Reconciliation and the law

Includes a timeline of pertinent legal decisions

By Nelson Bennett
Business in Vancouver
June 22, 2021

…Reconciliation with First Nations is … a legal obligation and one that is still evolving, one court case at a time. The fundamental question of whether Indigenous rights and title exist has been answered by the Supreme Court of Canada in a succession of landmark cases: They do exist, and they predate Confederation. But that raises a host of other legal questions, yet to be answered by the courts, like the status of private fee simple land in cases where First Nations have proven title. And the formal enshrining of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) at the provincial and federal levels might also create new legal questions for the courts to resolve. University of British Columbia chancellor Steven Point, a member of the Sto:lo First Nation …thinks issues of self-governance and sovereignty are among the outstanding questions to be resolved by the courts and First Nations themselves.

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