Goulais to introduce LPC resolution
NIPISSING FIRST NATION – “There are Nations within Canada,” said Bob Goulais, executive with the Nipissing-Timiscaming Federal Liberal Association in Northern Ontario and aboriginal member of the Liberal Party of Canada, “It will be up to the Liberal Party of Canada to debate and address these questions because the Conservatives won’t even go there.”
According to Goulais, this controversial issue has plagued the party as well as the country for far too long.
The whole question of nationhood was addressed this weekend at the Quebec assembly of the Liberal Party of Canada, where the delegates passed a resolution recognizing Quebec as a nation.
“There is no question Quebec’s nationhood status in Canada should be debated,” said Goulais, an Anishinaabe from Nipissing First Nation and Chief of Staff for the Union of Ontario Indians’ office of the Grand Council Chief. “We all know First Nations have long sought for recognition as nations within Canada.”
Goulais announced he will table a resolution with the Aboriginal Peoples’ Commission of the LPC at the Party convention which begins at the end of November and concludes with the vote for the Party Leader on Dec. 1, 2006.
“I will propose a resolution mandating that First Nations issues become a top priority of the Liberal Party of Canada including the recognition of First Nations as Nations-within-a-Nation, and the recognition of First Nations governments as a legitimate third order of Government within Canada,” he said.
Goulais is pleased to see the leadership candidates speaking out on the issue on nationhood, in this case Quebec. But First Nations nationhood also needs to be addressed and ultimately supported by the Liberals.
“Part of the solution to eliminating First Nations poverty and third world conditions is formal recognition of our governments on a Nation-to-Nation basis,” he said.
“Last year, the Liberal government had taken significant steps towards this goal which must continue with the new leader, whoever that may be,” said Goulais.
In addition to holding a First Ministers’ Meeting on Aboriginal Issues and passing the Kelowna Accord, then Prime Minister Paul Martin signed a “Recognition of First Nations Governments” Accord with the AFN in May 2005 and a “Transformative Change” Accord with the Government of British Columbia and BC First Nations in November 2005.
“This Liberal legacy needs to be seen to fruition,” concluded Goulais.
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