Vancouver law firm seeks legal grounding of unwritten Indigenous laws – CBC

by ahnationtalk on March 20, 2017148 Views

Ancestral laws are foundational to the Canadian Constitution, says RELAW project leader

Mar 19, 2017

A Vancouver law firm is trying to give unwritten Indigenous laws more legal sway.

The project, spearheaded by West Coast Environmental Law, rewrites traditional and often forgotten ancestral laws into modern legal terms. Maxine Matilpi, the project’s lead, says the goal is to give First Nations greater voice in legal decisions that affect their communities.

“There’s a real need for it,” said Matlipi. “There are lots of communities that have environmental issues that they’re wanting to address, and sometimes going through the whole court process is huge and onerous.”

She says Indigenous laws are not to be confused with Aboriginal laws, which are written within the Canadian justice system and pertain to treaty rights and enforcement.

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