With respect to the residency requirement, Veale stated that the provision (minus the 14-day relocation requirement) was not discriminatory because a self-managed First Nation had decided to codify a valid historical practice or custom. Vuntut Gwitchin Chief Dana Tizya-Tramm, under oath at the Yukon Court of Appeal, said with other chiefs with concerns about what the decision might mean for their governments. VGFN is appealing the court decision on the application of the Charter to the self-management agreement and the 14-day residency requirement, which is found to be discriminatory by the Charter. Veale added that the goal of s. 25 is to “ensure that the First Nation`s self-management rights are woven and protected in the Canadian constitutional fabric, as the courts attempt to reconcile Aboriginal rights, treaties or other rights or freedoms with the interests of all Canadians. Dickson had tried to run in the 2018 election, but had their nomination forms rejected. While the residency requirement was subsequently amended to say that anyone elected to the Council must move within 14 days to vgFN lands, Dickson`s lawyers argued that it was still unfair to VGFN citizens who lived outside the territory and prevented them from fully participating in government. Media Contact: Rebecca Shrubb (867) 966-3261 ext. 258 firstname.lastname@example.org The Court`s decision has the potential to influence the interpretation of all final and autonomous agreements reached by Yukon First Nations, although Mr. Millen states that, in this case, this has been “barely affected” by the courts since the adoption of the Charter in 1982. Website: www.vgfn.ca/index.php Phone: (867) 966-3261 Unbounded proud of our ancient cultural heritage and our homeland, we play our inherent right to autonomy, take responsibility for the general well-being of our citizens and ensure the good government of our communities, countries and resources. While VGFN might argue in its appeal that the Charter should not apply at all to the Constitution of a First Nation and that its own laws should be predominant, Millen says that this is a position that has generally not been defended by the courts. “I think the general view was that the Canadian Charter applies to all Canadians, including Aboriginal Canadians, wherever they are in any government to which they belong,” he says.
“It will be a difficult matter to convince Canadian courts otherwise.” The VGFN had negotiated a self-management agreement between Yukon and Canada and ratified its own constitution, which requires elected council members to reside or relocate to the region within two weeks of their election. Although the court`s ruling is not binding, indigenous law lawyers say it shows the intersection between two, and more contradictory, goals. “On the one hand, negotiated self-government agreements and Aboriginal constitutions provide important cultural security and cultural protection to Aboriginal nations and third parties,” says Roy Millen, partner of Blake, Cassels-Graydon LLP. “On the other hand, Aboriginal members, like all other Canadians, should be constitutionally protected and should not be discriminated against with their own communities.” A decision of the Yukon Supreme Court, which now appeals to both parties to the dispute, highlights a rarely used provision of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which protects certain Aboriginal interests from Charter revision and provides a “border shield” when applied to Aboriginal autonomy.