Treaty Rights as a Source for First Nation Social and Economic Development: The Marshall Decision in Atlantic Canada

Authors

  • Frederic Wien Dalhousie
  • Richard Williams PRESIDENT OF PRAXIS RESEARCH AND CONSULTING LTD.

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.54056/ILNM7108

Keywords:

Treaty Rights, Marshall Decision in Atlantic Canada, Treaty land entitlement, social and economic development, Atlantic Canada

Abstract

In recent decades, First Nations across Canada have used a variety of instruments to rebuild their economies and societies, not without a struggle but also with measurable success. These instruments include levers like certain provisions of the Indian Act related to taxation on reserve, the pursuit of specific and comprehensive land claims, Treaty Land Entitlement settlements that have provided an avenue for the creation of urban-based reserves and business development, and Aboriginal and treaty rights recognized by the Supreme Court. It is the latter that is the subject of this article, especially the two Marshall decisions issued by the Court in 1999, which recognized the treaty right of First Nations in the Maritime region to fish for a moderate livelihood.2 In this article, we will describe the decision, the reaction to it from various parties, ongoing flashpoints that have the potential to generate tension and conflict, and some possible paths forward.

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Published

2023-05-01

Issue

Section

Commentary