We call upon the Government of Canada, as an obligation of its fiduciary responsibility, to develop a policy of transparency by publishing legal opinions it develops and upon which it acts or intends to act, in regard to the scope and extent of Aboriginal and Treaty rights.
Why “Not Started?”
The “Directive on Civil Litigation Guidelines Involving Indigenous Peoples” issued on January 11, 2019, by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada does not explicitly address “publishing legal opinions.” They do speak in a broader context of open communication to support reconciliation versus litigation.
As of the June 15, 2020 update, the government is still reviewing existing policies and processes. This review of laws and policies will be guided by “Principles respecting the Government of Canada’s Relationship with Indigenous peoples”. According to the government, these principles are rooted in section 35, guided by the UN Declaration, and informed by the Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP) and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC)’s Calls to Action.
In addition, they reflect a commitment to good faith, the rule of law, democracy, equality, non-discrimination, and respect for human rights. They will guide the work required to fulfill the Government’s commitment to renewed nation-to-nation, government-to-government, and Inuit-Crown relationships.