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November 28, 2022
In what is believed to be a first in Canada, an Alberta-based law firm has been contracted to enforce the bylaws of a First Nation on its territory.
In late October the Siksika Nation, which is about 100 kilometres east of Calgary, set up a bylaw prosecutor’s office, bringing in Mincher Koeman LLP to litigate Siksika’s bylaws in provincial courts “thereby making anyone who chooses to enter our lands subject to the Nation’s authority and laws as passed by our legislative body — Chief and Council,” the nation said in a news release.
Siksika councillor Samuel Crowfoot said the decision to establish the office was made because the nation’s bylaws “weren’t really being enforced,” noting there was no one in place to prosecute them, there was no way to channel fines back to the reserve and issues had arisen with the RCMP, which was previously responsible for the nation’s policing.
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