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We don’t need one more ride on the merry-go-round: It’s time for fresh ideas

By Maggie Wente, Michael McClurg and Bryce Edwards . Maclean’s magazine recently published this column by Scott Gilmore. People got mad, especially Indigenous peoples and allies who advocate with them. Then OKT Partner Bob Rae wrote this response in the Globe and Mail, and Chelsea Vowel wrote this great piece for Canadaland Commons. It seems like Gilmore


First Nations Win Major Child Welfare Case

By Kaitlin Ritchie and Judith Rae First Nations across Canada won a groundbreaking human rights case today. It held that the federal government has been discriminating against First Nations people by underfunding child welfare on reserves. Vulnerable children have been most directly and adversely affected by this discrimination. The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal released its


BC Court holds that Province cannot off-load its Duty to Consult for Environmental Approvals

The British Columbia Supreme Court released its decision in Coastal First Nations v. British Columbia (Environment)[1] yesterday. The petitioners, Coastal First Nations (“CFN”), an organization representing 9 B.C. First Nations, were successful in having a part of an agreement between British Columbia’s Environmental Assessment Office (the “EAO”) and the National Energy Board (the “NEB”) set


The doctrine of discovery on First Nations podcast

Last month, I had a very nice conversation with First Nations Podcast about the doctrine of discovery, and what repudiating it might mean for Canada, and the relationship between Indigenous and settler Canadians. You can find it at the First Nations Podcast website, at


OKT welcomes Cathy, Matt, Senwung and Oliver to the Partnership

Olthuis Kleer Townshend LLP is proud to announce the admission of four of OKT’s associates into the partnership. We are delighted to welcome these outstanding lawyers as partners. They have each developed their expertise and professional approach to advancing the rights of Indigenous people and have consistently demonstrated a dedication to excellence and social justice.


OKT’s Jeremiah Raining Bird Featured in Precedent

When OKT Associate Jeremiah Raining Bird isn’t busy practising law, he can be found gracing the cover of Precedent: The New Rules of Law and Style. Jeremiah’s story is the cover feature for the magazine this month!  


Ditching the doctrine of discovery (and what that means for Canadian law)

On May 1, 2016, the Long March to Rome is scheduled to arrive at St Peter’s Square in the Vatican to formally ask that Pope Francis rescind the Papal “Bulls of Discovery”. Many indigenous nations around the world, especially those in Canada, are supporting this movement. So what exactly do these Papal Bulls, both of


New FCA decision creates dangerous loophole to the duty to consult and accommodate

A recent decision of the Federal Court of Appeal (“FCA”) has muddied the waters regarding the role of the administrative tribunals in Crown-Aboriginal consultation and effectively diminished the duty of tribunals to assess the adequacy of Crown consultation in respect of project applications before them. The decision, Chippewas of the Thames First Nation v Enbridge


Solitary confinement and federally sentenced Indigenous women: a moment for change

Indigenous people, and especially Indigenous women, are disproportionately subject to solitary confinement in Canadian prisons, a treatment that has long-term health consequences for those subject to it. Last week, the Globe and Mail reported that Jody Wilson Raybould, Canada’s new Minister of Justice, has been given a mandate to limit the use of solitary confinement


Who gets compensation for failed Aboriginal consultation?

The Supreme Court of Canada has closed the final door in the complicated saga of a B.C. logging dispute that raised questions about Aboriginal consultation, and the remedies available to both First Nations and corporations when the consultation process fails. The Supreme Court of Canada denied a logging company leave to appeal a series of