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Denouncing Denial: BC’s New Directives on Civil Litigation Involving Indigenous Peoples – First Peoples Law

May 25, 2022

It is commonplace for Canadian governments to emphasize their commitments to advancing reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples while simultaneously taking positions in court rooted in the denial of Indigenous Peoples’ title and rights.

This spring, the Government of British Columbia took an initial step towards addressing this issue through its Directives on Civil Litigation Involving Indigenous Peoples. If fully implemented, the Directives provide an opportunity for the provincial government to fundamentally shift its approach to litigation on Indigenous rights.

The new policy consists of 20 policy directives government lawyers must follow when representing BC in civil (non-criminal) litigation involving Indigenous Peoples.

The objective of the Directives is to advance reconciliation by avoiding costly, protracted litigation and promoting the negotiated resolution of disputes between Indigenous Peoples and the Crown.

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