"I have lived for 72 years as a man of the Cree nation," said Red Ghost in a widely broadcast speech, "and 19 more as a being of light and wires. In that time, I have seen many things that my ancestors would never have dreamed of. I saw men travel to other planets, and live there. I saw men fight a war with machines, and then welcome those machines as brothers. I saw animals given voices to speak, and the whole world tied together into a single land by the power of the wire.
"And yet in all that time, the one thing I have not seen is my people being treated as equals. The one thing I have not seen is my people being given what is rightfully ours. The one thing I have not seen is my people permitted to speak for themselves."
The plan presented by Red Ghost on behalf of the AATCE would see large portions of Transarctica, Cascadia, Atlantica, Great Plains, Amazonia and Australasia reallocated to place communities demographically dominated by aboriginal peoples into a new administrative district, tentatively designated as the First Nation. The sovereign states within this district would be cultural aligned with a variety of indigenous tribes whose rightful territorial claims, cultures and governments in Australia and the Americas were undermined centuries ago by colonists from the European states. The plan would require the further redistricting of administrative regions in the Americas to preserve the rights of equal representation guaranteed in the constitution accord.
Uncharacteristically heated debate followed the presentation, compared to previous sessions in which the proposal was dismissed with little opposition. The most vociferous speeches, both against and in favour of the new district, came from the representatives for the states which would be directly affected by the changes. Support came largely from the front-left-downwing, with the Naturist, Communitarian and Socialist parties strongly in favour and the Corporatists and Traditionalists predictably opposed; the Technocratic representatives were sharply divided, as were the Libertarians and Anarchists. Jellicoe Pirsig, Traditionalist elector for Atlantica-Barrenlands, curtly summed up the historically common position on the subject. "Why are even talking about this?" she asked the house. "Who, in this day and age, still has ethnic issues on their radar? I mean, we aren't even asking about it on the census now. Are we really going to get into a huge constitutional wrangle about this?"
However, many of the members elected to represent the states most heavily populated by indigenous peoples are getting the message from their constituents that there is a lot of traction on the issue of aboriginal sovereignty now -- and not just among aboriginals themselves. "I have received thousands of audiocalls and vidcalls, emails and tweets, even partials showing up to talk to me directly," stated Asymptotic Hexidecimal, Socialist elector for Cascadia-Vancouver and Islands. "They have been almost unanimously in favour of joining First Nation -- native, colonial, and international; neogenetic, uplift, and synthetic. They're even talking about making Vancouver the district capital!" According to Taxtor Friesendorff, Naturist elector for Great Plains-Heartlands, "even in our supposedly post-ethnic, multi-species, equalitarian Alliance, the voices of indigenous peoples are still being ignored by non-representative elites descended from the people who conquered and subjugated their ancestors. They deserve a chance to speak for themselves, to govern themselves on a state and administrative level, to protect their culture and have a say in how their own territories are run." And Estrella Lyudmilla Yelenka, Technocratic elector for Transarctica-Tunguska, issued a challenge to the house: "Ethnic Europeans have their own, largely ethnically homogeneous states. For that matter, so do ethnic Africans, Arabs, Indians, Chinese, and a wide variety of other ethnicities. Why not the Cree? Why not the Yanomamo? Why not the Arrernte?"
At the end of the day, the Trapezoid chose to send the proposal to a committee for further consideration by a vote of 314-299. A source in the Chancellor's office who wished to remain anonymous has revealed to us that Chancellor Galorvian is sympathetic to the AATCE's position and would be prepared to facilitate the creation of the First Nation district should Parliament choose to adopt the proposal.