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Law

Mi’kmaw law is based on the understanding that things in life are interconnected, known to many Mi’kmaq as “Netukulimk”. This law describes the rights and responsibilities of the Mi’kmaq with their families, communities, nation, and eco-system.  Mi’kmaq law has been shaped by our treaties whose sacred promises area a basis for our relationship with European settler nations.  These treaties have been entrenched in the laws of Canada and recognized and affirmed by the Constitution of Canada as the supreme law within country; however, Mi’kmaw laws extend beyond the imagined boundaries created by the colonizers. 

As part of the ongoing pursuit of treaty implementation, in the absence of provincial proactive statutes, several court cases have set out to clarify what the rights of the Mi’kmaq mean to individuals, corporations or provinces as the Courts of Canada attempt to reconcile Aboriginal and treaty rights.  Throughout this process legal experts have attempted to advocate for and explore this journey and featured on this page will be some of the authors who have explored the relationships between colonizers’ law and Mi’kmaw law.     

 

Suggested Case Law:

 

REX v. SYLIBOY[1929] 1 D.L.R. 307 (also reported: (1928), 50 C.C.C. 389)

Treaty of 1752 was not in reality a treaty (overturned in Simon)

http://fortress.cbu.ca/search/Rex_Syliboy.html

 

Simon v the Queen - Simon v. The Queen, [1985] 2 SCR 387

Provincial law cannot go against Treaty Right.

http://www.canlii.org/en/ca/scc/doc/1985/1985canlii11/1985canlii11.html

 

R v Donald Marshall – R. v. Marshall, [1999] 3 SCR 456

Mi’kmaq’s have right to fish for commercial use.

http://www.canlii.org/eliisa/highlight.do?text=Mi%27kmaq&language=en&sea...

 

Suggested Books:

 

Mi’kmaq Treaties on Trial

History, land and Donald Marshall Junior – William C. Wicken

 University of Toronto Press, 2002

 

Justice Denied

The law versus Donald Marshall – Michael Harris

Macmillan of Canada, 1986.

 

 
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Mi’kmaq people have lived in multiple places throughout the Atlantic region of Canada and along the coastal regions of the United States. Their Mi’kmaq knowledge is understood as the collective...

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The Mi’kmaw language is an important and integral part of the culture and world view of the Mi’kmaq.  Through our language, our way of seeing our life is...

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Law

Mi’kmaw law is based on the understanding that things in life are interconnected, known to many Mi’kmaq as “Netukulimk”. This law describes the rights and responsibilities of the Mi’kmaq with...

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Mi’kmaq ingenuity and creativity has been a well-documented aspect of Mi’kmaq life in Atlantic museums and beyond. Whether it is how they built their canoes, or wigwams, or beaded the coats they...

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Every institution of higher learning has developed a course of studies called the humanities that has been core to education. Contextually, philosophy, religion, history, languages, literatures...

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The Mi’kmaq resided in, and for a considerable time after the onset of the Europeans, a civilization where respect for the good works of the Great Spirit was its...

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Mi’kmaq peoples have had a long relationship with the Holy Roman Empire and the Catholic Church. Father Christian LeClerq found in his journeys among Mi’kmaq in the mid to late 1600’s a people...

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From the early 1900’s to the 1950’s, the Mi’kmaq were largely absent from authorized programs of study and prescribed textbooks. When they were mentioned, images were those of “vanishing Canadians...

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Mi’kmaw storytelling has been an integral part of Mi’kmaw way of life. Mi’kmaw elders and leaders and parents have provided each generation with the required prerequisite knowledge, know-how,...

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