of native sovereignty with Canadian sovereignty These two articles will help me support my position on the issue Olthius and Townshend are in favour of native sovereignty within Canada based on historical and moral grounds These authors believe there is a difference in perceptions between native and non-native Canadians regarding the jurisdiction over Canadian territory In their essay they write that Aboriginal people believe the Canadian state is oppressive and usurps the powers of Aboriginal people while most non-aboriginals would be unlikely to question the status of the Canadian state The essay contends that before European settlement First Nations people had stability in their economic and political structures Although their style was different than that of European nations there was recognition of sovereignty of aboriginal lands Acquisition of land in Canada did not come from conquest rather it came primarily in the form of land transaction treaties However the treaties did little to support the claim of Canadian sovereignty since they are mostly unclear about issues of jurisdiction A secondary way of claiming land for European settlement was through discovery of vacant land but in doing so aboriginal people on these lands were to be considered non-persons to make the claims valid Olthius and Townshend point out that once Europeans were firmly settled in Canada the policy towards aboriginals was that of assimilation into the rest of Canadian society Attempts at assimilation were done primarily on an individual level Examples of the Canadian governments efforts are
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