Thursday, November 23, 2017
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A Brief History of our Right to Self-GovernanceA Brief History of our Right to Self-Governance

Explore the unbroken history of First Nations right to self-governance, a right rooted in our occupation and our own jurisdiction over the land before contact. In recent years aboriginal and treaty rights and title have been addressed by Canadian courts and, for many First Nation citizens, the movement for self-governance is a way to reaffirm authority in relation to the land. Download PDF

May, 2013

Five Pillars of Effective GovernanceFive Pillars of Effective Governance

These five pillars of effective governance blend the traditional values of our respective Nations with the modern realities of self-governance. The Centre uses the principles behind these five pillars to develop and deliver tools and services to assist in rebuilding First Nations. The Centre believes that all First Nations have the ability to enact all or some of these principles no matter where they sit on the path to self-governance. All First Nations wrestle with significant constraints such as a lack of funding, the restrictions of the Indian Act, and poverty, yet effective governance is the foundation upon which our development aspirations must be built. Therefore, we must engage with these principles – our long term success depends on it. Download PDF

August, 2010

Making First Nation Law: The Listuguj Mi’gmaq FisheryMaking First Nation Law: The Listuguj Mi’gmaq Fishery

On May 19, 1993, the Listuguj Mi’gmaq First Nation Government took over the management of the salmon fishery in the Restigouche River where it flows between the provinces of New Brunswick and Quebec – waters the Listuguj Mi’gmaq people had fished for many generations. They did so not under a contract with provincial or federal authorities – the province of Quebec in fact opposed them. Nor did they do it by asking permission or receiving a request from some other government – they asked no permission and received no such requests. Nor did they do it by force – although their actions were shaped in part by violence. They did it by passing, implementing, and enforcing a law. [4.5 mb] Download PDF

March, 2011

Reconciliation in Ontario, Opportunities and Next StepsReconciliation in Ontario, Opportunities and Next Steps

Reconciliation between Indigenous and non‐Indigenous peoples in Canada is not just about the legacy of residential schools. It is a multi‐faceted process that restores lands, economic self‐sufficiency, and political jurisdiction to First Nations, and develops respectful and just relationships between First Nations and all Canadians. In February, 2011, First Nations leaders, youth and citizens gathered with non‐Aboriginal business people, civil servants, lawyers, academics, and students at a two‐day symposium in Toronto. Over 140 participants came together to find answers to the critical need for Indigenous and non‐Indigenous peoples to move forward on the question of reconciliation. This report lists the many ideas, issues, opportunities, next steps and actions identified by event participants. Download PDF

April 2009

Crown Consultation and Practices Across CanadaCrown Consultation and Practices Across Canada

Maria Morellato
While significant progress has been made in some jurisdictions in Canada, there continues to be a marked discrepancy between what is required of the Crown at law and how the Crown’s duty to consult and accommodate is actually being exercised. This discrepancy becomes particularly apparent upon a review and analysis of the various Crown consultation and accommodation policies developed to date in Canada. The publication is intended to function as a framework for discussion rather than a comprehensive or prescriptive analysis. Much thinking needs to be done, ideally on a collaborative basis between the Crown and First Nations, concerning what tangible steps can be taken in order to implement necessary change. Download PDF

February, 2008

The Crown’s Constitutional Duty to Consult and Accommodate Aboriginal and Treaty Rights

Maria Morellato
The Crown’s duty to consult and accommodate Aboriginal and treaty rights is a fundamental matter of social justice which invokes very solemn legal obligations. At the heart of the Crown’s legal responsibility to consult and accommodate aboriginal and treaty rights are choices made every day by Crown leaders and officials which very seriously impact not only fundamental constitutional rights but, also, the very health and well being of hundreds of thousands of women, men and children living in Canada. Download PDF

October, 2007

The Jurisdiction of Inherent Right Aboriginal Governments

Kent McNeil
Aboriginal governments have the authority under existing Canadian law to exercise jurisdiction. The essential point is that Aboriginal governments can become engaged on a government-to-government basis immediately. They have the authority to do so under existing Canadian law and do not have to seek permission to exercise their jurisdiction from the federal government, provincial governments, or Canadian courts. Download PDF