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PreparedbyRussellDiabo forthe IndigenousBarAssociations 20th AnnualFallConference October2325,2008 Toronto,Ontario

Trudeau&ChrtienLegacy

s.37FMCsonAboriginalMatters
S.35wasonlyincludedinconstitutionduetopressure

fromAboriginalgroupsalongwithpublicsupport. S.35wasreintroducedintodraftconstitutionwiththe wordexistingaddedtotheclauseattheinsistenceof WesternPremiers.Theintentwastolimitorrestrict futureinterpretationsoftheclause. S.37providedforaFirstMinistersConstitutional ConferenceonAboriginalMatterswithin1yearofthe constitutioncomingintoforce.

s.37FMCsonAboriginalMatters
S.37providedthatthepurposeoftheFMCwasto

identificationanddefinitionofwhatrightswouldbe includedintheconstitution. FMC1983washeldinthespringwithrepresentatives ofthefourNationalAboriginalOrganizations(AFN, ITC,NCC,MNC). FMC1983agreedonaconstitutionalamendmentthat providedforfurtherFMCsonAboriginalMatters, whichwereheldin1984,1985and1987.

s.37FMCsonAboriginalMatters
Theamendeds.37processchangedfromexplicitly

identifyinganddefiningwhatrightswouldbe includedintheconstitutiontomerelyhavingagenda mattersthatdirectlyaffecttheaboriginalpeoplesof Canada. Despitehavinganumberofagendaitems,the amendeds.37processfocusedonwhethertherightto selfgovernmentwasaninherentrightvs.acontingent right,subjecttoCrownagreement. TheFMCsendedin1987withoutanyagreement betweentheNAOsandFirstMinisters.

Chronologyofs.35Containment
1990SCCSparrow decisionsetsoutjustificationframework

forassessingassertionofs.35rights. 1992CharlottetownAccordrejectedbyreferendum. 1995federalgovernmentunilaterallyissuesanAboriginal SelfGovernmentpolicythatsetsoutthescopeand contentofnegotiatingdelegatedselfgovernment, althoughthegovernmentreferstothepolicyasan InherentRightPolicy. 1996SCCVander Peet decisionnarrowsdefinitionof Aboriginalrights"...toconstituteanancestralright,an activitymustbeanelementofacustom,practiceor traditionforminganintegralpartofadistinctcultureofthe Aboriginalgroupwhichclaimstherightinquestion

Chronologyofs.35Containment
1996FinalReport&RecommendationoftheRoyal

CommissiononAboriginalPeoples(RCAP)isreleased andsubsequentlyignoredandshelvedbythefederal government. 1997federalgovernmenttriestopassIndianAct OptionalModificationAct,itdieswhenelectionis called. 1997SCCDelgamuukw decisionsetsoutlegal principlesandtestforAboriginalTitle.Canadaignores therulingandmaintainsCCP.

Chronologyofs.35Containment
20002003CanadatriestopassFirstNations

GovernanceAct overwidespreadopposition,Billdies withprorogationofParliament. 2003CanadaproclaimstheSpecificClaims ResolutionAct. 2004SCCHaida/Taku decisionsonCrownsdutyto consultanddutytoaccommodateonassertionof AboriginalRights. 2005SCCMikisew decisionaddsTreatyRightsto Crowndutytoconsult/accommodate.

Chronologyofs.35Containment
OtherrecentlypassedfederallegislationaffectingFirst

Nationsinvolvesanumberofareas,including commercialandindustrialdevelopmentonreserve, landmanagement,oilandgasandmoneys management,taxationandfinancialandstatistical management. Sincetheadoptionofs.35,theCrownhastriedtotake advantageofthelegalandpoliticaluncertaintyofthe scopeandcontentofAboriginal&Treatyrightsby obtainingconcessionsthroughagreements.

Chronologyofs.35Containment
Througharbitraryselfgovernmentandlandclaims

policiesthefederalCrownhasdevelopedselfserving negotiationpositions,whichareofferedtoFirst Nationsasatakeitorleaveitproposition. InnegotiationstheCrowngovernmentsroutinelytake advantageofthepovertyandtiedfundingofFirst Nationsknowingthecostoflaunchingandsustaining litigationasserting,proving&defendings.35Rightsis beyondtheabilityofmostFirstNations.

Reconciliation=Surrender
TheSCChasinnumerouscasesreferredtoreconciliation

asthebasicpurposeofsection35,includingthefollowing statements: S.35(1)providestheconstitutionalframeworkthrough whichAboriginalpeopleswholivedonthelandindistinctive societieswiththeirownpractices,traditionsandcultureare acknowledgedandreconciledwiththesovereigntyofthe Crown.(Vander Peet);and, TreatiesservetoreconcilepreexistingAboriginal sovereigntywithassumedCrownsovereignty,andtodefine Aboriginalrightsguaranteedbys.35oftheConstitutionAct, 1982.Section35representsapromiseofrightsrecognition. ...Thispromiseisrealizedandsovereigntyclaimsreconciled throughtheprocessofhonourable negotiation.(Haida);

RCAPRecommendation1.16.2
TheSCCwhilenotingtheRCAPreportinsome

instancesfailstoaddresstheRCAPrecommendation regardingtheassertionofCrownsovereignty: [thatthe]Federal,provincialandterritorial governmentsfurthertheprocessofrenewalby (a)acknowledgingthatconceptssuchasterranullius andthedoctrineofdiscoveryarefactually,legallyand morallywrong; (b)declaringthatsuchconceptsnolongerformpartof lawmakingorpolicydevelopmentbyCanadian governments;

RCAPRecommendation1.16.2
(c)declaringthatsuchconceptswillnotbethebasisof

argumentspresentedtothecourts; (d)committingthemselvestorenewalofthe federationthroughconsensualmeanstoovercomethe historicallegacyoftheseconcepts,whichare impedimentstoAboriginalpeopleassumingtheir rightfulplaceintheCanadianfederation;and (e)includingadeclarationtotheseendsinthenew RoyalProclamationanditscompanionlegislation.

