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.
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.