QUELS SONT LES PARTENAIRES AUTOCHTONES AVEC LESQUELS LA COURONNE ENTRETIENT UNE RELATION HISTORIQUE?

Authors

  • ANDRE EMOND

Keywords:

Aboriginal Law

Abstract

Successor to the British crown on the American continent, the Government of Canada has assumed the responsibility which rested upon the colonial government to protect the property and customs of the first native occupants. In fact, both have concluded treaties and agreements about territorial claims in order to fulfil their commitment. This article attempts to identify the creditors of the crown's obligations, to wit who, amongst the native individuals, clans, bands or nations, has a recourse against the government. In other words, the issue is to determine who are the holders of the protected rights, those having authority to transfer them or to bring an action to vindicate them. The author concludes that the only protected rights are the collective rights of the native societies. These societies are the successors of ancient, politically independent communities; today, part of these societies are remnants of former bands which have been destroyed, and part are bands made up of former, smaller bands. The author also concludes that the native communities which hold those collective rights are legal persons at common law. Therefore, only the community, the band in this case, can transfer its rights or vindicate them. However, like any other legal person, it can only do so through its duly authorized representatives, that is in compliance with its old rules, its customs, practices and tradition.

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Published

1997-03-01

Issue

Section

Legal Commentary