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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.

OKT tops Lexpert rankings

OKT is proud to be recognized once again by Lexpert magazine as a national leader in the practice of Aboriginal law. Lexpert conducts extensive surveys of other lawyers to make a list of recommended lawyers in a particular field. Based on this survey, Lexpert ranked OKT as the most frequently recommended Toronto law firm for


Self-Government “Lite” – asserting jurisdictions without major constitutional change

by Maggie Wente and Sarah Colgrove Recognizing a constitutional right to Indigenous self-government has been a goal of many communities for a long time. Except in modern treaties, the Canadian constitution has yet to formally recognize the reality that Indigenous communities are self-governing societies. While major constitutional changes can take a long time, there are


TRC@1: The Canadian criminal justice system remains an obstacle to reconciliation

It’s been one year since the release of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) Summary Report and Calls to Action.  Of its 94 calls to action, 12 deal directly with the criminal justice system and how it serves (or fails to serve) Indigenous people in this country. The TRC is only the latest in a


TRC@1: The Power of Sport

I am a proud Maliseet. I grew up on the Tobique First Nation, a beautiful community located on the St. John River in northwestern New Brunswick. I am also a lawyer that has the privilege and honour of advocating for the rights of Aboriginal people across Canada. I would not have this privilege had it


TRC@1: Ontario takes good first step toward better treaty relationships, but more required

On May 30, 2016, Ontario released The Journey Together which sets out Ontario’s “Commitment to Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.” It largely details new and existing funding commitments for programs targeted towards Indigenous peoples. There is a lot of good news in this report for Indigenous people. Ontario has committed over $250M in new money over


TRC@1: A new relationship with Aboriginal peoples demands economic reconciliation

“Greed, for lack of a better word, is good.  Greed is right.  Greed works.  Greed clarifies and cuts through to the essence of the evolutionary spirit.” – Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas), Wall Street In this country of ours, where riches are largely tied to an abundance of natural resources, land is at the heart of


TRC@1: Gratitude for the invitation to the Treaty relationship

In the 1990s, for people like myself, who immigrated to Canada from Hong Kong, there was an expression that people used to talk about their feelings about their transition to their new home. Have you become “accustomed” to Canada? Was it easy to get “accustomed” to Canada? At the time, I thought it was easy


Traditional Knowledge collection, confidentiality, and ownership: some issues to consider

When traditional knowledge is collected in the context of the study, who owns it? And does the knowledge stay confidential? There is no doubt that collecting traditional knowledge is crucially important, especially because of the effects that residential schools have had on the intergenerational transmission of traditional knowledge. However, Indigenous communities should be aware that


TRC@1: Pop goes the weasel words? Translating UNDRIP into action

On May 9, Canada ceded its lonely position on the global stage as the sole nation state  that still refused to adopt the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). Canada finally and enthusiastically announced it is endorsing and implementing UNDRIP. At the same time, the Canadian media continued to report on


OKT presents: a series of blog posts in honour of the 1st anniversary of the TRC calls to action

On a bookshelf in OKT’s library is a tattered copy of the 1996 report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. We have tried to get a new copy but they are hard to come by because the government has not reprinted them; the electronic version is contained on an old CD-ROM that many computers