Canadian Aboriginal law

ISBN (identifier) Indian Act Treaty rights

Canadian Aboriginal law is the body of Canadian law that concerns a variety of issues related to Indigenous peoples in Canada.[1] Thus, Canadian Aboriginal Law is different from Indigenous Law. In Canada, Indigenous Law refers to the legal traditions, customs, and practices of Indigenous peoples and groups.[2] Canadian Aboriginal law provides certain Constitutionally recognized rights to land and traditional practices. Aboriginal is a term used in the Constitution of Canada and includes First Nations, Inuit and Métis people. Canadian Aboriginal Law enforces and interprets certain treaties between the government and Indigenous people, and manages much of their interaction.[3] A major area of Aboriginal law involves the duty to consult and accommodate.

Sources of law

Aboriginal law is based on a variety of written and unwritten legal sources. The Royal Proclamation of 1763 is the foundation document creating special land rights for Indigenous peoples within Canada (which was called "Quebec" in 1763). Section 91(24) of the Constitution Act, 1867 gives the federal parliament exclusive power to legislate in matters related to "Indians, and Lands reserved for the Indians".[4] Under this power, that legislative body has enacted the Indian Act, First Nations Land Management Act, Indian Oil and Gas Act, and the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development Act.[5] Part II of the Constitution Act, 1982, recognizes Aboriginal treaty and land rights, with section 35 being particularly important. Section 35's recognition of Aboriginal rights refers to an ancient source of Aboriginal rights in custom.[6]

See also


  1. ^ Hogg, Peter W., Constitutional Law of Canada. 2003 Student Ed. Scarborough, Ontario: Thomson Canada Limited, 2003, page 631.
  2. ^ John Borrows (2006). "Indigenous Legal Traditions in Canada" (PDF). Report for the Law Commission of Canada. Law Foundation Chair in Aboriginal Justice and Governance Faculty of Law, University of Victoria. In Canada, Indigenous legal traditions are separate from but interact with common law and civil law to produce a variety of rights and obligations for Indigenous people....Many Indigenous societies in Canada possess legal traditions. These traditions have indeterminate status in the eyes of many Canadian institutions.
  3. ^ Campagnolo, Iona (13 January 2005). "Kyuquot First Nation Community Reception: Remarks by Lieutenant Governor Iona Campagnolo". Office of the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia. Victoria: Queen's Printer for British Columbia. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 29 September 2009.
  4. ^ Smith, David E. (1999). The Republican Option in Canada. Toronto, Buffalo, London: University of Toronto Press. p. 16. ISBN 0-8020-4469-7. monarchy canada.
  5. ^ Elkins, David J. (May 1999). "Any Lessons for Us in Australia's Debate?" (PDF). Policy Options. p. 23. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-10-27. Retrieved 10 February 2009.
  6. ^ "Constitution Act, 1982 Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms". Department of Justice. Government of Canada. 1982. Retrieved 2009-09-18.