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Indigenous Jurisdiction and the Charter at the Supreme Court: Dickson v. Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation – First Peoples Law

August 3, 2022

The revitalization of Indigenous’ Peoples inherent laws and governance systems is a fundamental component of decolonization. However, the extent to which Canadian courts and governments are willing to recognize and respect Indigenous governments and law-making authority remains an open question.

The Supreme Court of Canada will soon address this issue directly in Dickson v. Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation. On the appeal, the Court will be asked to confirm the source of Indigenous law-making authority when exercised in the context of a modern treaty and self-government agreement. The appeal will also provide an important opportunity for the Court to clarify the relationship between the laws and decisions of Indigenous governments and the rights guaranteed to individuals under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

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