LWSO 203 Lecture Notes - Indian Act, George Iii Of The United Kingdom, Aboriginal Peoples In Canada

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01/16/13
Canadian Law and its Origins
1) Aboriginal Political and Legal Systems
-Political structure varied across the country (most had a stable method of
governance and decision-making)
Common types of Political structure:
- Hierarchies
- Counsels
- Family Groups
- Divided Political Structure
Legal Structure:
-Oral traditions and teachings; went hand-in-hand with ceremonies.
-Teachings emphasized appropriate behavior (responsibility to others
as opposed to individual rights)
-Stories and rituals ensured accuracy and consistency
Dispute Settlement:
-No separate body
-Linked to governance methods and structure
-Emphasized consensus and rehabilitation
Key elements:
o Focus on responsibility to others
o Collective property focused on stewardship rather than ownership
2) Aboriginal-Colonizer Relations
First Agreements:
-Peace and Friendship treaties
-Military Alliances
BOTH ARE NATION TO NATION AGREEMENTS (Aboriginal
groups considered to be independent nations)
Royal Proclamation 1763:
All Aboriginal lands not previously transferred to Europeans are
reserved for the exclusive use and possession of the Indians.
-Signed by King George 3rd
-English defeat French
-Imposed English law and dominance
2 Key Aspects:
- Recognized Aboriginal rights to land
- Aboriginal lands can only be transferred to the Crown
Basis of the Crowns fiduciary duties to Aboriginals
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Document Summary

Political structure varied across the country (most had a stable method of governance and decision-making) Oral traditions and teachings; went hand-in-hand with ceremonies. Teachings emphasized appropriate behavior (responsibility to others as opposed to individual rights) Emphasized consensus and rehabilitation: focus on responsibility to others, collective property focused on stewardship rather than ownership, aboriginal-colonizer relations. All aboriginal lands not previously transferred to europeans are. First agreements: groups considered to be independent nations) Royal proclamation 1763: reserved for the exclusive use and possession of the indians. Aboriginal lands can only be transferred to the crown. Basis of the crowns fiduciary duties to aboriginals. 11 historic treaties entered into between 1871- 1921. First nations that sign treaties give up their land and get reserves in return: reserve: 12 mile per family of 5, title to land is held by the crown. Guarantee that first nations can continue their way of life on the surrendered lands except where that land has been settled.

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