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Statutes, Case Law, and ICC Publications
The Specific Claims Tribunal
The Specific Claims Tribunal is an independent tribunal with the power to make binding decisions on the validity of and compensation for specific claims. The term “specific claims” generally refers to monetary damage claims made by a First Nation against the Crown regarding the administration of land and other First Nation assets and to the fulfillment of Indian treaties that have not been accepted for negotiation or that have not been resolved through a negotiated settlement within a specified time frame.
- There are here are four scenarios in which a First Nation may opt to file a claim with the Tribunal:
if a claim has not been accepted for negotiation by Canada;
- if Canada fails to advise the First Nation within three years of its claim having been filed with the Minister whether the claim will be accepted for negotiation at any stage in the negotiation process if all parties agree; or
- if three years of negotiations do not result in a final settlement.
The Indian Claims Commission
The ICC was established as a temporary independent advisory body consisting of six commissioners authorized to review specific claims rejected by the government and to issue non-binding decisions. A review of the recommendations made by the ICC from 1991-2009 indicates a consistent call for the establishment of a new independent body. In its Annual report, 2002-2003, the Commissioner recommended:
- The new body must be independent. True independence resides in a body that is self-governing and not dependent on an outside body, such as the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development or the Minister, for its validity.
- The new body must have the authority to make binding decisions.
- The new body must constitute a viable alternative to litigation for the parties involved. It must be seen by all parties as cost-efficient, expeditious and final.
Supreme Court of Canada - Decisions and Status on Cases
The Supreme Court of Canada ("SCC") is the highest court of Canada. It is the final court of appeals in the Canadian justice system, hearing appeals of the highest courts of final resort of the provinces and territories. The SCC decides legal issues of public importance.