Aboriginal Law Conference 2023: Self-determination and Self-governance

Course Date: November 24, 2023

Full Course Materials
Total: 5h 17min
Total Ethics: 35min
Welcome and Land Acknowledgement (9:00 – 9:15)
Teresa ShewardProgram Lawyer, CLEBC, Vancouver
Elder Dennis Joseph Squamish Nation
Rosanne M. Kyle, KC
Mandell Pinder LLP, Vancouver
Stephen MussellMandell Pinder LLP, oskana ka-asastēki (Regina) & Vancouver
Uncharted Waters: Indigenous Rights and Marine Spaces in Canada (9:15 – 9:55)
  • the status of the law in Canada regarding Indigenous rights and marine spaces
  • recent decisions in Ontario and BC on the issue of Aboriginal title and submerged lands
  • opportunities to address challenges and uncertainties associated with the recognition of Indigenous rights to coastal areas and other marine spaces
Kate GunnFirst Peoples Law LLP, Vancouver
Indigenous Water: Relationships, Responsibilities, and Rights (9:55 – 10:35)
  • public expressions of Indigenous water laws—declarations and standards
  • exercising relationships with and responsibilities to water within territories—new legal processes
  • Water Sustainability Plans as one expression of water reconciliation
  • case law influencing new approaches
Deborah L. CurranProfessor, Faculty of Law and School of Environmental Studies; Executive Director, Environmental Law Centre, UVic, Victoria
BREAK (10:35 – 10:50)
Harnessing the Power of Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas (IPCAs): A New Dawn in Reconciliation and Conservation (10:50 – 11:30)
  • compare and contrast settler/colonial conservation models with IPCAs, with a focus on how Indigenous sovereignty, governance and authorities are addressed in each approach
  • discuss financial mechanisms for ensuring the long-term sustainability of IPCAs, highlighting NWT IPCAs and the recent NWT PFP model as a landmark in Indigenous-led conservation 
  • highlight key challenges and opportunities, including Canada's 30% by 2030 goal, and the revolutionary impact IPCAs are having on governance, stewardship and reconciliation in conservation
Nick LeesonWoodward & Company Lawyers LLP, Victoria (presenting remotely)
Jacqueline OhayonLL.M. Candidate, UVic, Victoria
Questions & Discussion (11:30 – 11:45)
LUNCH (11:45 – 1:15)
Indigenous Self-determination and Governance: What's Legitimacy Got to Do with It? (1:15 – 1:55)
  • to give effect to Indigenous rights of self-government and self-determination in Canada, genuine recognition of Indigenous governments, jurisdictions, and legal orders is required
  • this requires significant changes to Indigenous-settler relations and institutions
  • legitimacy is critical to the effective functioning of governments and legal systems, particularly when societies are facing significant changes with uncertain outcomes
  • this presentation will examine the nature and importance of legitimacy for governments and legal systems, including the cross-cultural differences and similarities in Indigenous and settler conceptions of legitimacy within the Canadian context
  • the analysis also identifies the factors that build or undermine legitimacy in governments and legal systems, for Indigenous and settler societies in Canada
  • it offers useful insights into how we can build legitimacy within our own communities and negotiating teams, and recognize the legitimacy of each other
Dr. Millie Nickason, PhD, MPABarrister & Solicitor, Nanaimo
Indigenous Children and Families: Community Lawmaking and Child and Family Services (1:55 – 3:05)
  • community lawmaking and child and family services

Charlotte WestonStudent, Peter A. Allard School of Law, UBC, Vancouver

  • Indigenous laws and governance and the implementation of jurisdiction over child and family service
  • opportunities and challenges to the exercise of jurisdiction and self-governance
Crystal ReevesMandell Pinder LLP, Vancouver
BREAK (3:05 – 3:20)
R. v. Powley, Indigenous Self-determination, and the Rise of "Métis Denialism" (3:20 – 4:00)
  • the content, effect, use, and enduring impact of R v. Powley
  • the rise of Métis denialism and the implications of a colonial legal approach to rights recognition
  • current conflict and the case for a human rights-based approach to resolution and reconciliation between First Nations and Métis 
Stephen MussellMandell Pinder LLP, oskana ka-asastēki (Regina) & Vancouver
Roundtable Discussion: Self-determination and Self-governance (4:00 – 4:30)
  • interconnections: how does it all link together?
  • how does development of law support forward movement?

Rosanne M. Kyle, KCMandell Pinder LLP, Vancouver
Stephen MussellMandell Pinder LLP, oskana ka-asastēki (Regina) & Vancouver
Dr. Millie Nickason, PhD, MPABarrister & Solicitor, Nanaimo
Jacqueline OhayonLL.M. Candidate, UVic, Victoria