On Tuesday, Ontario Superior Court Judge Edward Belobaba rendered a landmark class action decision in Brown v. Canada (Attorney General), siding with survivors of the Sixties Scoop. The case centered on the removal (the scoop), by Ontario social services agencies, of on-reserve Aboriginal children from their families. These children were placed either in foster homes or for adoption, between the years 1965 and 1984.
Customary adoption is an integral and long-standing practice among Indigenous peoples in Canada. It is an important means of addressing basic issues of family and community membership, as well as more profound issues of transferring knowledge and ceremony. To this day, it remains part of the practical and cultural reality experienced by many Indigenous families.
Here at Nelligan O’Brien Payne we want to wish all our readers a very Happy New Year and introduce you to some of the big developments we can expect to see in Indigenous law in 2017.
A 2015 decision by the Federal Court of Appeal in Chippewas of the Thames First Nation v. Enbridge Pipelines Inc. has once again raised questions about the role of tribunals in the consultation process set out by the Supreme Court of Canada in Haida Nation v. British Columbia (Minister of Forests). With the case scheduled to be heard by the Supreme Court of Canada on November 30th, now is a good time to look at the decision under appeal and consider what is at stake.
If you own a home on a First Nations reserve or on territory that is subject to a treaty or self-government agreement – and you’re not living in it – you may be tempted to rent it out in order to make some extra money. Before you do, make sure you’re aware of the rules that apply to residential tenancies in that territory. This post will discuss the issues for landlords.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been vocal about his commitment to strengthening the relationship between the government and First Nations. An important aspect of improving relations is recognising and supporting indigenous communities’ right to self-government. While funding and services from Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) aims to provide assistance and improve conditions for First Nations, indigenous peoples are also able to generate funds through own-source revenue.
In the wake of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, which began in the courts and went on to transform the national conversation about Canada’s colonial history, Indigenous peoples are turning more and more to class actions to seek redress for historical wrongs.
Established in 1987, the Tungasuvvingat Inuit is a non-profit organization providing diverse programming to suit the needs of the urban Inuit community. Their mission is to enhance the health and well-being of Inuit in urban cities and to encourage and support similar programs across Canada.
After country-wide consultations, the Government of Canada has released a report that will guide the design of the federal inquiry into Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls. From the look of things, the legal system could be a major point of focus in the final design of the inquiry.
When the Supreme Court of Canada issued its decision in Daniels v. Canada (Indian Affairs and Northern Development), it changed the landscape of Indigenous rights. This decision impacts provincial and federal governments, industry and non-status Indian and Metis communities. More importantly, governments will have to rethink their policies and way of doing business, or not doing business, with non-status Indians and Metis peoples.