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All materials on the OKT LLP website are for informational purposes only. Accessing this information does not create a lawyer-client relationship. The information does not constitute legal advice or an opinion on any issue.

The Tsilhqot’in Decisions and Indigenous Law on Sacred Spaces

Why are there so many conflicts between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians about sacred spaces and sites?  What are the differences in how Indigenous law sees sacred spaces versus how the Canadian legal system sees them? In a paper just published in the Supreme Court Law Review, I look at how some of these differences play

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From Protest to Process Agreement

Kate Kempton December 4, 2014, 10:20am Sometimes it takes protesting against injustice to make progress. This is true in Northern Manitoba, where hydro dams have a habit of damaging Aboriginal lands and cultures, and not enough people seem to care. On October 16, about 600 protesters from the Pimicikamak nation peacefully took control of the

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The Challenge of Reconciliation

On June 11, 2008, Prime Minister Stephen Harper made an historic apology to the Aboriginal people of this country for the legacy of Indian residential schools.  The apology was uncharacteristically solemn; uncharacteristically sincere.  Canada’s leader spoke of a new phase of Aboriginal-settler relations, anchored by the cornerstone of the Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission, that

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New legislation will affect Aboriginal IBAs

A Frankenstein federal “omnibus” bill includes new legislation requiring companies to report payments to First Nations governments. OKT partner Maggie Wente joined a number of critics in expressing concerns about the new federal bill in an interview with Lexpert Magazine. The Extractive Sector Transparency Measures Act (ESTMA) was tabled on October 23 in Parliament as

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Treaty Renewal is Canada’s Biggest Challenge

How is renewal of the historic treaties critical to Canada’s future? Bob Rae, a senior partner at OKT, asked this question to a packed room at the University of Regina last week, before fielding more questions from an attentive crowd and media. Rae explored self-government and access to revenues from resource development as a cornerstone

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Is the new Human Rights Museum a monument to hypocrisy?

You may have seen news coverage of the controversial opening of the new Canadian Human Rights Museum in Winnipeg. The Museum, while touted as a marvel by Canada, has been criticized by Aboriginal groups. If you would like background about why Manitoba First Nations are concerned, here is great piece written by two Manitoba Aboriginal

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The dangerous mythology of vanishing explorers and tragically decimated Indians

I have always loved polar exploration stories. And my husband’s family, who are related to the famed Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton, traditionally swap arctic adventure books at Christmas and I relish this annual influx of nail-biting tales of courage in extreme environments. So, like many Canadians, I watched spellbound this week, as news and underwater

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Court to Crown: Please stop making excuses for not fulfilling your treaty obligations

The Quebec Court of Appeal recently released a new decision called Makivik c Quebec (Procureure générale) on the duty of the Crown to comply with treaty obligations.  The decision is currently only available in French, but an English translation will be published shortly. The case was about the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement (JBNQA)

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Ontario Court of Appeal Takes a Few Digs at the Doctrine of Discovery and the Indian Act (while clarifying On-Reserve Debt Enforcement)

Ontario Court of Appeal Takes a Few Digs at the Doctrine of Discovery and the Indian Act (while clarifying On-Reserve Debt Enforcement) The Ontario Court of Appeal recently released an important judgement in Tyendinaga Mohawk Council v. Brant. The unanimous decision, penned by LaForme J.A., not only confirms the legal ability of band councils to

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Rae Listed in Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers List

OKT congratulates our colleague Bob Rae, who is included in Canadian Lawyer’s list of “The Top 25 Most Influential 2014”. Canadian Lawyer annually compiles a list of Canada’s most influential lawyers and jurists. Rae is included on the 2014 list, and as one of the Canada’s “Top 5 in Criminal Law / Human Rights Law”.

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