Paulette et al. v. The Queen

Supreme Court of Canada – [1977] 2 S.C.R. 628

Northwest Territories Aboriginal title

Summary

The Supreme Court refuses to acknowledge that Indians can present their aboriginal right interest as a caveat against unpatented Crown lands. The Court does not close the door for all future land claims from the chiefs based on an Aboriginal right in the Northwest Territories, but states that the registering of a caveat is not the appropriate procedure to do so.

Issue

Can the Indians present a caveat on unpatented Crowns lands subject to the Land Titles Act in the Northwest Territories, claiming they have an interest in the land, by way of aboriginal right?


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Sikyea v. The Queen

Supreme Court of Canada – [1964] S.C.R. 642

Northwest Territories Aboriginal rights

Summary

The Court issues a very brief decision in which, with very little discussion, it declares that the treaty is subject to the federal Migratory Birds Convention Act.

Issue

Can Treaty Indians in the Northwest Territories hunt and kill duck for their survival at any time of the year, even if the Migratory Birds Convention Act and its regulations forbid duck hunting during some prescribed periods?


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The Queen v. Drybones

Supreme Court of Canada – [1970] S.C.R. 282

Northwest Territories Criminal lawDiscriminationIndian Act

Summary

This case deals with the discrimination that can result from the Indian Act. The Court here decides that the Act was discriminatory because it prevented Indians from doing what the rest of the population has the ability to do.

The decision was partially overturned four years later in the Lavell case.

Issue

Does s. 94 of the Indian Act, which provides that an Indian who is drunk outside of a reserve is guilty of a criminal offence, violate the Canadian Bill of Rights? Is it therefore inoperative?


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