4a) I've heard that native people themselves can't agree on what they want. Why don't they get their act together first and then deal with the government?
On some things native people agree; on others, there is diversity of opinion reflecting the diversity that exists between Indian nations.
Native peoples are unified in the major goals they want to achieve:
The exact details of how those goals will be worked out with each nation remain subject to negotiation. Thus, given the diversity, it is neither possible nor of any real help for native people to attempt to negotiate "in a block."
While the exact nature of what constitutes a just settlement will vary for each nation, some politicians and directions have been rejected by nations.
Terry Anderson's article "Indigenous Peoples, the Land, and Self-government" outlines some policies rejected by natives:
Native peoples seek no only the recognition and enhancement of their cultural distinctiveness, as in the integration goal, but also control over their own distinctive political structures and economic development.
4b) What are organizations such as the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs about?
Indians have created many organizations to pursue their common interests and to respond to problems engendered by the colonization process.
The Native Brotherhood of B.C. originating in 1931, is one of the oldest. The Union of B.C. Chiefs and United Native Nations have been active mainly at the provincial level while the Assembly of First Nations has played a key role in representing B.C. Indian interests nationally. In 1988, the First Nations Congress was formed in B.C. to provide a forum for discussion about policies and issues of concern to native people. (All of the above-named organizations have staff able to respond to requests for more information.)
- George Watts, Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council