McDiarmid Lumber Ltd. v. God’s Lake First Nation

Supreme Court of Canada – [2006] 2 S.C.R. 846

Manitoba FundingIndian ActSeizure

Summary

The Court gives a strict meaning to the exemptions from seizure and garnishment contained in the Indian Act. The funds of a Comprehensive Funding Arrangement, by which the federal finances the Band, are not exempted.

Issue

Are the funds from a CFA between an Indian band and the federal government deemed situated on a reserve, thus exempting them from seizure under sections 89 and 90 of the Indian Act?


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Prince and Myron v. The Queen

Supreme Court of Canada – [1964] S.C.R. 81

Manitoba Aboriginal rightsJurisdiction over Indians

Summary

As with many cases before 1982, this one is out of date. Hunting at night, with lights, was discussed in 2006 in Morris. However, the Court already recognizes the fundamental importance of hunting for subsistence. It also acknowledges that provinces can limit such rights for safety and environmental purposes

Issue

Is the use of the term “hunt” in the Game and Fisheries Act of Manitoba ambiguous regarding Indians? And are they subject to the prohibitions found in the same Act?


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Manitoba Métis Federation Inc. v. Canada (Attorney General)

Supreme Court of Canada – 2013 SCC 14

Manitoba Fiduciary dutyHonour of the CrownMétis

Summary

This decision determined whether the Crown had breached its obligations towards the Métis in its implementation of the Manitoba Act. The Court recognizes that there can be a breach of the honour of the Crown because of accumulated faults, and rejects a defense based on the passing of time.

 A constitutional and solemn obligation of the Crown with the objective to reconcile its sovereignty with aboriginal interests gives rises to the honour of the Crown. However, since the Manitoba Act does not grant discretionary power to the Crown on aboriginal interests, there is no fiduciary duty.

Issue

  1. Is Canada in breach of its fiduciary duty to the Métis?
  2. Did Canada fail to comply with the honour of the Crown in the implementation of ss. 31 and 32 of the Manitoba Act?
  3. Is the claim for a declaration barred by limitations or by the doctrine of laches?


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R. v. Blais

Supreme Court of Canada – [2003] 2 S.C.R. 236

Manitoba Aboriginal rightsMétis

Summary

Delivered the same day as Powley. The Supreme Court refuses to conclude that the Manitoba Natural Resources Transfer Agreement applies to Métis, but notes that they could use section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982 to have their aboriginal rights recognized.

Issue

Can Métis be considered as “Indians” under the Manitoba Natural Resources Transfer Agreement?


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Daniels v. White

Supreme Court of Canada – [1968] S.C.R. 517

Manitoba Aboriginal rightsJurisdiction over IndiansTreaties

Summary

Accused of hunting migratory birds in violation of a federal law, Paul Daniels argued that the Manitoba Natural Resources Act, which provided that the province could not limit the Indians’ right to hunt, gave him immunity.

The Supreme Court found that the Act only limited the application of provincial laws, not federal ones.

Issue

Does s. 13 of the Manitoba Natural Resources Act exempt Indians from the terms of the Migratory Birds Convention Act and its Regulations?


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Myran et al. v. R.

Supreme Court of Canada – [1976] 2 S.C.R. 137

Manitoba Aboriginal rights

Summary

The Court balances the right of Aboriginal people to hunt for food, and the right of other Canadians to security. It concludes that there is no contradiction between the two, and that one does not encroach the other. Aboriginal people must exercise their right in a way that preserves everyone’s security.

Issue

Can the Crown infringe on a treaty right to hunt for food for safety reasons?


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The Queen v. Sutherland et al.

Supreme Court of Canada – [1980] 2 S.C.R. 451

Manitoba Application of laws to AboriginalsJurisdiction over IndiansTreaties

Summary

This case determined that a provincial disposition that considered a management area to be Crown occupied land to which Indians have no right to access does not respect legislative distribution of powers between the federal and the provinces, because it directly affects Indians in order to limit their rights.

This case strengthens the idea that Aboriginal peoples right to hunt for food is an exclusively federal matter, and that a provincial law cannot restrict it.

Issue

1) Is section 49 of the Wildlife Act that dictates that wildlife management areas are Crown lands to which the Indians have no right to access unconstitutional in whole or in part?

2) Do treaty Indians have a right of access to the Area, for the purpose of hunting game for food, at any time?


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R. v. Mousseau

Supreme Court of Canada – [1980] 2 S.C.R. 89

Manitoba Application of laws to AboriginalsTreaties

Summary

This case determined that Indians may have a “right to access” public roads. If the right exists, the provincial hunting laws are inapplicable to Indians hunting for food.

However, the “right to access” is restrictively defined. It is not a general entry right. It must specifically concern the exercise of an aboriginal right.

Issue

Is Mousseau guilty of hunting moose out of season with a flashlight, violating the Wildlife Act?


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Attorney-General of Canada v. Canard

Supreme Court of Canada – [1976] 1 S.C.R. 170

Manitoba DiscriminationIndian ActSuccession

Summary

This ruling followed Lavell and Drybones regarding discrimination caused by the Indian Act. It incorporates the reasoning in Lavell that s. 91(24) of the Constitution Act, 1867, which grants the federal government jurisdiction over Indians, allows differential treatment between them and the rest of the population and permits the government to legislate regarding them in the sphere of general provincial jurisdiction.

In this case, the Court found that the application of the Indian Act falls under the discretionary power of the minister and allows an interpretation that does not distinguish between Indians and other Canadians. It confirmed the Federal Court’s jurisdiction to review such decisions and to apply the relevant provisions.

Issue

Was Canard’s estate subject to the provisions of the Indian Act and are ss. 42, 43 and 44 of the Act contrary to the Bill of Rights?


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Mitchell v. Peguis Indian Band

Supreme Court of Canada – [1990] 2 S.C.R. 85

Manitoba Fiduciary dutyIndian ActSeizure

Summary

This case confirms that the Indian Act prevents the sums transferred to Indian bands by the province or the federal from being seized

Issue

Were the sums transferred to the Indian Bands by the government of Manitoba personal property that could not be seized under the Indian Act?


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