Category Archives: Aboriginal Law

Great Law Event in Toronto, Canada! LOOKING FORWARD, LOOKING BACK: 40 YEARS OF RESISTANCE

LAW UNION

Join us on Saturday, March 16, 2013, for the Law Union of Ontario’s Annual Conference! 2013 marks the 40th anniversary of the Law Union, and this year’s conference will bring progressive legal and activist communities together to discuss an exciting and challenging series of issues. To register for a day of inspiring and provocative panels, workshops, and discussion click here: REGISTER

The conference will be held at Victoria College, on the University of Toronto campus. The address is 91 Charles Street, with the building just south of Charles. This facility is wheelchair accessible. Follow this link for a map of the exact location of the conference: http://map.utoronto.ca/building/501

Scroll down for the full schedule of panels and speakers.

CPD hours pending.

FRIDAY, MARCH 15TH: ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION AT THE TRANZAC

In honour of the Law Union’s 40th anniversary, join other conference-goers on the evening of Friday, March 15th, for a celebration with live music, drinks, reflections, and awards. This event will be held at the Tranzac, 292 Brunswick Avenue, Toronto, from 7:30 pm onwards. All are welcome!

CONFERENCE PROGRAM: MARCH 16TH
Victoria College

REGISTRATION: 8 AM

PANELS: 9 – 10:30 am

Envisioning the New Law Practice Program
Renatta Austin, Articling Student, City of Toronto
Elena Iosef, Osgoode Hall Legal and Literary Society
Janet Minor, Ministry of the Attorney General, Law Society Bencher

Deconstructing the Doctrine of Discovery
Tannis Nielsen, Artist and Educator

Mental Health and Justice: Three Unique Voices
Sarah Shartal
TBA

Working on the Margins: Perspectives on Migrant Work in Canada
Fay Faraday, Osgoode Hall Law School, Faraday Law
Kelly Botengan, Magkaisa Centre, Phillipine Women’s Centre
Evelyn Encalada, Justice for Migrant Workers

MORNING PLENARY: 10:45 am – 12:15 pm

Panels full of Women: 40 Years Later, Has Anything Changed?
Beth Symes, Symes Street & Millard LLP, Law Society Bencher
Janet Minor, Ministry of the Attorney General, Law Society Bencher
Jessica Wolfe, Legal Aid Ontario
Sharon Walker, Dykeman Dewirst O’Brien, LLP

PANELS: 1:30 – 3:00 pm

Resonance: Police Racial Profiling and Intelligence Gathering
Vickie McPhee, Rights Watch Network
TBA

Decolonizing Relationships: Treaties and Beyond
Diane Kelly, Former Ogichidaakwe (Grand Chief), Treaty #3
Crystal Sinclair, B.S.W., Activist and Organizer, Idle No More Toronto
Lorraine Land, Olthuis Kleer Townshend

Advocacy out of the Courtroom: Skills without Gowns
Asha James, Falconer Charney LLP
Janina Fogels, Human Rights Legal Support Centre
Diana Zlomistic, Toronto Star

Resisting Neoliberal Reductions in Access to Justice
TBA

PANELS: 3:15 – 4:45 pm

Solidarity City Now: Legal and Community Organizing for Immigrant Justice
Rathika Vasavithasan, Parkdale Community Legal Services
Faria Kamal, Health for All
Sarah Mikhaiel, Sanctuary Network
Liza Draman, Caregivers Action Network

The End of the Employee: A Critical Discussion on the Rise of Contract Work, Internships and Underemployment
Claire Seaborn, Canadian Intern Association
Jenny Ahn, CAW, Director for Membership, Mobilization and Political Action
TBA

Aboriginal Youth and Child Welfare
Rina Okimawinew, Attawapiskat First Nation
Billie-Jean McBride, George Brown College
Judith Rae, Olthuis Kleer Townshend

Prison Litigation as Harm Reduction
TBA

AFTERNOON KEYNOTE: 5 – 5:30 pm

Delia Opekokew is a lawyer and a deputy Chief Adjudicator for the Independent Assessment Process. From the Canoe Lake First Nation in Saskatchewan, she was the first First Nations lawyer ever admitted to the bar association in Ontario and in Saskatchewan, as well as the first woman ever to run for the leadership of the Assembly of First Nations.

Childcare will be provided – please email us in advance at lawunionofontario@gmail.com with the number and ages of the children who will be attending.

If you would like to donate to the conference, you may do so through
the Jur-Ed Foundation at Canada Helps

Questions? Email us at lawunionofontario@gmail.com, and include “conference” in the subject heading.

