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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.

Métis are within federal jurisdiction

by Judith Rae and Roger Townshend On April 17, 2014, the Federal Court of Appeal released an appeal decision of a case called Daniels v Canada, 2014 FCA 101.  It ruled that the Métis are within federal jurisdiction because they come within the definition of “Indians” in s. 91(24) of the Constitution Act, 1867.  The

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Massive Cuts to Aboriginal Organizations Means Loss of Successful Programs and Services

Today, Aboriginal organizations across Canada will have their funding slashed. Some organizations will lose over 80% of their core operating budgets. These drastic cuts will profoundly impact the work these organizations do. Ultimately, these cuts will particularly affect smaller First Nations who rely on regional and tribal organizations for critical policy and other services. These

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Aboriginal provisions in new Ontario provincial policy statement about land use planning

Ontario has adopted a new Provincial Policy Statement (PPS) governing land use planning.  http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/Page10679.aspx  For the first time, the PPS includes references to Aboriginal interests.  The new PPS replaces the 2005 PPS and will come into force on April 30, 2014. The PPS is a policy that guides the land use planning process in Ontario. 

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OKT Partner Bob Rae receives Toronto Lawyers Association award of distinction

OKT congratulates our newest partner, Bob Rae, on receiving the 2014 Toronto Lawyers Association Award of Distinction. The award is being presented at the association’s annual TLA Awards of Distinction Reception today, February 20th, 2014. The award recognizes Mr. Rae for his outstanding contribution to the Toronto legal community, and his lifelong efforts to develop and improve the laws

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Behind the numbers: Harper's new funding of the First Nations Education Act

Last Friday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced new funding for First Nations education. He also announced changes to the proposed First Nations Education Act, which would be re-named the First Nations Control of First Nations Education Act (a few bullet points on these amendments were made available). Since a new draft bill has not been

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Bob Rae to Join Olthuis, Kleer, Townshend LLP

Toronto – Renée Pelletier, managing partner of Olthuis Kleer Townshend LLP is pleased to announce that the Honourable Bob Rae, PC, OC, O.Ont, QC, former Premier of Ontario, and former Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada will join the firm as a senior partner. Olthuis Kleer Townshend LLP serves First Nations and Aboriginal organizations

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Creating the perfect storm for conflicts over Aboriginal Rights?

It will come as no surprise to anyone, anymore, that the Crown needs to consult Aboriginal groups when Crown decisions affect Aboriginal rights. What is surprising is, ten years after the Supreme Court’s Haida decision, there is the prospect for more and not less serious conflict over resource development where Aboriginal communities have rights. Recent developments have

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Redefining "negotiation": court blasts Crown for unilateral control of specific claims

What does negotiation mean? This was the basic question that Justice Patrick Smith answered in a recent decision from the Specific Claims Tribunal about whether or not the Tribunal had the jurisdiction to hear Aundeck Omni Kaning First Nation’s (“AOK”) claim against Canada.[1] Justice Smith found that the Crown was “paternalistic, self-serving, arbitrary and disrespectful

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Ahousaht decision affirming Aboriginal fishing rights stands

The Supreme Court of Canada has rejected an attempt by Canada to appeal a victory by the Ahousaht, Ehattesaht, Hesquiaht, Mowachaht/Muchalaht, and Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations on Vancouver Island.  The First Nations had won recognition from the BC Court of Appeal of a constitutional right to fish and sell fish (with the exception of geoduck) after

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Honouring the Treaties

Honouring the Treaties I am a lawyer practicing in the areas of aboriginal and resource law, and legal counsel to the ACFN. I’m also a fourth-generation Albertan who has had the privilege to live and work in Aboriginal communities across the North for two decades. This is a personal reflection on the challenges that we

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