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Given the cultural and economic importance of commercial fishing to BC First Nations, and in particular coastal First Nations, the answer to this question is obviously “yes”. However, this answer must be qualified somewhat: “Yes, provided the inclusion of commercial fisheries in the treaty meets the cultural and economic needs of the respective First Nation”.

When major projects are proposed in their territories, rather than treated as governments with decision making authority, the Crown tends to treat First Nations like any other stakeholder in the environmental assessment process.

Once a treaty has been negotiated, there are numerous activities that must be completed in order to “close” and then “implement” the treaty. “Closing activities” are activities carried out prior to the-effective date in order to prepare a first nation for their new reality after the effective date.

The trend around the world has been for governments to get out of the business of doing business. The last twenty years has seen this trend continue and grow, from the privatization of airlines, railways and other transportation ventures, to include what have historically been considered common government services, such as the delivery of mail and other communication services.

This paper provides a brief overview of the legal matters to be considered in connection with a for-market development of First Nation reserve lands. The reader should be aware that for-market development of reserve lands involves many complex legal matters, the number and complexity of which may vary significantly between developments, depending on a wide range of variables.

The duty to consult articulated by the Supreme Court of Canada in Haida Nation v. British Columbia in 2004 continues to play an important and prevalent role in the process of Crown-First Nations reconciliation. This paper discusses the state of the law of consultation in 2013. The authors review and discuss a number of important 2012 cases including Ross River Dena Council v.

This paper provides an overview of the most common land management regimes that govern development and environmental management on First Nations lands in B.C., discusses the successes and challenges First Nations face with respect to the current policy based regime that applies to contaminated sites on most Indian reserves in B.C.

The Van der Peet“integral to a distinctive culture” test initially risked missing the mark in seeking to achieve important objectives.

This paper examines some recent developments in aboriginal title. While the body of case law concerning aboriginal law is rapidly growing, there remains only a very small handful of cases that provide specific guidance on aboriginal rights and aboriginal title. Consequently, the case focused on here--R. v. Marshall; R. v. Bernard is not particularly recent.


Douglas C. Harris

The Aboriginal peoples of Canada stand in a different legal relationship to the fisheries than non-Aboriginal Canadians.