Acclaimed Court Decision On Aboriginal Title: Unprecedented Force On Canadian Politics, Law And Society

1776 words - 7 pages

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in the moment of comfort and convenience but where he stands at times ofchallenge and controversy"Martin Luther King (1963)In 1997 the Supreme Court Decision concerning Delgamuukw vs. British Columbia has influenced how Canada defined 'Aboriginal title' with content that hold legal precedence as it pertains to land issues raised and how the Court to apply and adapt the principles to 'aboriginal title' as 'distinct species' of constitutional Aboriginal rights. Understanding the challenges of Aboriginal people in Canada provides the opportunity to appreciate the history that has influenced Canadian law, politics and societal views of recognizing the rights of the 'original peoples' of the land. As described by Thomas Hobbes, the working in any political system depends largely on how all other, social and economic institutions which have shaped or might shape the people with whom and by whom the political system must operate. Prior Delgamuukw, Canada applied the Proclamation, otherwise known as the 'magna carta of Indian rights', in order to determine 'Aboriginal rights' 'treaty rights' or 'aboriginal title'.The Royal Proclamation 1763 is a timepiece which signifies the nature of relationship building between the 'original peoples' and Crown, unfortunately Canada's principles have continually been reconstructed to meet the societal needs as it relates to the social demands of accessing resources for economic benefits. As stated in the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples Report, Canadian government gradually accepted the idea of shared sovereignty, but loath the idea of handing over full reign of powers to genuinely support self-governing nations or the resources to make self-government a success " (1993). It is evident that after 200 years of contact, the paternalistic attitudes perpetuate the institutions of government. As a result, the issue of Delgamuukw, the province of British Columbia was exercising jurisdiction with the intent to extinguish 'Aboriginal title' and "aboriginal rights' based on the principles of terminology and interpretation.Wendy Moss describes contemporary land claims fundamentally have two elements, legal and factual. Comprehensive claims, should have legal element is that the claim outlines that unextinguished aboriginal title by demonstrating that that the territory in question is not covered by a treaty or a claim agreement that aboriginal title has not been extinguished by the Crown. The factual element must demonstrate traditional and, under current policy, continuing use and occupancy of the claimed territory by the claimant group since 'time immoral'.Canadian government issues of legitimacy pertaining Aboriginal people and their right to self-govern has been scrutinized by the state as it is seen to had often gone un-noticed or unaccredited. By far any decision on Aboriginal rights have undergone the judicial process and if successful would gain Supreme Court...

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