CourtsarePartoftheCrown
WhiletheSCCdecisionshavebeenmoregenerousin

theirinterpretationofthescopeandcontents.35 rightsthanCrowngovernments,theevidentiary requirementstomeetthelegaltestsandthecourt costsarelargelyprohibitiveformostFirstNations. Despitethes.35recognitionandaffirmationof AboriginalandTreatyrightsintheconstitution,the legislativeandpolicytrendofthefederalgovernment since1982hasbeentodenytheinherentrighttoself governmentinfavourofdelegatedauthoritytobands.

Reconciliation=Surrender
IncomprehensiveclaimsagreementstheCrown

governmentsseekassimilationofFirstNationsand extinguishmentofAboriginalTitleandexchangeof AboriginalrightsformorelimitedTreatyrights. IncomprehensiveclaimsagreementstheCrownseeks anonassertionofrightsclause. InspecificclaimsagreementstheCrownrefusesto returnlandofferingonlycashassettlement.Thishas beenrejectedbySixNations,Tyendinaga& Kahnawake.

FirstNationsCrownConflicts
FirstNationshavehadavarietyofresponsestoCrown

avoidanceanddenialofs.35Aboriginal/TreatyRights. TherearethehighprofileconflictsbetweenFirst NationpeoplesandtheCrowngovernments.Someof theseareLubiconLake,Oka,Ipperwash,Gustafson Lake,BarriereLake,BurntChurch,GrassyNarrows, Caledonia,andmorerecentlyKI(BigTroutLake)and theArdochNonStatusAlgonquins. Thelasttwoexamplessawtheleadershipgoingtojail forignoringinjunctionsagainstthem.

RulesofEngagement
WhenFirstNationsasserttheyhaverightsbeyond

whatCrowngovernmentsarepreparedtonegotiate withinpolicyframeworks,thepoliceormilitaryforce hasbeenusedtoimposetheCrowngovernments interpretationofthelimitofs.35rights. SoaswehaveseentheassertionofFirstNationrights canleadtocriminalchargesandconvictionsandnot justcivilproceedings. ManyFirstNations,particularlygrassrootspeople,do notunderstandthecomplexitiesofCanadas Aboriginalconstitutionallaw.

RulesofEngagement
TheSCCdecisionsinHaida/Taku/Mikisew havenow

setoutthelegalprinciplesandguidelinesfortheduty toconsult&ifnecessaryaccommodateFirstNations whenanactivityorprojectmaypotentiallyaffectFirst Nationrights/interestsintraditionalterritory. TheSCChasplacedtheburdenofproofonFirst Nationswhoasserts.35rights. MostFirstNationshavenothadthefinancialsupport toprofessionallydocumentandsubstantiatetheir historicandcontemporaryconnectiontotheirlandsto meetthelegalstandardsofproof.

RulesofEngagement
SomeprovincialgovernmentslikeQuebecand

OntariohaveissuedpostHaidainterim consultation/accommodationguidelines. ThefederalgovernmenthasissuedpostHaida internalconsultationguidelinestotheirofficials, attemptingtolimittheirresponsibilitytofederal projectsoractivities. FirstNationsarestillnotproperlyfundedtoprepare forconsultationsoraccommodationnegotiationswith CrowngovernmentsorThirdParties.

CapacityBuilding
FirstNation(bands)needfundingtoorganize

internallytomanageconsultationrequestsfrom Crowngovernmentsand/orThirdParties. FirstNationsneedinhouseoroutsideconsultantsto provideindependenttechnical/scientificadviceon naturalresourcemanagement/regionalplanning issues. FirstNationsneedtodevelopmodernmethodsof keepingtrackofconsultationsie.Developinga databasetotrackthestatusofconsultations.

InformationManagement
communityknowledge reports government letters researchers maps industry databases academics stories interestgroups

decision

interpretation

Conclusion
ToreducethethreatofFirstNationsCrownconflicts

overnaturalresourcedevelopments/regionalplanning onAboriginalTitle/TreatyTerritories,FirstNations needsupportforcapacitybuildingandinformation management/interpretation. Crowngovernmentsneedtorevisepoliciesandlawsto beconsistentwiththeSCClegalprinciplesand guidelinessetoutinrecentcaselaw,including Delgamuukw andHaida/Taku/Mikisew.ThirdParties withaninterestshouldbepartoftheprocess.

Conclusion
TheconditionsforreconciliationbetweenFirst

NationsandtheCrownwontbeinplaceuntilthe federalselfgovernmentandlandclaimspoliciesare revisedtobeconsistentwiththelaw. Canadasdomesticpolicyandlawshouldbemeasured againsttheinternationalstandardssetoutintheU.N. DeclarationontheRightsofIndigenousPeoplesand thegapsidentifiedandreportedtotherelevantU.N. bodiesandagencies.