MONTREAL – This morning, the Aboriginal Peoples’ Commission of the Liberal Party of Canada waded into the Nation-within-a-Nation discussion, passing a resolution to recognize First Peoples’ as a Nation.
However, in a marked departure from recent discussion and the motion passed by the House of Commons, the Liberal Resolution calls for dramatic constitutional change.
“This resolutions calls for the enactment of a First Amendment to the Constitution and for entrenchment of First Nations governments as not only Nations, but the legitimate third order of government,” said Bob Goulais, an aboriginal delegate from Nipissing First Nation in Ontario.
Goulais moved the motion and has been advocating for it since October when the Quebec wing of the Liberal Party passed their resolution recognizing Quebec as a Nation.
“The recognition of First Peoples as a Nation within the Nation of Canada, would involve constitutional debate rather that Mr. Harper’s cursory approach of a House motion,” added Goulais.
The resolution, passed as an Emergency Motion within the Aboriginal People’s Commission, will not go to the floor of the Plenary Session this afternoon, however it will go to the National Executive and National Policy Committee of the Party for implementation.
For Goulais, it was en exciting moment during his first Liberal Party Convention.
“As soon as my resolution was carried, The Right Honourable Paul Martin came over and sat down right beside me,” said Goulais.
The former Prime Minister sat with Goulais while he was honoured by the Aboriginal Peoples’ Commission.
The APC heard from most of the candidates for the Leader of the Liberal Party.
“I am very confident that the new leader will take this mandate and ensure Canada’s First Peoples are properly regarded as Nations within Canada,” said Goulais. “Both Mr. Ignatieff and Mr. Rae have shown great leadership and spoke eloquently on how best to address First Peoples’ issues much as poverty, the economy and self-government.”
Goulais, a supporter of Ken Dryden, stated his second ballot will go to either Mr. Ignatieff or Mr. Rae. He will have discussions with both organizations and candidates before making his decision on Saturday.
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