Mr. Jack Harris (St. John's East):
Mr. Speaker, the native people of Newfoundland and Labrador have been the victims of an apparently intentional effort by the Government of Canada to deny them the full rights to which they are entitled under Section 91(24) of the Canadian Constitution and the provisions of the Indian Act. Studies commissioned by me, including an examination of official documents, have revealed that from early after Newfoundland joined Confederation in 1949, a systematic denial of rights has been a fact of our history and continues to affect the lives of native people in Newfoundland and Labrador. It amounts to discrimination against native people because they live in this province. It is time for this hidden history to be fully exposed.
I have therefore called upon the Government of Canada to establish immediately a Royal Commission on Native People
in Newfoundland and Labrador. Such a commission would have a mandate to inquire into the treatment of aboriginal peoples since 1949, with specific focus on the rejection by the federal Government of its constitutional responsibilities with respect to the native people in the province. The commission should have the authority to recommend measures to correct the historic and current injustices, and to ensure cultural survival and promote self-government for the native people of Newfoundland and Labrador. This record of official injustice must be exposed and redressed.
Subtopic: NATIVE PEOPLES
Sub-subtopic: NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR-CALL FOR APPOINTMENT OF ROYAL COMMISSION