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Southwind v Canada, 2021 SCC 28 – Case Summary

On July 16, 2021 the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC” or “the Court”) released its decision in Southwind v Canada. The Southwind decision provides important guidance on how to assess equitable compensation for Canada’s historic breaches of fiduciary obligations to Indigenous peoples, especially with respect to a surrender or taking of reserve lands. In an […]

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Yahey v British Columbia, 2021 BCSC 1287 (CanLII) – Case Summary

On June 29, 2021, the British Columbia Supreme Court released its decision in Yahey v. British Columbia. This case is significant because it represents the first time that a court in Canada has found treaty infringement based on the cumulative effects of development within a First Nation’s territory.   Overview of the Court’s Decision Blueberry […]

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Ahousaht Indian Band and Nation v Canada (Attorney General) 2018 BCSC 633 – Case Summary

On April 19, 2018 the Honourable Madam Justice Humphries (“Humphries J.”) of the British Columbia Supreme Court (“BCSC”) released her decision in Ahousaht Indian Band and Nation v Canada (Attorney General), 2018 BCSC 633, ruling that the Ehattesaht, Mowachaht/Muchalaht, Hesquiaht, Ahousaht and Tla-o-qui-aht’s (the “Plaintiffs”) declared right to fish within their fishing territories and to […]

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Gamlaxyeltxw v British Columbia (Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations) 2018 BCSC 440 – Case Summary

This case involves an issue that is being litigated for the first time in Canadian courts.  In the decision, Justice Sharma of the British Columbia Supreme Court was asked to address how to resolve a potential conflict between two constitutional duties: the Crown’s duty to an Aboriginal people with whom it has entered into a […]

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Williams Lake Indian Band v Canada (AANDC), 2018 SCC 4 – Case Summary

On February 2, 2018 the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) released its decision in Williams Lake Indian Band v Canada (AANDC), 2018 SCC 4, ruling the Williams Lake Indian Band (“Band”) was wrongfully displaced from its village lands, and restoring the decision of the Specific Claims Tribunal (“Tribunal”). The Tribunal had found that the Colony […]

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R v Desautel, 2017 BCSC 2389 – Case Summary

In R v Desautel, 2017 BCSC 2389, released on December 28, 2017, the British Columbia Supreme Court (“BCSC”) dismisses the Crown’s appeal of R v DeSautel, 2017 BCPC 84, and upholds Mr. Desautel’s acquittal on hunting charges. The BCSC confirms Mr. Desautel’s defence that he was exercising an aboriginal right to hunt for ceremonial purposes […]

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Ktunaxa Nation v British Columbia (Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations), 2017 SCC 54 – Case Summary

In Ktunaxa Nation v. British Columbia (Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations), 2017 SCC 54, the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC” or the “Court”) decided that Qat’muk, a place of spiritual significance for the Ktunaxa Nation (the “Ktunaxa”), was not protected by the s. 2(a) Charter right to freedom of religion. With this decision, […]

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Clyde River (Hamlet) v Petroleum Geo‑Services Inc., 2017 SCC 40 and Chippewas of the Thames First Nation v Enbridge Pipelines Inc., 2017 SCC 41 – Case Summaries

On July 26, 2017, the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) released its decisions in two cases: Clyde River (Hamlet) v. Petroleum Geo‑Services Inc. and Chippewas of the Thames First Nation v. Enbridge Pipelines Inc.  In these cases Indigenous Nations argued that the Crown had breached its duty to consult when the National Energy Board (“NEB”) […]

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Brown v. Canada (Attorney General) 2017 ONSC 251 – Case Summary

On February 14, 2017, Justice Belobaba of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice released his summary judgment reasons in the Sixties Scoop class action initiated in Ontario. The class action brought on behalf of Sixties Scoop survivors alleged that Canada breached fiduciary and common law duties when it devolved its responsibility over Indian child welfare […]

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Descheneaux v. Canada, 2015 QCCS 3555 – Case Summary

This decision of the Quebec Superior Court considered the registration provisions of the Indian Act (the “Act”) that continue to unfairly discriminate against Indian¹ women and their descendants and limit their ability to pass on Indian status, as compared to Indian men and their descendants. On August 3, 2015, the Court in Descheneaux declared sections 6(1)(a), […]

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