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Canada Ottawa commits money to lay foundation for Indigenous law centre in Ontario

07:48  22 july  2021
07:48  22 july  2021 Source:   msn.com

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OTTAWA – The federal government is earmarking funds for projects that aim to build on Ottawa ’s commitment to help revitalize Indigenous legal traditions. Justice Minister David Lametti says 8,000 will go to the Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians and Lakehead University’s law faculty to support Indigenous law -making research and “ lay the foundation ” for an That plan comes in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s call to action No. 50, which demands the federal government work with Aboriginal organizations to fund the establishment of Indigenous law institutes.

OTTAWA — The federal government is earmarking funds for projects that aim to build on Ottawa ’s commitment to help revitalize Indigenous legal traditions. Justice Minister David Lametti says 8,000 will go to the Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians and Lakehead University’s law faculty to support Indigenous law -making research and “ lay the foundation ” for an That plan comes in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s call to action No. 50, which demands the federal government work with Aboriginal organizations to fund the establishment of Indigenous law institutes.

OTTAWA — The federal government is earmarking funds for projects that aim to build on Ottawa's commitment to help revitalize Indigenous legal traditions.

David Lametti wearing a suit and tie © Provided by The Canadian Press

Justice Minister David Lametti says $918,000 will go to the Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians and Lakehead University’s law faculty over three years to support Indigenous law-making research and "lay the foundation" for an Indigenous legal institute in Thunder Bay, Ont.

"We're confident that this funding will help make a real difference for Indigenous communities doing the sometimes challenging but important work of revitalizing their legal systems," he said at a virtual news conference Wednesday.

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OTTAWA — The federal government is earmarking funds for projects that aim to build on Ottawa 's commitment to help revitalize Indigenous legal traditions. © Provided by The Canadian Press Justice Minister David Lametti says 8,000 will go to the Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians and Lakehead University’s law faculty over three years to support Indigenous law -making resea

Miller says Ottawa is committed to ensuring Indigenous leaders have the tools and support they need to implement the various aspects of their pandemic plans. “This funding will provide crucial support to key community initiatives that strive to prevent, prepare for and respond to COVID-19 in First Nations, Inuit and Metis communities,” he said. “This approach aligns with our commitment to support Indigenous leadership’s approaches to community wellness while providing the flexibility to respond to emerging needs, for example in response to an outbreak of COVID-19.”

"I'm a committed legal pluralist. And I firmly believe that the only way that Canada can live up to the goal of being a just country is by recognizing the plurality and the plural existence of legal systems … that allow people to live as they live and have lived since time immemorial."

The funding draws on a previously announced $9.5 million for 21 projects to help First Nations, Inuit and Métis restore Indigenous law in regions across the country.

That plan comes in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's call to action No. 50, which demands the federal government work with Indigenous organizations to fund the establishment of Indigenous law institutes.

Grand Chief Joel Abram from the Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians says Canada is still in the early stages of realizing Indigenous sovereignty.

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Ottawa commits money to lay foundation for Indigenous law centre in Ontario . Justice Minister David Lametti says 8,000 will go to the Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians and Lakehead University’s law faculty to support Indigenous law -making research and " lay the foundation " for an Indigenous legal institute in Thunder Bay, Ont.

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"I still think there’s a lot of discussion to go with respect to true sovereignty and jurisdiction applied by Indigenous communities. If it's not respected by settler governments, then it's not quite there yet," he said.


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Lametti pointed to the example of the Mohawk Nation at Akwesasne, which in 2016 established an independent legal system to handle non-criminal offences within the reserve.

The myriad legal traditions of diverse Indigenous communities should be respected, he added, saying that there is "no one blueprint."

Canada's legal tapestry weaves together English common law, French civil law and, to a very limited extent, Indigenous law — despite past attempts to unravel it from the fabric.

Canadian courts have recognized Indigenous legal traditions in areas that include family law and marriage. But full-fledged reinvigoration of Indigenous legal systems has never been more "urgent," said Julia Hughes, dean of the Lakehead law faculty.

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(Nic Meloney/CBC). Indigenous language advocates have questions about how Ottawa 's recently tabled Indigenous Languages Act will benefit their communities. The act, which was tabled Tuesday, sets up the Office of the Commissioner of Indigenous Languages, a federal entity tasked at protecting, promoting and revitalizing Indigenous languages. "For many years people have been advocating that Indigenous languages become official languages of Canada with all of the benefits that affords and clearly we're not getting that," said King, who is Anishinaabe from Beausoleil First Nation in Ontario .

The federal Liberal government tabled legislation Tuesday to protect Indigenous languages in Canada — many of which are facing extinction because of a shortage of speakers after centuries of colonialism. It will be controlled by the federal government and serve to consume resources best directed to indigenous peoples ourselves," the ITK said. The ITK said that, despite the new legislation, there is no obligation on the part of Ottawa to fund Indigenous languages, nor does the legislation provide reliable federal supports.

“While Indigenous laws have been observed as customs and traditions in Indigenous communities, Canadian legal institutions have long either ignored or overridden these orders and have at times criminalized Indigenous leaders for applying Indigenous laws," she said.

Hughes said her faculty is committed to "decolonizing and Indigenizing" legal education.

The two projects laid out on Wednesday will see $481,000 go to the Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians to improve the law-making processes of the Lenape, Mohawk, Oneida and Anishinaabe nations in a research phase and then implement those laws and law-making institutions in a pilot phase, the Justice Department said.

Another $437,000 is earmarked for Lakehead University’s Bora Laskin law faculty to revitalize Anishinaabe and Métis law in partnership with regional communities and to create land-based learning opportunities for community members and law students.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 21, 2021.

Christopher Reynolds, The Canadian Press

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