Indigenous rights in Canada are recognized by theBritish Royal Proclamtion of 1973 which states. On October 3rd,1873, a treaty was signed between the Crown and Ojibway Indians. A version oftreaty 3 suggests that Grassy Narrows was given to the Canadian government as agift from the tribe, who allegedly signed their rights away to settlers. Manyargue that their ancestors would never agree to have their land and way of lifetaken away. TheGrassy Narrows version of the treaty with the Canadian government guarantees the peopleof Grassy Narrows the right to continue hunting and fishing.
Grassy Narrows’historical and legal rights are respectively recognized and affirmed undersection 25 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and section 35(1) ofthe Constitution Act, 1982. Yet the treaty has never been respected bythe government as they have consistently failed to respect Grassy Narrows’rights to manage their territory. The environmentalinjustice in Grassy Narrows is only one of the many cases where Indigenous peopleare treated unfairly. This land provides the community’sbasic needs for subsistence and is essential to their culture and identity, yetit is being mistreated by industries warranted by the government to strip it ofits resources.
Thus, making it impossible for them to continue hunting andfishing as promised in the treaty. Thecommunity is trying to recover from the trauma of residential schools and thecommunity’s relocation in the 1960s, after hydroelectric development floodedthe land. These Government policies forcibly removed indigenous communities toareas unsuited to their traditional ways of living. In 1973, The people ofGrassy of Grassy Narrows were relocated to Kenora. They were promised housing,electricity, sewage systems, more schools and proper roads. When the peopleresisted the move, they threatened to cut off their Family Allowance checks.