Thursday, November 18, 2004


Just the other day in my Aboriginal Societies history class we were informally discussing the significance of Canada continuing to be ruled under a constitutional monarchy. And then today the Supreme Court emphasises that significance.

Governments have a legal duty to consult with First Nations to some extent about the development of disputed land, Canada's top court ruled Thursday.
In the 7-0 decision, the court ruled the government has a legal duty to consult, and if appropriate, accommodate, aboriginal groups prior to their claims. But the ruling did not extend to the developers of the land.

Aboriginal people have an historic and legal relationship with the Crown that dates back to 1763. Today's decision reminds us that however antiquated the British monarchy may seem, Canada's constitutional arrangement still matters, and that the relationship between First Nation's and the Crown can't be ignored.

Update, November 20th:
Over at GenXat40 Alan agrees with me. Alan, being a lawyer, offers a little more analysis and excerpts from the decision than I do.

Posted by Matthew @ 6:47 p.m.