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Specific Claims Background

Timeline

The following timeline (until 1991) comes from a document (The Indian Claims Commission: Background and Overview) produced by the now-defunct Indian Claims Commission.

  • Royal Proclamation of 1763 confirms Aboriginal rights and states that treaties must precede European settlement.
  • 1812-1921: Treaties signed with Canada’s First Nations.
  • 1927: Amendment added to Indian Act which discourages land claims. Fines are levied against lawyers who raise funds for a claim or represent a First Nation in a claim against Canada.
  • Beginning in the 1940s, calls were made for the creation of an independent claims body.
  • 1951: The Indian Act is revised to remove the provision that made it an offence to raise funds or hire a lawyer to advance a land claim without the government’s permission.
  • 1973: Government policy divides First Nation land claims into specific and comprehensive.
  • 1973: The Supreme Court recognizes the existence of Aboriginal title in the Calder case.
  • 1982: Section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982, recognizes and affirms existing Aboriginal and treaty rights.
  • 1984: In Guerin, the Supreme Court finds that the Crown has a fiduciary obligation to protect First Nations’ interests in transactions with third parties.
  • 1990: In Sparrow, the Supreme Court recognizes existing Aboriginal right to fish and interprets Section 35 of the Constitution Act for the first time.
  • 1990: The Oka crisis raises awareness of land claims.
  • 1991: The Indian Specific Claims Commission is created.
  • 2003: Bill C-6 Specific Claims Resolution Act
  • 2008: Bill C-30 Specific Claims Tribunal Act

Maps

Publications

The following documents provide an overview of specific claims law in Canada. They are listed according to date (in some instances, approximate) of publication.

 

1966-1999

2002

2003

2004

2005

  • Indian Claims Commission: The Facts on Claims
  • Commission des revendications des Indiens: Les faits sur les revendications

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010