Chapter 1 Completing Confederation: The Necessary Foundation (written by Frances Abele, Erin Alexiuk, Satsan (Herb George), and Catherine MacQuarrie).
“Sharing the Land, Sharing a Future” looks to both the past and the future as it examines the foundational work of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP) and the legacy of its 1996 report. It assesses the Commission’s influence on subsequent milestones in Indigenous-Canada relations and considers our prospects for a constructive future. RCAP’s five-year examination of the relationships of First Nations, Metis, and Inuit peoples to Canada and to non-Indigenous Canadians resulted in a new vision for Canada and provided 440 specific recommendations, many of which informed the subsequent work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC). Considered too radical and difficult to implement, RCAP’s recommendations were largely ignored, but the TRC reiterates that longstanding inequalities and imbalances in Canada’s relationship with Indigenous peoples remain and quite literally calls us to action. With reflections on RCAP’s legacy by its co-chairs, leaders of national Indigenous organizations and the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, and leading academics and activists, this collection refocuses our attention on the groundbreaking work already performed by RCAP. Organized thematically, it explores avenues by which we may establish a new relationship, build healthy and powerful communities, engage citizens, and move to action.