Amerindians on reservations cannot have individual titles to their land

Dear Editor,

It is being rumoured that our 4 miles community at Kaituma will be established as an Amerindian reservation, which would be quite a surprise to the majority of residents.

An Amerindian reservation should only be granted by the mutual consent of the majority of the adult population that permanently reside within the community. Any attempt to do otherwise is to contravene the Amerindian Act which provides at Section (60) (e) for “a resolution authorizing the application and passed by at least two thirds of the adult members of the Amerindian community.”

I am not aware of any meeting being held.

A resolution is defined in the dictionary as “a course of action determined or decided upon, a formal statement of a decision put before or adopted by an assembly”.

My dear Amerindian brothers and sisters at 4 miles who are clamouring for a reservation and who are in the minority, are doing so because they are not properly acquainted with the difference between a communal title and individual titles. With an individual title you can enhance the chances of obtaining a loan from the banking system.

In an Amerindian reservation with communal title the captain is the sole guardian and therefore holds the title for all the land that is allocated to the reservation. No one is permitted to have an individual title for the land which they occupy.

I am an Amerindian and have been brought up in a reservation, my great-grandfather has lived eighty-nine years on a reservation, my grandfather eighty-five years, my mother eighty-one years and myself another forty one years.

We could not have individual titles because the Amerindian Act forbids this. It is now nine years since I have resettled and taken up permanent residence in Region #1.

My dear brothers, sisters, and friends I have no further desire to live on land which my children and I cannot own or have individual title to.

Yours faithfully,

J.H. Roberts

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