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Pasqua has right to bring action before Federal Court

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Compiled by Shari Narine







A judge has ruled that the Pasqua First Nation has the right to bring an action before the Federal Court of Canada against both Saskatchewan and Canada for failure to implement their Treaty Land Entitlement obligations. In July 2014, the First Nation filed a Statement of Claim before the Federal Court alleging that Canada and Saskatchewan had failed to properly implement their TLE Settlement promises and to make any Crown lands or minerals available for purchase by Pasqua. Despite agreeing to language in the Settlement Agreement that all disputes would be heard at the Federal Court, the province brought a motion to strike the claim and that the Federal Court did not have jurisdiction. However, Justice Boswell dismissed the motion, citing the recent Supreme Court of Canada decision in Grassy Narrows First Nation v. Ontario when he stated “treaty obligations to Aboriginal peoples are duties that bind the Crown. Insofar as both levels of government are responsible for fulfilling the Crown’s promises made in Treaty 4, it is important in the present case that...the Defendant Saskatchewan and the Defendant Canada, both be parties in this proceeding.”