At the heart of this legal battle is the Doctrine of Discovery. The Canadian government including the provinces and territories, have since the creation of Canada and the Canadian Constitution Act, 1867, assumed control over Indigenous lands. The ‘call to action’ 45 (i) of the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action to ‘repudiate concepts used to justify European sovereignty over Indigenous lands and peoples such as the Doctrine of Discovery and terra nullius’.
Reconciliation does not mean celebrating randomly chosen aspects of Indigenous culture in order to boast settler-Canadian views of itself as benevolent. Reconciliation, at the bare minimum, is a commitment to unraveling settler-colonial assertions of domination and control over land, resources, and Indigenous people. Eradicating the settler-legal frameworks used to justify the continuing and ongoing displacement of Indigenous people must end. These are the legal issues at play in the upcoming trial of Sylvia McAdam (Saysewahum) and Kurtis McAdam (Saysewahum).
We stand in solidarity with them as they traverse the violence of law, standing trial for asserting their rights to be on their land.
This gofundme campaign will help to mitigate the costs of the legal battle that has been imposed on them and to build shelter for those affected by the dispossession.
- Lindsay Merryman
- Anna Sherwin
- Penny Turner
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