In a previous blog post, we sought to give our readers an overview of the relationship between provincial laws of general application and the federal jurisdiction over “Indians and lands reserved for Indians” set out in section 91(24) of the Constitution Act, 1867.
Our very own Lanise Hayes was recently quoted in the Law Times editorial “Words versus actions”. The piece is about the federal bill C-58, An Act to amend the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts.
The recent Supreme Court of Canada decision Ktunaxa Nation v British Columbia (Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations) related to the spiritual significance of a proposed development site. The applicants, the members of the Ktunaxa Nation, challenged a provincial minister’s decision to approve the project on the basis of both a section 35 duty to consult and the right to freedom of conscience and religion enshrined in section 2(a) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Life as an Indigenous person in Canada involves a number of particular challenges that may not be shared with non-Indigenous Canadians.
Much has been written on the Supreme Court of Canada decisions in Clyde River (Hamlet) v Petroleum Geo-Services Inc. (“Clyde River”), and Chippewas of the Thames First Nation v Enbridge Pipelines Inc. (“Chippewas”) since they were released in late July 2017. In short, the decisions affirm the possibility that hearings and consultations conducted by the National Energy Board (the “NEB”) might satisfy the Crown’s constitutional duty to consult with Indigenous peoples.
Last week, the federal government announced changes to its Own-Source Revenue (“OSR”) Policy held in relation to self-governing First Nations. Specifically, the government declared a moratorium of “up to three years” on OSR claw-backs.
This spring, the Government of Canada made strides towards implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), and we can look forward to further developments in the coming months. UNDRIP is an international declaration that aims to ensure a “universal framework of minimum standards for survival, dignity and well-being of indigenous peoples of the world”.
For many of our clients and friends, spring is a time to get out on the land and harvest animals for food and spiritual sustenance. Many will be staying within their communities’ territories, but others like to travel a bit further afield. We encourage everyone to make sure that they’re aware of the restrictions and obligations that apply to harvesting in their region.
The Mamisarvik Healing Centre is Ottawa’s only Inuit treatment centre, and provides invaluable counselling and healing services to Ottawa’s Inuit community. Since 2003, the Centre has offered addiction and trauma treatment services, and programming focused on the issues impacting residential school survivors and their families.
The Indigenous Law Group at NOP is pleased to announce two recent additions to its team: Michel (Mike) Nolet and Katiana Fleck.