March 27

Law 30 05 Fiduciary Duty to First Nations

Another important part of understanding the laws of Canada related to its early beginnings is to understand the unique relationship government has with our third cultural component – the First Nations people that lived on the land that became part of Canada.

Because King George III initially promised to deal with the Aboriginal groups in the newly developing land as a sovereign nation, still today any decision made within Canada must consider whether it impacts First Nations rights and then has a responsibility to consult. It arises in the news often, including some recent events you may have heard of, like:

Gitdumt'en Under Siege

SHARE WIDELY – Wet'suwet'en territory is under siege by RCMP tactical forces, who are working with TransCanada to force a pipeline through our territory. Yesterday Gitdumt'en people and supporters were forcibly removed from our homelands for upholding our Wet'suwet'en laws. Militarized police confronted unarmed Indigenous people with assault and sniper rifles and made 14 arrests. As of now, Gitdumt'en Clan spokesperson Molly Wickham remains in state custody along with several others.We have never signed treaties with Canada or given up our rights and title to these lands. Canada is violating Anuk Nu'at'en (Wet'suwet'en law), it's own colonial laws, and UNDRIP. The violent separation of our people and our lands is no different today than it was 150 years ago.We fear for our neighbours at Unist'ot'en Camp who now face a similar prospect of state violence.Today there are international solidarity actions with the Wet'suwet'en. Attend one near you: ways to support: donate: #NOTRESPASS #WEDZINKWA #NOPIPELINESNo use of footage without consent. Direct media enquires to

Posted by Wet'suwet'en Access Point on Gidumt'en Territory on Tuesday, January 8, 2019

You have several questions to research and find responses to. To help some (who’ve missed some classes) to catch up, here are links you could reference.

  1. Summarize the Indian Act and its main points.
  2. What was the purpose/intent of the Indian Act? Who contributed to developing it?
  3. What is the fiduciary responsibility of Canada to the Aboriginal peoples who lived in the territories Canada assumed control of? What does it mean in terms of decisions made regarding First Nations in Canada?
  4. Explain the meaning of the government’s responsibility to “consult and inform” First Nations people. What types of issues did the Federal government have a “duty to consult” them on?
  5. Identify and summarize two specific events of Canadian history where conflict arose regarding whether consultation and informing between the government and First Nations people happened properly.
  6. How did the Natural Resources Transfer Agreement (1930) have an impact on First Nations people of Canada?
  7. What was unique about the First Nations people of Newfoundland and Labrador once those provinces joined Confederation? How was this resolved, ultimately?
  8. Identify the purpose or complaint in the R. v. Geurin (1984) Supreme Court Case and the resulting judgement. How has it continued to impact First Nations of Canada?
  9. Identify the purpose or complaint in Sparrow v. The Queen (1990) court case and the resulting judgement. How has it continued to impact First Nations of Canada?
  10. What year and under what circumstances could First Nations people first vote in a Canadian election?
  11. There have been many criticisms of the Indian Act over the decades since its development. Identify and explain three of them.
  12. Select and summarize any two recent events involving First Nations groups or communities that connect back to the relationship established with them as a sovereign nation in Canada at Confederation. Include a personal conclusion of how each event has had an additional impact on Canadian development as a whole.


Some positive things are changing with the Canadian government’s relationship with Aboriginal groups in Canada. They’re involved in great economic partnerships and contributing billions of dollars into Canada’s economy. Some of the boil-water advisories in FN communities have been resolved and the rest are expected to be completed by 2021. There is a long way to go, though.

Tags: , , ,

Posted March 27, 2019 by Waldner in category Law 30

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *