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Supreme Court says federal government has legislative power over the Métis and non-status Indians

Today, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in R v. Daniels, a landmark case about the constitutional relationship between the federal and provincial governments and the Métis and non‑status Indians. Background When Canada was created in 1867, its Constitution set out which level of government—the federal government or the provinces—would have the authority


OKT welcomes Sara Mainville

OKT LLP is thrilled to announce that Sara Mainville will be joining the firm as a senior associate. Sara is a member of Couchiching First Nation in the Anishinaabe territory of Treaty #3. She brings to the firm a broad range of remarkable experience working on indigenous issues over the past two decades. Sara has


Indigenous religious freedom case heads to Supreme Court

The Supreme Court of Canada granted leave to appeal the decision of the British Columbia Court of Appeal in Ktunaxa Nation v British Columbia. This case has important implications for indigenous communities seeking to protect their sacred sites from desecration. What is the case about? After a long process, the British Columbia Minister of Forests,


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