A People’s Dream: Aboriginal Self-Government in Canada by Dan Russell

By Dan Russell

Written by way of a practicing Aboriginal attorney, this e-book argues that Aboriginal self-government in Canada could top be completed through a constitutional modification, now not via treaties, as has been the preoccupation of provincial governments on account that 1982.

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However, to the surprise of most observers, Duro successfully borrowed the court’s reasoning from Oliphant. He argued that, although indeed he was an Indian, he was not an Indian from this reservation. Thus, just as in Oliphant, in which the accused could not run for tribal office, vote in elections, or sit as a member of a jury, Duro should also be exempt from the criminal laws of this tribe. 35 Oliphant had provided the court with an opportunity to further diminish the jurisdiction of a tribal government simply by refining the Cherokee Nation principles.

Even today tribes exercise authority over the possession and sale of drugs, alcohol, prostitution, some forms of assault and fraud, firearms violations, certain kinds of sexual offences, and so forth. The scope of a tribe’s jurisdiction remains broad, albeit somewhat restrained in comparison to the pre-Crow Dog days. 24 The role of state authority in Indian country changed significantly in 1881. Although the Cherokee Nation cases, decided fifty years earlier, Lessons for Canada 19 seemed decisively to indicate that state governments had no jurisdiction of any kind in Indian lands, the case of United States v.

Would this mean that any criminal behaviour was fair game on the reservation? The General Crimes Act was intended, in part, to remedy this uncertainty, yet it did not articulate an extensive list of criminal prohibitions. The act simply stated that any federal law applied in Indian country. It was the Assimilative Crimes Act30 that indicated which substantive criminal laws would apply. Passed in 1825 by Congress, it supplied the necessary mechanism for bringing the activities of both Indians and nonIndians within the standards of American criminal law: “Whoever within ...

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