Aboriginal Title and Aboriginal Rights: What's the Connection?

17 Pages Posted: 3 May 2013

See all articles by Kent McNeil

Kent McNeil

York University - Osgoode Hall Law School

Date Written: 1997


The author presents an analysis and critique of the current law and judicial treatment of legal issues relating to the rights of Aboriginal peoples. His focus is an examination of the connection between Aboriginal rights and Aboriginal title to land. The author analyzes recent Supreme Court of Canada decisions which attempt to clarify the body of law in this area. R. v. Van der Peet, R. v. Adams, and R. v. Core reveal that Aboriginal title is just a subset of Aboriginal rights, and that freestanding Aboriginal rights such as hunting and fishing rights can exist independently of Aboriginal title. The author offers a critique of the Supreme Court of Canada's approach to identification and definition of Aboriginal rights, and contrasts it with the application of general principles relating to occupation of land in the context of a claim to Aboriginal title. His arguments are based in part on authorities from England, Australia and the United States.

Keywords: aboriginal, title, rights, law, land, Supreme Court, critique

JEL Classification: K11, K40, K41

Suggested Citation

McNeil, Kent, Aboriginal Title and Aboriginal Rights: What's the Connection? (1997). Alberta Law Review, Vol. 36, No. 1, 1997, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2259063

Kent McNeil (Contact Author)

York University - Osgoode Hall Law School ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3

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