Episode 38 – The Status of Status

Welcome et bienvenue to LegalEase: a monthly Montreal-based and produced radio show on 90.3 FM CKUT – a broadcast about law, cast broadly. Le collectif LegalEase est un groupe d’étudiants et étudiantes en droit de la communauté montréalaise.This month the program is entitled, “The Status of Status.”

http://archive.org/details/LegaleaseOnCkut90.3Fm-Episode38october2012-TheStatusOfStatus

Listen to the Episode Here

Give your temples a massage and let your mind be a sponge, because this week LegalEase delves deep into the dynamics of legal discourse and case analysis. This month, LegalEase assesses new develops in Canadian laws concerning HIV status and Aboriginal status.

The Supremes

In our first segment, Jean-Philippe MacKay and Rosel Kim break down the recent Supreme Court of Canada decisions on the subject of HIV status non-disclosure. R. v. D.C., 2012 SCC 48 (CanLII) and R. v. Mabior, 2012 SCC 47 (CanLII).

The second segment looks at the Canadian State’s most recent ruminations on Aboriginal Status. Eden Alexander presents the recent Ontario Court of Appeal decision, United States v. Leonard, 2012 ONCA 622 (CanLII). You may find, as did the learned Sharpe J.A., that this piece “shocks the conscience.”

LegalEase on 90.3 FM is a radio program broadcast every second Friday of the month at 11am EST from Montreal, Quebec. Originally founded by the McGill Legal Information Clinic in 1989, LegalEase is now run by a collective of progressive of law students from McGill University. Our weekly radio show deals with legal topics of interest to the community, with the intention of making the law both accessible and engaging. Tune into our show, follow us on Twitter @LegalEaseCkut, email legalease[at]ckut.ca or check our podcast library for past programming.

Episode 31 (Mar 2012) – Quebec: Le Plan Nord and Student Protests

Welcome et bienvenue to LegalEase: a monthly Montreal-based and produced radio show on 90.3 FM CKUT. We broadcast law broadly. Le collectif LegalEase est un groupe d’etudiants et eudiantes en droit de la communaute montrealaise. This month the program is entitled, “Quebec: Le Plan Nord and Student Protests.”

Listen to the Episode Here

PLAN NORD

Plan Nord is an example of the new wave of Canada’s 21th century resource extraction strategy. LegalEase focuses on Plan Nord this month, looking at environmental, Aboriginal, and women’s issues. Paul Holden and Stéphany Laperriere bring us pieces on the subject. In a final segment, J-P Mackay interviews Me. Poitras at the inaugural conference of L’association des juristes progressistes taking aim at the increasing criminalization of student protest in Montreal.

Police subdue Students


LegalEase on 90.3 FM is a radio program broadcast every second Friday of the month at 11am EST from Montreal, Quebec. Originally founded by the McGill Legal Information Clinic in 1989, LegalEase is now run by a collective of progressive of law students from McGill University. Our weekly radio show deals with legal topics of interest to the community, with the intention of making the law both accessible and engaging. Tune into our show, follow us on Twitter @LegalEaseCkut, email legalease[at]ckut.ca or check our podcast library for past programming.

Episode 26: Crimes

Welcome et bienvenue to LegalEase: a monthly Montreal-based and produced radio show on 90.3 FM CKUT. We broadcast law broadly. Le collectif LegalEase est un group des etudiants et etudiantes en droit de la communaute montrealaise. This month the program is entitled, “Crimes.” Listen to the Episode Here: http://goo.gl/wVnjX

This month’s show features a diverse set of programming on the topic of crime. New contributor Mark Phillips conducts an interview Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and how it relates to prisoners in the justice system. Garrett Zehr presents a piece on efforts to charge Bush administration officials with war crimes. Host Preeti Dhaliwal revisits some older content on Insite, in light of the new Supreme Court decision which recently came down on the subject. She also offers an update on the MUNACA strike. Finally, Jesse Gutman breaks down the jargon on the Conservative’s Omnibus Crime bill, the Safe Streets and Communities Act.

Tune in live every second Friday of every month from 11h00-12h00 on CKUT 90.3 FM in Montreal or listen on-line at http://www.ckut.ca. For more programming, check us out at http://legaleaseckut.wordpress.com

Excluding the Subject matter: Inquiring about the Missing Women Commission

Gone from The DTES, Gone from the Commission

Over the past several weeks, high profile actors have been pulling out of the B.C.’s Missing Women Comission of Inquiry, threatening its legitimacy. In recent days, BCCLA and Amnesty Canada have both withdrawn from the commission, citing a disparity of resources allocated to protecting police officers and government officials, while offering the marginalized women in question no legal counsel. Activist organizations, from whose efforts the commission was born, have decided to boycott the government effort and are organizing protests which will be led by the Coalition of the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre (DEWC) and Feb 14th Women’s Memorial March Committee (WMMC). They have called the inquiry a “sham”.

