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Justice Resources

Ontario Aboriginal Reconciliation Fund

The Ipperwash Inquiry recommendations called for the government of Ontario to “establish and fund an Ontario Aboriginal Reconciliation Fund, modeled on the First Nation New Relationship Trust fund in British Columbia. Its purpose would be to improve the capacity of First participate in many land claims, treaty, or aboriginal policy and consultation processes underway in the province.” Instead, on May 15, 2008, the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs Michael Bryant announced the New Relationship Fund, which was unilaterally developed by the Ontario government.

Jurisdiction Research

The objective here is to facilitate exploratory discussions regarding First Nations governments’ and provincial jurisdiction with an eye toward clarifying patterns of overlap and conflict stemming from competing claims to governing authority. The topic of jurisdiction has not been deemed a priority by the government of Ontario; however it remains a priority for First Nations. Additionally, the Premiere of Ontario and the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs have made a political commitment to commence discussions on jurisdiction after the provincial election in October 2011.

First Nations Policing

Background: The Ipperwash Inquiry stated that “First Nations police services have a [questionable] existence in law. Although the federal Indian Act provides that a band council may establish a police commission, it does not set out a framework of governance, funding, police standards, and appointment and powers of officers.

Resource Revenue Sharing

Resolution 08/11 - First Nations Resource Revenue Sharing, adopted at the 34th All Ontario Chiefs Conference declared the negotiation of a regional resource revenue sharing arrangement with the current government be treated as a leading priority of the Ontario Regional Chief and the Political Confederacy; authorizing the appointment of a Task Force for this purpose.

Land Rights and Interests - Consultation and Accommodation

Background: Resolution 05/45 - Protocol for Consultation and Accommodation directed the Chiefs of Ontario to work on a draft consultation and accommodation protocol based on the decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada, Haida and Taku River in consultation with the First Nation PTO’s, Grand Councils, and the Independent First Nations. Resolution 06/44 - Protocol for Consultation and Accommodation –Phase II created the Consultation and Accommodation Technical-Legal Committee to undertake the development of the protocol in accordance with a work plan, coordinated by the Chiefs of Ontario.

The Treaty Commission of Ontario

Background: “Today, the 133 First Nation communities are located within the artificial boundaries of the Province of Ontario; within these boundaries also exists a complex interrelationship of treaty obligations, federal-provincial division of powers, statutory regimes, inherent jurisdiction, and constitutionally protected Aboriginal and Treaty rights; and a relationship where much reconciling must take place if peaceful coexistence is to be achieved.” (source: Chiefs of Ontario final submission to the Ipperwash Inquiry, Part 1 –July 2006)

Ipperwash Inquiry Priorities and Action Committee (IIPAC) Resources

In 1995, the Ipperwash Provincial Park was the site of a occupation by the First Nations people of Wiiwkwedong and Aazhoodena (Kettle and Stoney Point) where in the course of events; Dudley George was shot and later died. On November 12, 2003 a commission of inquiry was established with Sidney B. Linden as commissioner. The mandate of the inquiry was two-fold.

The Ipperwash Inquiry: Justice for Dudley George

On September 6th, 1995 Anthony “Dudley” George, an unarmed man was shoot by the Ontario Provincial Police and died. He and other First Nation men, women and children had been occupying their ancestor territory which had been appropriated by the federal government for military purposes. The land which was occupied had been transferred by the federal government to the provincial government and was used as a provincial park. This was done after the federal government had promised the people of Kettle and Stony Point it would return the land it had appropriated.

Violence Against Aboriginal Women

In Ontario, First Nations leadership recognized that First Nations women are the most at risk group in Canada for issues related to violence. Through Resolution 10/31 - Government of Canada to Re-Establish its Support for Sisters in Spirit, which was adopted at the Special Chiefs Assembly in November, 2010, leadership made eliminating violence against women a top priority.

The Ontario Aboriginal Justice System (OAJS)

In 2005, the province of Ontario released its Aboriginal policy document “A New Approach to Aboriginal Affairs” (attached). Its stated intent was to ‘chart a new course’ by providing the basis for a “constructive, co-operative relationship with the Aboriginal peoples of Ontario...that is sustained by mutual respect and that leads to improved opportunities and a better future for Aboriginal children and youth.” Included as part of the new approach was a series of provincially designated ‘new approach initiatives,’ of which the Aboriginal Justice Strategy was but one of eight.

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PDF icon A New Approach to Aboriginal Affairs662.64 KB