Canada (Attorney General) v. Lameman

Supreme Court of Canada – [2008] 1 S.C.R. 372

Alberta Fiduciary dutyIdentityTreaties

Summary

The Court did not decide the case on its merits since it judged that it was statute barred.  The Court noted that the Aboriginals could have filed their application in the 1970s, and because they had failed to do so, it was now too late.

It was not well received by Aboriginal people, since in the 1970s a lot of them thought (or were told) they had no case because the law was not as evolved as it is today.

Issue

Did the Crown breach its fiduciary duty by omitting to clearly inform the Band members of the consequences of “taking script” and pressuring the leadership to surrender their tract of lands, and did it breach its treaty obligations  by not giving the full 48 square miles to the Band and by not distributing a sufficient amount of food?


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Alberta (Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development) v. Cunningham

Supreme Court of Canada – [2011] 2 S.C.R. 670

Alberta Canadian Charter of Rights and FreedomsGovernance (self-determination, self-government)IdentityMétis

Summary

The Court determined that Métis could be refused rights guaranteed by the Metis Settlement Act upon registering as status Indians.

 This treatment could be considered a violation to the right to equality guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, as it creates a distinction between Métis with Indian status and those without, but it comes from an ameliorative program with the goal of enriching the culture, identity and autonomy of the Métis.

Issue

Do the Métis Settlements Act violate the Charter? If yes, is this violation a reasonable limit imposed by a rule of law that is justified in a free and democratic society?


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Reference whether “Indians” includes “Eskimo”

Supreme Court of Canada – [1939] S.C.R. 104 – “Re Eskimo”

Quebec IdentityJurisdiction over Indians

Summary

This decision confirmed that the Inuit are considered as “Indians” within the meaning of the Constitution and therefore fall under federal jurisdiction.

Issue

Does the term “Indians” in sect. 91 (24) of the British North America Act include the Inuit living in Northern Quebec?


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Martin v. Chapman

Martin v. Chapman Supreme Court of Canada – [1983] 1 S.C.R. 365

Quebec IdentityIndian Act

Summary

This case determined that an illegitimate male child of an Indian man can meet the criteria set out in the Indian Act in order to be registered.

Issue

Is John Martin eligible for registration as an Indian under the Indian Act?


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