Canadian Human Rights Tribunal Sets the Stage for First Nation Discrimination Cases

In late January, 2016, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (Tribunal) ruled that children living on First Nations reserves have been discriminated against because of underfunding of education and child welfare. (see: First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada et al v Attorney General of Canada (for the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern […]

The Indian Act: Can it be abolished?

Two simple observations are made so often about the Indian Act as to amount to clichés: That the 1876 Act is still with us, and that it should be “abolished.” The first of these is technically false; the 1876 Act was repealed in 1951, and replaced with the Act we have today, though it has […]

Aboriginal right – or wrong?

Two eleven-year-old girls from neighbouring First Nations in southwestern Ontario were diagnosed last year with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a cancer of the bone marrow. Both received chemotherapy, then stopped. One has died. Makayla Sault of the Missisaugas of the New Credit, after eleven weeks, told her parents that the treatments were “killing her,” and discontinued […]

Bench Press 39-3: Tragic Tale of Two Girls

Two young aboriginal girls both had been diagnosed with the same type of aggressive cancer and both were receiving chemotherapy for their illness.  In both cases, their mothers decided to withdraw their children from conventional cancer treatment and pursue aboriginal healing methods.  In one case, the hospital asked the Children’s Aid Society to intervene and […]

The Right of First Nations Peoples to a Representative Jury

On November 21, 2014, in R v Kokopenace, the Supreme Court of Canada granted leave to appeal a case from the Ontario Court of Appeal (2013 ONCA 389). The case deals with what duty the Ontario government has to ensure that First People who live on reserve are included on jury rolls (list of potential […]


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