The CCF intervened in a landmark case dealing with the scope of section 25 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (aboriginal and treaty rights).

Ms. Cindy Dickson is a member of Vuntut Gwitchin (VGFN), a small First Nation located on territory in the far north of the Yukon. Ms. Dickson had sought to stand for election to the Council of VGFN. The Council rejected her candidacy on the basis that she was not able to relocate to the Settlement Land, a fly-in community called Old Crow approximately 800 km to the North of Whitehorse, if she were elected. The Council rejected her candidacy on the basis that she would not relocate (as required by the Nation government’s constitution), and she brought a section 15 Charter claim for discrimination.

In this intervention we argued that the purpose of section 25, when read in context, is to ensure the Charter is not used as a sword by non-Indigenous peoples to deny the special status of or a benefit for Indigenous peoples. It is primarily concerned with precluding s. 15 claims by non-Indigenous peoples. Its purpose is not to shield all Indigenous government conduct from Charter scrutiny.

We await the court’s decision.

Indigenous government and the Charter (Dickson v. Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation)

CCF Launch: October 2, 2022
Status: Ongoing
Next Key Date: Awaiting a decision

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