Native Law Updates – July 2015

Here are the July 15, 2015 updates:

Education requirement to run for Chief.

The Supreme Court of Canada upheld an election code that required candidates for Chief to have a minimum Grade 12 education. See paragraph 7§1042.

Is there a right to a jury containing aboriginal people?

The Supreme Court of Canada clarified the rules for creating a representative jury, with the probable result that there will be less aboriginal people on juries in the future. See chapter 17, page 376.

Right to reside on a reserve.

Two recent developments in the law are discussed: Spouses will now have certain rights to live on reserve regardless of status as an Indian or band membership under the new “Provisional Federal Rules” now in force under the Family Homes on Reserves and Matrimonial Interests or Rights Act, and secondly, the jurisdiction of courts to issue emergency orders in a case of family violence is set out in a recent decision of the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench. See chapter 10, page 277.

Constitution of the Métis Nation – Saskatchewan.

The Saskatchewan court has clarified the Constitution of the Métis Nation – Saskatchewan, and confirmed that it predates the Métis Act of Saskatchewan, and is not created by statute. See paragraph 1§2295 and 1§2297.

Best interests of the child v. traditional medicine.

In a difficult case the Ontario Court of Justice was able to walk the fine line between constitutional paramountcy of the aboriginal right to traditional medicine, on the one hand, and the medical profession’s view of the best interest of the child, on the other. With consent of all parties, the Court found a creative way to reconcile this conflict. Whether this stands as a model for future cases remains to be seen. See paragraph 4§180.

What triggers the duty to consult?

The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal has added to the law concerning the point where the Crown’s duty to consult arises. See paragraphs 5§1321 to 5§1325

Reliance on Native Law by the Courts.

A passage in Native Law was cited with approval by the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal. See paragraph 5§1620, note 188.1