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Diminishing Indigenous Jurisdiction: Case Comment on Dickson v. Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation – First People’s Law

by ahnationtalk on July 2, 202045 Views

July 2, 2020

The relationship between the recognition of the collective rights of Indigenous Peoples under section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982 and individual rights to freedom and equality pursuant to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms has been a longstanding source of tension and uncertainty for Indigenous communities and their members.

The Supreme Court of Yukon’s recent decision in Dickson v. Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation sheds light on Canadian courts’ approach to addressing these tensions in the context of modern Crown-Indigenous treaties.

What it is about

Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation governs itself based on the Vuntut Gwitchin Constitution, which it enacted pursuant to a self-government agreement between Vuntut Gwitchin, Canada and Yukon. The Vuntut Gwitchin Constitution provided that Vuntut Gwitchin council members must either reside in the community of Old Crow or relocate there within 14 days of being elected to office.

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