Recent developments in Aboriginal title law in Canada: Tsilhqotin Nation v....
In June, 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada issued a declaration of Aboriginal title to land for the first time in Canadian history. The judgment clarified a number of issues, including what is necessary to prove Aboriginal title, whether it is site-specific or territorial, the content of Aboriginal title and of the Crown’s underlying title, and the extent of provincial authority in relation to Aboriginal title land. But the decision also left a number of issues unresolved, in particular the relevance of Indigenous law to Aboriginal title and the continuing governance authority of Indigenous peoples. The decision will also affect land claims negotiations in British Columbia and elsewhere in Canada, though it is still too early to assess the extent of this impact.
KENT McNEIL is a distinguished research professor (emeritus) at Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto, where he has taught since 1987. He is the author of numerous works on the rights of Indigenous peoples, including two books: Common Law Aboriginal Title (1989) and Emerging Justice? Essays on Indigenous Rights in Canada and Australia (2001). He has also co-edited a collection, Indigenous Peoples and the Law: Comparative and Critical Perspectives (2009). His work focuses on Indigenous land rights and governance authority.