First Nation Claims: Tribunal Practice Directions Must Consider Funding Available to Claimants

  • October 01, 2018

Stable, adequate funding is a clear concern for the CBA’s Aboriginal Law Section when it comes to appearances before the Specific Claims Tribunal, which handles claims made by First Nations alleging that the federal government has violated a treaty or the Indian Act.

Commenting on draft practice directions which were circulated among members of the Tribunal’s Advisory Committee – which includes Section representatives – members stated the general need for the Tribunal to consider the financial implications of any new procedural steps.

Acknowledging that the Tribunal has no power over funding levels, the Section notes claimants “often have access to significantly less resources than respondents” and that the Tribunal needs to be attuned to this lack.

“If not already the Tribunal’s practice, we recommend that the final practice directions be sent to the funding unit at Crown – Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada to ensure they are informed about new activities potentially available at the Tribunal, and able to determine appropriate funding levels for those activities.”

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