SPOTLIGHT ON SPECIAL EVENTS
TO ALL FIRST NATIONS IN BRITISH COLUMBIA
November 12, 1999, 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
The Assembly of First Nations will be sponsoring a Strategic Working Session entitled Asserting Aboriginal Title After Delgamuukw. The objective is to explore how First Nations can use the law most effectively as we assert our Aboriginal title and rights. As the Supreme Court of Canada has said with regard to Aboriginal rights and Aboriginal title, the honour of the Crown is at stake. Our experiences after Delgamuukw make it clear that we must engage in further legal and political action in order to determine how we can assure the Crown's adherence to its legal, moral and political responsibilities.
On November 12, we will explore further the strategic requirements we face in relation to this critical task. The centrepiece of our deliberations will be a key research paper which has been undertaken under the auspices of the Assembly of First Nations by Professor Kent McNeil of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. It is entitled "The Onus of Proof of Aboriginal Title."
In addition to Professor McNeil, we will have several excellent resource people involved, including Louise Mandell (Mandell, Pinder), Maria Morellato (Blake,Cassels & Graydon) and Stuart Rush, Q.C. (Rush, Crane, Guenther). The session will be chaired by Frank Cassidy (University of Victoria).
Please see the attached agenda for more details.Please note:This is not a conference. This is a working session designed to enable us to better determine how we can assert, protect and affirm our title and rights. Given the pressing nature of this session, I urge you to attend. There will be no fee. The session is offered as a service to you and your First Nation by the Assembly of First Nations-British Colimbia.
We have a shared need to seek and obtain justice from the Crown. Delgamuukw creates real possibilities for a just reconiliation based upon the affirmation and recognition of our title and rights. Hopefully, we will be able to move in that direction even more firmly as a result of our deliberations on November 12. I look forward to seeing you on that date.