The commission was initially intended to shed light on the hundreds of disappearances of women in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. The most notable case linked to this ongoing problem is that of Robert Pickton, former pig farmer and serial killer convicted of the second-degree murders of six women, though he may have had as many as 49 victims.

Investigation or Sham inquiry?

Ian Hanomansing interviewed several of the key players in this debate on CBC’s flagship radio program The Current. You can hear their conversation here. He interviews Shirley Bond, Harsah Walia, and Ernie Crey.

For more on the subject of Commissions of Inquiry more generally, please see this link provided by the Privy Council’s Office. Indeed, for references sake, the best work on the subject – Commissions of inquiry : praise or reappraise / editors, Allan Manson, David Mullan. Toronto : Irwin Law, 2003.

More on Commissions

Thunder Bay rule of law in Question: Racism in the Jury Roll

Something Rotten in Thunder Bay

March 2011 decision finding jury rolls in Thunder Bay unrepresentative, i.e., systematically excluding the participation of First Nations people. Pierre v. McRae, 2011 ONCA 187 (CanLII) http://canlii.ca/s/6jsqb

“[The] ruling confirms what we have suspected for years – that First Nations have been systematically excluded from the justice system. Even if an inquest into the death of Reggie Bushie could be convened, two more of our youth have died since 2007 and there is no inquest that is designed to address all seven deaths.” – NAN Deputy Grand Chief Terry Waboose

Here is a recent press release calling for a commission of inquiry:
http://www.nan.on.ca/article/nan-calls-for-commission-of-inquiry-into-the-deaths-of-seven-nan-youth-in-thunder-bay-730.asp

Episode 13: Case Study: The Oka Crisis at 20 Years

Welcome to LegalEase: a monthly Montreal-based and produced radio show on 90.3 FM CKUT,  broadcasting the law cast broadly. This episode is entitled, Case Study: The Oka Crisis at 20 years . You can access the show by clicking here.

What is the Oka crisis? Check wikipedia:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oka_Crisis Host Melanie Benard directs this reflection of our collective legal consciousness.

Oka Crisis

Waneek Horn-Miller

First, Olympian and director of the First People’s House at McGill Waneek Horn-Miller shares a recollection of the Oka crisis. Horn-Miller spent a month and a half within the barricade and discusses the experience with the LegalEase collective.

Next, we go back to 1990 and play some CKUT archival footage from the Oka Crisis. This portion includes music and interviews.


Revisioning the Americas through Indigenous Cinema


Revisioning the Americas through Indigenous Cinema

Third, we hear from acclaimed NFB filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin, the director of Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance. These audio clips were recorded in June, 2010 at her presentation at the Revisioning the Americas through Indigenous Cinema conference, which was organized by the GIRA.

Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance is available online You can watch the entire film here.

Finally, we turn to Kahnawake and the Whiskey Point incident. In 1990, residents of a nearby reserve decided to leave, fearing reprisals by neighbouring communities. While leaving, thousands of residents from Chateaguay and surrounding areas attacked cars carrying Mohawk families fleeing the reservation.

Tune in live every second Friday of every month at 11am on 90.3 FM CKUT in Montreal or listen on-line at http://www.ckut.ca

Episode 12 – First Nations and the Law

Welcome to LegalEase: a monthly Montreal-based and produced radio show on 90.3 FM CKUT, broadcasting the law cast broadly. This episode is entitled, First Nations and the Law. You can access the show by clicking here.

Aboriginal Field Course


Professor Kirsten Anker and students Joey Flowers and Justin Douglas discuss the creation of a new interdisciplinary course on Aboriginal issues offered at McGill. The week long course was an intensive learning experience in Mohawk community Kahnawake, offered to students from law, social work, medicine and other faculties. Themes discussed included restorative justice, ceremonies and rituals, and the a holistic approach to law.


Next, LegalEase spoke with Naguset, the executive director of the Native Women’s Shelter of Montreal. We learned about its services and the reality facing Native women in Quebec.

Finally, we spoke with Martin Lukacs of the Barriere Lake Solidarity Collective. Barriere Lake is an Algonquin community in north west Quebec that lives in a tradition fashion. The community of several hundred has 90% unemployment and is not part of the power grid. Recently, the Conservative federal government imposed section 74 of the Indian Act, imposing a new governance model on the community. Barrierelakesolidarity.blogspot.com

Tune in live every second Friday of every month at 11am on 90.3 FM CKUT in Montreal or listen on-line at http://www.ckut.ca