Dr. Dawg

First Nations and "the Honour of the Crown"

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Grassy Narrows.JPG

…in one succinct anecdote.

Traditional lands of the Asubpeeschoseewagong Netum Anishinabek are despoiled and polluted by rampaging clearcutters; the Grassy Narrows band wins a court victory against them, based upon their rights to hunt and fish under Treaty 3.

Where is the Crown? Why, appealing the decision, of course.

Meanwhile the courts thankfully remain on the side of the Grassy Narrows Indigenous Nation.

Canada, and it’s high time that this is finally recognized by all concerned, is a treaty nation. The Canadian state has legal and moral obligations to uphold the treaties signed by the Crown and the First Nations. Forcing the latter into court, with the inevitable protracted litigation (eleven years in this case so far), is at a substantial remove from upholding those obligations.

Want to get a better understanding of what #IdleNoMore is all about? Check out the court judgement, and take in what the Court had to say about “the Honour of the Crown” (p.297):

From the beginning of opening arguments until the end of the case, counsel for Ontario chanted the phrase ‘Honour of the Crown’ almost like a mantra, as if the reassuring cadence of its repetition would salve any concerns this Court might otherwise have about its failure to honour Treaty Rights in the past.

Counsel for the governments repeatedly assured this Court that they are aware of their duties to uphold the Honour of the Crown and that they can be expected to respect the Treaty promises. Post Haida Nation and Mikisew, Ontario acknowledges that they are legally obligated to respect Treaty Rights under the doctrine of the Honour of the Crown.

However, Ontario’s present assurances came with a significant caveat. Ontario wants to honour the Treaty promise as Ontario narrowly interprets it.

And it gets better from there. Go read.

[H/t Mining Watch Canada]

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This page contains a single entry by Dr. Dawg published on January 14, 2013 10:52 AM.

Atleo-Harper summit: another two solitudes? was the previous entry in this blog.

How Harper crushes the human spirit is the next entry in this blog.

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