The Supreme Court of Canada’s recent decision in R. v. Desautel addressed a number of issues of import to Indigenous communities, with potentially profound impacts on the future of Aboriginal rights and their exercise. The SCC held that the expression “Aboriginal peoples of Canada” contained in Section 35 refers not only to Indigenous peoples who are Canadian citizens, but more specifically to the modern-day successors of Aboriginal societies that occupied Canadian territory at the time of European contact, including Indigenous persons and groups that now reside outside of Canada. The court recognized that persons who belong to an Aboriginal people have protected and exercisable rights under Section 35, despite not being residents of Canada or Canadian citizens. The case is an important development in Aboriginal law and in the ongoing journey towards rights-recognition and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.

This half day intensive program brings together key participants in the litigation. Join us as representatives for the respondent, Provincial and Federal Crown, and intervenor groups unpack the meaning of the decision and what the future might hold.