How Can Infringements of the Constitutional Rights of Aboriginal Peoples Be Justified?
8:2 Constitutional Forum 33-39, 1997
4 Pages Posted: 3 May 2013
Date Written: 1997
On August 21, 1996, the Supreme Court of Canada handed down three decisions on Aboriginal fishing rights in British Columbia: R. v. Vander Peet, R. v. N.T.C. Smokehouse, and R. v. Gladstone. These decisions, already known as the Vander Peet trilogy, were followed by a decision on Aboriginal self government in relation to high-stakes gambling in Ontario, R. v. Pamajewon, released the next day. Then on October 3, 1996, the Court handed down two more decisions, this time involving Aboriginal fishing rights in Quebec: R. v. Adams and R. v. Cote. All these decisions deal with section 35(1) of the Constitution Act, 1982, and the nature of the Aboriginal rights which that section recognizes and affirms. Together, these six decisions are probably the most important pronouncements on Aboriginal rights the Supreme Court has made so far. They are going to have a profound impact on the Aboriginal peoples, and will influence not only future judicial decisions but negotiations for the resolution of Aboriginal claims as well.
Keywords: constitutional, rights, aboriginal, peoples, justify, supreme, court, decisions, act, s.35, fishing
JEL Classification: K40, K41, K42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation