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SAIK’UZ AND STELLAT’EN CASE OPENS UP NEW LEGAL OPTIONS FOR FIRST NATIONS TO SUE INDUSTRY

  A First Nations’ lawsuit against a private company for harming Aboriginal rights can go to trial, says BC Court of Appeal in Saik’uz First Nation and Stellat’en First Nation v. Rio Tinto Alcan Inc. The decision supports the right of First Nations to pursue “tort” claims, such as nuisance, against private parties (rather than

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Post-secondary Aboriginal institutes achieve milestone

The new Ontario budget marks the beginning of an exciting new path for First Nations’ education in Ontario, with the inclusion of  $5 million in new funding for Aboriginal Institutes in Ontario. OKT lawyers Bob Rae and Andrea Bradley have been working with the Aboriginal Institutes Consortium to develop a position paper and engage with

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What Canada can learn from the World (Bank)

Canada, and its past 40 years of legal cases wrestling with Aboriginal land rights, has something to contribute to the global conversation on sustainable land use and reducing poverty. I don’t mean that Canada has something to brag about – on the contrary.  But within the country’s borders there are strong examples about the right

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OKT congratulates moot participants

OKT was proud to be part of two recent moot competitions.  These competitions place law students in mock courtrooms or around negotiation tables to develop their oral advocacy skills and are an important part of all lawyers’ education. OKT continued its annual sponsorship of the national Kawaskimhon Aboriginal Law Moot, which this year was held

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Bill C-51 could be a blank cheque to the government to stifle Indigenous dissent

by Michael McClurg and Senwung Luk Never ones to let a crisis go to waste, the federal government has tabled a bill in Parliament to give itself new powers that it says is intended to deal with threats of terrorist violence. The government’s defenders have tried to assuage critics by arguing that Canadians can trust

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ACFN Lawsuit Challenges Alberta Consultation Regime

How is Alberta’s new Aboriginal consultation regime faring? Not well, according to a court case filed in Alberta this week by the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN). The lawsuit asserts that Alberta’s new Aboriginal consultation process is unaccountable, procedurally unfair and denies First Nations their constitutional rights. The case specifically alleges that the newly established

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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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