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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 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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Supreme Court releases decision in Keewatin

By Cathy Guirguis and Senwung Luk The Supreme Court of Canada released its decision today in Grassy Narrows First Nation v. Ontario (Natural Resources), 2014 SCC 48 [referred to as Keewatin, in the courts below]. In a unanimous decision, the SCC dismissed the appeal and confirmed the Ontario Court of Appeal’s decision that Ontario, not

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Divided We Fall: Tsilhqot'in and the Historic Treaties

By Nancy Kleer and Judith Rae What is at stake is nothing less than justice for the Aboriginal group and its descendants, and the reconciliation between the group and broader society. – Tsilhqot’in decision of the Supreme Court of Canada, 2014 The Supreme Court’s recent Tsilhqot’in decision recognized the aboriginal title of the Tsilhqot’in Nation

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