Aboriginal Governments and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
Osgoode Hall Law Journal, Vol. 34, pp. 61-99, 1996
20 Pages Posted: 28 Jul 2010
Date Written: 1996
Starting with the premise that the Aboriginal peoples of Canada have an inherent right of self-government which is constitutionally protected, this article analyzes the issue of whether Aboriginal governments exercising that right are subject to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This issue is examined from a legal perspective based on textual analysis and common law principles. It is concluded that, as a matter of Canadian constitutional law, with the exception of the section 28 gender equality provision. the Charter does not apply to Aboriginal governments. This avoids imposition of the Charter generally on these governments by judicial decree, leaving the more fundamental policy issue of whether the Charter should apply in this context open to negotiation and political agreement with the Aboriginal peoples.
Keywords: Aboriginal, Self-government, Constitution, Canada, Charter of Rights, Aboriginal governments
JEL Classification: K39
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation