R. v. N.T.C. Smokehouse Ltd.

Supreme Court of Canada – [1996] 2 S.C.R. 672

British Columbia Aboriginal rightsThird PartyTrade

Summary

This decision was delivered on the same day as Van der Peet and is part of the Van der Peet triology, which includes three cases concerning the claim of an Aboriginal right to fish commercially by three different First Nations in British Columbia. It gives details about the way to define aboriginal rights recognized and confirmed by section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982.

Here, the burden of proof imposed on the Aboriginal party is heavy. Dissidence criticized the “frozen” interpretation of aboriginal rights.

Issue

Did the Sheshaht and Opetchesaht bands have an Aboriginal right to sell Chinook salmon and did the Fisheries Act and its Regulations infringe unjustifiably upon that right?


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Ontario and Minnesota Power Company, Limited v. The King

Judicial Committee of the Privy Council – [1925] 2 D.L.R. 37

Ontario Fiduciary dutyLands reserved for IndiansThird Party

Summary

Even when a part of reserve lands is surrendered to a company for the purposes of construction work, the company does not become owner. The government of Canada has an obligation regarding the lands and the company must comply with its requirements. It can be liable for compensation to the Indians in the case of damage.

Issue

Can a company be held liable for all damages sustained to an Indian reserve after the territory is flooded due to the company dam?


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