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Inadequacies in NEB process raises important questions about the Energy East Project

By Gillian Paul and Ashley Hamp-Gonsalves Unilateral cuts to participant funding in the National Energy Board (“NEB”) hearings for the Energy East Pipeline have raised grave concerns for First Nations about how they can participate in this process in a meaningful way. First Nations are raising concerns about how the serious impacts the proposed project


Yes or no is the way to go in Aboriginal resource development

A group of stakeholders consisting of resource companies, financial institutions, environmental groups and First Nations have taken a stand and are insisting that free, prior, and informed consent (“FPIC”) be a condition to development occurring in the traditional territories of Indigenous groups. This week, the Boreal Leadership Council (“BLC”) released a report urging both the


Canadian courts have jurisdiction to enforce foreign damage awards against Canadian subsidiaries

In the end, the unanimous decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in Chevron Corp. et al. v. Yaiguaje (2015 SCC 42, decided September 4, 2015) was simple. The indigenous Ecuadorian villagers in the Amazon jungle, who had been awarded damages against multinational oil company Chevron Corporation (“Chevron“) in the  Ecuador courts for environmental contamination


Kapyong Barracks: hope for an urban reserve

A new Federal Court of Appeal decision opens the door for First Nations seeking to enforce their rights (such as treaty land entitlements) under modern agreements with Canada, and moves several Treaty 1 First Nations closer to the reality of a new urban reserve in Winnipeg. The Federal Court of Appeal released its decision in


Chartrand cases establishes important principles but demonstrates shortcomings of Aboriginal consultation cases

A decade of decisions since the seminal Haida case make it clear that the “duty to consult and accommodate” is not a panacea that cures all ills in the relationship between the Crown and First Nations.  Two classic shortcomings of Aboriginal consultation disputes rear their heads in the BC Court of Appeal’s recent decision in


Walking the talk: The skinny on self determination

Newspapers reported earlier this month that Alberta’s new Premier, Rachel Notley, has instructed her cabinet ministers to come up with a plan for their respective departments to implement the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (“UNDRIP”).  This is welcome news.  Premier Notley’s decision will make Alberta the first jurisdiction in Canada to


Walking the Talk – Alberta’s New Government Moves to Implement UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

The Alberta government is taking a important step to act on campaign commitments to implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Premier Rachel Notley, wrote on July 7th to her Cabinet, committing her government to implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, an international instrument adopted by the


BC Case Sets Out Principles for Good First Nations’ Governance

A recent B.C. Court of Appeal case sheds insight into good First Nation governance and the fiduciary obligations of Chiefs and Councillors. The decision is of practical importance to Band Councils and suggests that Band Councils cannot place themselves in a position where their personal interests conflict with those of the Band without express authority


Truth and reconciliation - where to now?

This is a talk given by Bob Rae at a joint service of Bloor Street, Bathurst and Trinity St Paul’s United Churches in Toronto on May 31, 2015 This week Canadians will be reminded once again about what the Chief Justice of Canada has called “the greatest stain on our human rights record”, the “cultural


SCC case will affect expert witnesses in Aboriginal rights cases (WBLI v Abbott and Haliburton)

A few weeks ago, the Supreme Court of Canada released their decision in WBLI v Abbott and Haliburton, a long awaited case on the issue of impartiality of expert witnesses. The full decision can be found here.  OKT has been paying close attention to this case since going to court for Aboriginal communities so often