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Georges Erasmus: No deal!

Georges Henry Erasmus has a dream: Self-government for the native peoples of Canada. The charismatic native leader has devoted his life to fighting tirelessly for the right of his people to control their own lives and the land they live on. From his early days as the president of the Dene Nation or as the co-chair of the historic Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, Erasmus has never swayed from his vision. It's a dream that has yet to be fully realized.

It could have been a milestone in Canadian history but instead another constitutional conference ends in failure.
Despite Prime Minister Brian Mulroney's attempts to look for a compromise, premiers and native leaders fail to agree on what exactly native sovereignty entails, reports CBC's Whit Fraser.
The amendments to the Constitution in 1982 had guaranteed existing rights of Indians, Inuit and Métis without defining those rights.

The long-held dream of enshrining self-determination for native peoples in the Constitution remains unfulfilled.
At the end of the conference, the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, Georges Erasmus, addresses the first ministers and Prime Minister Mulroney.
Backed by a historical reunion of Indians, Inuit and Métis, Erasmus graciously thanks the prime minister but can't hide his disappointment.
• In 1982, the Canadian Constitution recognized the Inuit, Indians and Métis as the three groups descending from the original inhabitants of North America.
• The Assembly of First Nations represents over 630 First Nations communities in Canada.
Medium: Television
Program: The National
Broadcast Date: March 27, 1987
Guests: John Amagoalik, Grant Devine, Georges Erasmus, Joe Ghiz, Richard Hatfield, Brian Mulroney, Zebedee Nungak, Howard Pawley, Bill Vander Zalm
Host: Sheldon Turcott
Reporter: Whit Fraser
Duration: 5:10

Last updated: January 29, 2014

Page consulted on January 29, 2014

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