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Report of the Task Force to Review Comprehensive Claims Policy, 1985

This report is a timepiece – exposing a brief window of candor on the part of Canada’s political engineers. It is an analysis of the federal approach to minimizing Indigenous scope for land title restitution – after the Supreme Court failed to unanimously agree that Aboriginal rights no longer existed, after Calder in 1973, Canada wrote its Comprehensive Claims Policy. The report includes corresponding insight and recommendation.

The report is attached here in 7 parts via the link above.

It came in the midst of the First Ministers’ conferences on implementation of constitutional Aboriginal rights, 1982-1987.  Written after the 1982 Constitution Act, grappling with Section 35 where “Aboriginal and treaty rights are hereby affirmed” and before that First Ministers Conference series imploded in 1987 (accomplishing nothing except a formal return to “talk and log” politics), this report is unique in its unequivocal, explicit recognition of extensive Indigenous rights and the corresponding Canadian obligations. The Task Force received submissions from 60 Indigenous nations and organizations during its work.

Note that this volume is now all but inaccessible. Also note this report’s extensive and useful bibliography.

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