Native Law Updates – February 2016

Here are some highlights from the first 2016 update to Native Law:

  • New Section: Judicial Comments on the Text. Native Law has been cited and relied upon dozens of times by the Courts. Passages from the text which have been particularly noted by judges are identified by chapter for easy reference. See the new red tab marked “Judicial Comments on the Text”.
  • New Federal Government: Changes in law and administration. This release contains important developments brought about by the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau:
    • Official use of the word “Indigenous”. New name for the Federal Department and Minister: see paragraphs 1§17 and 3§490.
    • See paragraph 3§502 for the newly important Mandate Letter to the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs.
    • The Appendices contain the full text of the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission referred to in the Mandate Letter.
  • United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP):
    • Full text of the UNDRIP now found in the Appendices. See page APP-162.
    • A summary of how courts and tribunals have applied UNDRIP to date. See new information in paragraphs 2§1082 to 2§1090.
  • Consultation on the Northern Gateway Pipeline. The B.C. Supreme Court throws out the joint review process which Canada and B.C. had adopted for an environmental assessment of the proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline: Coastal First Nations v British Columbia (Minister of Environment) 2016 BCSC 34. See paragraph 5§1341.
  • The search for substantive equality. Canadian law forbids rigid and formulaic interpretation of statutes that are inconsistent with the search for substantive equality mandated by the Canadian Human Rights Act, RSC, 1985, c. H-6 and Canada’s equality jurisprudence: First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada v Attorney General of Canada (for the Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada), 2016 CHRT 2. See paragraph 6§1365.