Aboriginal Issues

News & Analysis as of

Widespread Sexual Abuse of Children in Remote Northern Community Results in Another Priest Being Found Guilty of Sex-Related...

The press reported late last week that former Roman Catholic priest and Oblate missionary Eric Dejaeger has been convicted on 24 of 80 sex-related charges involving Inuit children from the remote community of Igloolik in the...more

Doing Business in Canada: Aboriginal Law

ABORIGINAL LAW: Canadian law has long recognized the rights of aboriginal peoples, sometimes called First Nations, as the first occupiers of the land. With the founding of Canada in 1867 constitutional powers were...more

Land rulings a clear message to Ottawa, provinces: It’s time to govern

The Supreme Court of Canada has delivered two significant decisions this summer regarding Aboriginal title and treaty rights. In June, the Tsilqhot’in decision affirmed Aboriginal title over a discrete area of central British...more

Provincial Jurisdiction Confirmed Regarding Treaty Rights – Supreme Court of Canada’s Keewatin Decision

In Grassy Narrows First Nation v Ontario (Natural Resources), 2014 SCC 48 (Decision), also known as the Keewatin Decision, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) confirmed that provinces have the power to take up treaty lands for...more

Supreme Court Decision in Keewatin Confirms Provincial Ability to Take up Treaty Lands

On July 11, 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada delivered its decision in Grassy Narrows First Nation v Ontario (Natural Resources), 2014 SCC 48, also known as Keewatin. The decision affirms the Court’s approach in Tsilhqot’in...more

Implications of the Supreme Court Decision on Aboriginal Title

On June 26, 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada delivered a unanimous decision in Tsilhqot'in Nation v British Columbia, 2014 SCC 44. The decision marks the first time that Aboriginal title has been granted – until now, the...more

Tsilhqot’in Decision: The Sky Is Not Falling

Despite the significant media attention that the recent Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) decision in Tsilhqot’in Nation v. British Columbia, 2014 SCC 44 (Decision) has received, it represents a reiteration of established law...more

Supreme Court Decision on Aboriginal Title Raises Questions for Resource Development

On June 26, 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada delivered a unanimous decision in Tsilhqot’in Nation v British Columbia, 2014 SCC 44 (also known as the William decision). It is a long anticipated decision on two significant...more

Province Ordered to Pay Damages to Timber Company over Aboriginal Road Blockade

On December 23, 2013, the British Columbia Supreme Court (Court) ordered the Province of British Columbia (Province) to pay logging contractor Moulton Contracting Ltd. a sum of $1.75 million in damages for the Province’s...more

Australia: Federal Court confirms National Native Title Tribunal's approach to future act determinations

Warning: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this article may refer to the names of people who are deceased. Summary - In Watson on behalf of Nyikina & Mangala v Backreef Oil Pty Ltd...more

Obstructive Conduct by Aboriginal Groups May be Regulated by Municipal By-Laws

The decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal in Detlor v. Brantford (City) helpfully addresses the intersection between municipal jurisdiction and constitutional law. In upholding the power of municipalities to pass by-laws...more

“Sixties’ Scoop” Class Action Certified

Between December 1, 1965 and December 31, 1984, Ontario welfare authorities, empowered by the Federal Crown, removed thousands of aboriginal children from their families and communities and placed them in non-aboriginal...more

B.C.’s Highest Court Releases Significant Decision on Government Approvals for “Brown Field” Sites

On September 26, 2013, the British Columbia Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal by the Stellat’en First Nation (Stellat’en) and confirmed that Crown consultation was adequate in granting the approvals for the Thompson Creek...more

Federal Court Finds No Duty to Consult Aboriginal Group on Investment Treaty

On August 26, in Hupacasath First Nation v. Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Federal Court held that the Government of Canada has no constitutional duty to consult the applicant First Nation prior to ratification of the...more

Native Title Taxation Measures Pass In Final Sitting Week (Australia)

SUMMARY - In its final sitting week, the Commonwealth Parliament passed three pieces of legislation which include important measures aimed at clarifying the taxation treatment of payments and benefits provided under...more

Posed Amendments To The Yukon Quartz Mining Act And Placer Mining Act

As a result of the Ross River Dena lawsuit against the Yukon Government with respect to consultation on the granting of rights to miners to conduct work without consulting and accommodating First Nations, the Yukon Court of...more

Health Alert (Australia) - 1 July 2013

In This Issue: - JUDGMENTS: Victoria: McWhinney v Melbourne Health [2013] VSCA 162 - This matter concerned an appeal to the Supreme Court from a judgment of the County Court. Before the County...more

Aboriginal Consultation Levy Act Passes Quickly Through the Alberta Legislature

The Aboriginal Consultation Levy Act, Bill 22, received royal assent on May 27, 2013. Bill 22 was recently introduced into the Alberta Legislature by the Aboriginal Relations Minister in an effort to provide Aboriginal groups...more

Canada’s Supreme Court Requires Aboriginal Groups to Follow Statutory Process

On May 9, 2013, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in Behn v. Moulton Contracting Ltd., 2013 SCC 26, affirming that Aboriginal groups seeking to challenge the validity of permits or authorizations granted to...more

SCC Rules Roadblock an Abuse of Process Where Legal Remedies Not Exercised

Last week, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in Behn v. Moulton Contracting Ltd., 2013 SCC 26. The case sets out some important principles that may be relevant for those who engage in operations in areas where...more

Infrastructure Alert - April 17, 2013

Last week, President Obama released his FY2014 budget, outlining several proposals to fund new infrastructure programs. The budget proposes $40 billion for “Fix it First” projects to repair existing infrastructure, as well...more

Mineral Claims And The Duty To Consult In Yukon

On December 27, 2012, the Yukon Court of Appeal handed down its decision in Ross River Dena Council v Government of Yukon, 2012 YKCA 14. The decision related to an appeal of Mr. Justice Veale’s decision regarding the claim of...more

Alberta Court of Appeal Decides Panel Not Required to Determine Adequacy of Crown’s Aboriginal Consultation

On November 26, 2012, the Alberta Court of Appeal released the decision of Justice Slatter denying leave to appeal a decision made by the Joint Review Panel (the Panel) established to evaluate Shell Canada’s application to...more

The Canadian Oil Sands: A Backgrounder: Environmental Concerns

Climate Change - The production of petroleum from oil sands uses significant amounts of energy, almost all derived from the combustion of fossil fuels and resulting in CO2 emissions. As a result, oil sands operations...more

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