82: Indigenous Law (Jeff Nicholls) - August 2, 2023

This week, we’re taking a candid look at reconciliation to explore the area of indigenous law, featuring Jeff Nicholls

Topics: Charter application to Indigenous groups; mineral tenure system and DRIPA; contemporary reconciliation agreements and more.

This program contains 30 minutes of substantive content for the Law Society of Ontario’s CPD requirements.

Full Episode (56:56) Download      Transcript

⚫ How does the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms apply to Indigenous groups with self-government agreements? (9:05)
⚫ How does the Gitxaała’s landmark legal challenge against BC’s “free entry” mineral tenure regime engage the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act? (20:53)
⚫ What is the precedential value of a trend of co-governance in contemporary reconciliation agreements? (30:10)
⚫ Our Ask-Me-Anything segment, featuring questions submitted by patrons of the Lawyered community (40:12)
? How has the implementation of UNDRIP influenced Indigenous law in Canada? (40:53)
? What sorts of indigenous issues will courts be grappling with in the near future? (44:34)
? There have been some recent noteworthy settlements in recent months related to the Indigenous residential school litigation. What role (if any) do these outcomes have on reconciliation? (46:44)
? Indigenous and aboriginal rights are often referred to as being sui generis, which means “of its own kind or class”. What does this mean on a practical level? (50:88)

1. Indigenous Self-Government and the Role of the Charter  (15:11) Download

Cindy Dickson v. Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation, 2022 CanLII 32895 (SCC)
Dickson v. Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation, 2021 YKCA 5
Dickson v. Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation, 2021 YKCA 5

2. DRIPA and  the “Free Entry” Mineral Tenure System (12:37) Download

“Indigenous Leaders Support Gitxaała’s Legal Challenge of ‘Archaic’ Mineral Tenure Regime, Coastal First Nations” (Apr 11, 2023)
“Environmental Organizations Apply to Intervene in Gitxaała Nation’s Legal Case Against Unwanted Mining, BC Mining Law Reform Network” (Dec 15, 2022)

3. Contemporary Reconciliation Agreements  (13:24) Download

“Haida Nation, B.C. step toward reconciliation”, Province of British Columbia (May 9, 2023)

4. Ask-Me-Anything: Indigenous Law (16:05) Download

About the Guest:

Jeff Nicholls is an associate at Ratcliff LLP, which has a 70-year history of advocacy and support of First Nations in British Columbia, Yukon, and beyond.

Jeff’s practice focuses on litigation, negotiation and law & policy development. Jeff advises First Nations governments on various matters, including: Land and resource issues; Aboriginal rights and title; and governance issues.

Jeff has a particular focus and interest in supporting the development and implementation of indigenous legal traditions.

In addition to being a proud member of the (lack cwah lams) Lax Kw’alaams First Nation, Jeff is also is the President of RAVEN Trust which is a charitable non-profit organization that provides financial resources to assist First Nations in exercising their legal rights in court.

Jeff’s Full Bio
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