First Nations Rights: the Gap between Law and Practice

2013 – First Nations Rights: the Gap between Law and Practice

January 24, 2013 – Debunking the Doctrine of Discovery
Robert Morales unveils the continuing effects of this archaic doctrine used to justifiy seizure of lands and oppression of peoples. Morales talk power point. Video available soon.

February 28, 2013Indigenous Law as a Solution to Resource Conflict
Caleb Behn examines the conflict generated by fracking and the potential of indigenous laws and legal traditions to ensure preservation of the environment as a condition of energy development and to effect reconciliation. This talk will also be presented at the UBC Faculty of Law.

May 9, 2013 – Savage Anxieties – The Invention of Western Civilization ; Indigenous Rights and the Hul’qumi’num Treaty Group case
Professor Robert Williams will explore justifications for conquest, war, acts of racist violence and colonial dispossession from the time of the ancient Greeks to 21st Century treaty negotiations and about his most recent book, Savage Anxieties – The Invention of Western Civilization.

2012 – First Nations Rights: the Gap between Law and Practice

January 12, 2012 – Canada’s record – Ghost Dancing with Colonialism
Dr. Grace Woo, legal historian and author of “Ghost Dancing with Colonialism: Decolonization and Indigenous Rights at the Supreme Court of Canada” examines whether the Supreme Court of Canada colonizing Indigenous peoples by examining Anglo-Canadian legal history, international law and Supreme Court of Canada decisions and the remnants of colonialism that continue to haunt Canadian law.

February 23, 2012 – Seeking Justice Elsewhere – The Hul’qumi’num Treaty Group land claim case before the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights
Robert Morales lawyer and chief negotiator for the Hul’qumi’num Treaty Group. Robert Morales addresses indigenous rights in the context of the 1884 unlawful seizure and privatization of Hul’qumi’num peoples’ land on Vancouver Island, the serious consequences for Hul’qumi’num survival and cultural integrity and the history of unsuccessful negotiations that led the Hul’qumi’num people to seek justice elsewhere.

March 19, 2012UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People – Indigenous rights in the UN system
Kenneth Deer of the Mohawk Nation at Kahnawake, is a journalist and educator, and is internationally recognized for promoting the recognition and protection of Indigenous Peoples’ rights. Kenneth Deer’s talk addresses the development of UNDRIP and its 25-year passage through the UN system, why Indigenous Peoples went to the UN, the obstacles they faced, Canada’s involvement and whether the declaration is binding on states. A power point accompanies the talk by Kenneth Deer.

April 24, 2012Remember the children: What a landmark human rights case tells us about discrimination and justice in Canada with Cindy Blackstock, Executive Director, First Nations Child and Family Caring Society. Cindy’s talk explains the legal action against the Government of Canada to end the discriminatory practice of providing significantly less funding for social services to help First Nations children living on reserves. Blackstock, a member of the Gitksan Nation from northern British Columbia and an associate professor at the University of Alberta, has worked in child and family services for more than 20 years.

May 17, 2012First Nations’ own laws and legal systems
Sarah Morales explains Coast Salish legal traditions—snuw’uyulh—and the displacement of those laws during and after the colonial period. Against this background she examines the concept of legal pluralism and the potential for such a system today in Canada. Sarah Morales J.D, LL.M, is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa and a PhD candidate at the University of Victoria. She is Coast Salish and a member of Cowichan Tribes.