Category Archives: Aboriginal Issues

Trudeau government fails to help missing aboriginal women and girls

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s early election campaign promised to combat one of the most pressing issues facing the nation in modern times, i.e. the persecution of Canada’s Indigenous People’s. However, the unfortunate circumstance is that Trudeau’s promises have been unfounded.


First Nations want to be consulted on Quebec’s long-gun registry

The Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador says Quebec’s approach to its soon-to-be implemented long-gun registry does not address First Nations issues or jurisdictions, and rights to traditional and subsistence practices.

“Quebec disrespects our own jurisdiction,” said Lance Haymond, chief of the Kebaowek First Nation.


A rift over indigenous representation in Canada is creating winners and losers

The efforts of Canada’s indigenous rights movement to flex political muscle are most acutely felt in British Columbia. B.C.’s strategic location as the country’s only Pacific province gives it outsize influence over energy projects that require its unique geography, yet the province is also home to Canada’s most legally ambiguous claims of indigenous territory. Enormous swatches of British Columbia were never officially surrendered by Indian treaties, and in 1997 the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that indigenous nations can still assert “title” to the land.


Kelly McParland: This is why conflicts with First Nations often seem insoluble

It might not seem immediately evident, but it’s possible the confrontation that has been taking place in a remote northern area of British Columbia will prove to be an important moment in Canada’s long, difficult struggle to come to terms with First Nations bands.

The situation offers a distillation of the dilemma that often makes relations with natives seem insoluble. That is, how can you reach agreements with a community that can’t agree with itself?


The New “Tobacco” Monopoly

We knew this was coming:

Under the federal government’s Bill C-45, provinces and territories were responsible for determining how cannabis is distributed and sold. But where indigenous communities – which fall under the federal Indian Act – fit into this picture is still unclear, given questions about jurisdiction and self-governance.

Canada’s Minister of Indigenous Services Jane Philpott told the Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples earlier this month that the government is working on addressing concerns regarding jurisdictional issues.

“I know that indigenous communities, organizations and businesses have spoken up about jurisdictional concerns but specifically the exercise of First Nation bylaw-making powers in relation to the legalization and regulation of cannabis,” Philpott told the committee.

“Our government recognizes and respects the jurisdiction of indigenous governments. We will continue to work with First Nations, Inuit and Metis communities to address and accommodate jurisdictional issues in an appropriate way moving forward.”

In Ontario, the only legal option to purchase cannabis until April will be through the province-run online store. Under the province’s proposed legislation, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) will grant licenses to private retailers ahead of an April 1 launch.

Under the same proposed legislation, First Nations can opt out of that private retail model through a band council resolution. Brian Gray, a spokesperson for the Ministry of the Attorney General, said in an emailed statement that any store located within a First Nations reserve would require approval by the communities’ Chief and Council via band resolution before the AGCO issues a license.