Skip to content


Indigenous Peoples

2023 | The Power of Languages and Stories in Drafting Indigenous Laws



Thursday, November 9, 2023

90-minute webinar

This program contains 1.5 CPD hours in all Canadian provinces


In this webinar, OKT Partner Maggie Wente and Professors Naiomi Metallic and Sarah Morales will explore the theory and practice of legislating Indigenous laws. The discussion will examine how linguistic diversity and meta-principles can be incorporated into legislation, as well as the use of oral stories and Indigenous languages in legislative development. Panellists will also recount their own experiences assisting Indigenous nations who are drafting legislation, with a focus on child welfare laws under An Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families and the lessons learned.


CIAJ Members: Free
Non-members: $45

2023  I  Legislative Drafting Webinar on The Power of Languages and Stories in Drafting Indigenous Laws

2022 | The Honour of the Crown



Wednesday, September 14, 2022

90-minute webinar
Participation in this program is accredited in provinces where CLE requirements for lawyers are mandatory.

Accreditation: Accredited in provinces where CLE requirements for lawyers are mandatory (1 hour 30 minutes).


To celebrate the 40th anniversary of s.35 of the Constitution Act, 1982 recognizing and affirming the “existing aboriginal and treaty rights of the aboriginal peoples of Canada,” this webinar will critically consider and discuss the development of the honour of the Crown, its use and application.

The honour of the Crown is a constitutional principle and a “core precept” in Aboriginal Law—the law governing the constitutional relationship between the Crown and Indigenous peoples. The Supreme Court has defined the honour of the Crown as the principle that servants of the Crown, or the government, must “act honourably” and it is always “at stake” in the Crown’s dealings with Indigenous peoples. The duties that flow from the honour of the Crown will vary, but include the making and applying of treaties, protecting Aboriginal or Treaty rights recognized and affirmed under s. 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982, and consulting and accommodating Indigenous communities when the Crown would undertake or consider an action that would potentially have adverse effects upon s.35 Aboriginal or Treaty rights. The honour of the Crown requires the Crown to interpret its constitutional obligations broadly and purposefully while diligently fulfilling them and prohibits even “the appearance of sharp-dealings” in the relationship between the Crown and Indigenous peoples.

This panel will explore the honour of the Crown, both in terms of its promises and its drawbacks. While the Supreme Court has framed the honour of the Crown as advancing the “reconciliation of the pre-existence of aboriginal societies with the sovereignty of the Crown”, this underpinning is problematized by the recognition of the history of colonization and assertion of Canadian sovereignty as unquestionably legitimate. Does the honour of the Crown represent an idealized and attainable way forward on the path to reconciliation, or is it too steeped in a colonial and paternalistic understanding of the Crown’s relationship with Indigenous peoples to truly effect change?


Jason Madden is co-managing partner of Pape Salter Teillet LLP. He is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School at York University and is called to the bar in Ontario, Yukon, the Northwest Territories, Alberta, and Manitoba. He specializes in Indigenous rights law, with an emphasis on litigation, consultation and accommodation related matters, and the negotiation and implementation of modern day treaties. He is also recognized as being at the forefront of the development of Métis rights law in Canada. Jason is Métis and a descendant of the “Halfbreeds of Rainy River and Rainy Lake” who collectively adhered to Treaty No. 3 in 1875. His litigation practice focuses on a range of areas impacting Indigenous communities. He regularly advises and acts for First Nation and Métis communities. He is ranked by both Lexpert Magazine (“consistently recommended”) and Chambers & Partners as a leading practitioner in Aboriginal law.

Candice Telfer is the Legal Director of the Ministry of Indigenous Affairs Ontario. After articling with the Constitutional Law Branch of the Ministry of the Attorney General, she has provided legal counsel across several provincial ministries and organizations including the Ministries of Health and Natural Resources and the Crown Law Office-Civil. She is an instructor of Constitutional Law for the University of Toronto’s Global Professional Masters of Law program, and regularly participates in Continuing Legal Education programs both within and outside of Government. Candice received her J.D. at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law. Prior to law school she worked as a theatre stage manager and then as an event planner for federal government-sponsored celebrations such as Canada Day in the Capital and Winterlude. She holds a B.A. in theatre and a B.Soc. in Political Science, as well as certification in technical production from the National Theatre School of Canada.


After studying law and political science, René Morin began his career with the Department of Intergovernmental Affairs from 1973 to 1981. From 1981 to 2007, he was a lawyer specialized in Indigenous human rights at the ministère de la Justice du Québec, which led him to appear as counsel before the Supreme Court of Canada on numerous occasions. He completed his career as counsel with the McCarthy Tétrault law firm, from 2008 to 2016. He was also a lecturer at the Université Laval, acted as a speaker in Quebec, in Canada and abroad, and is the author of several papers on Indigenous human rights.

CIAJ Members: Free
Non-members: $40

2022  I  Webinar on The Honour of the Crown

2021 | Why Are Gladue Reports so Important?


Webcast on February 17, 2021

This 90-minute webinar was made possible thanks to the support of the New Brunswick Law Foundation.

Language: In English, with simultaneous interpretation
Audience: All judges, court employees and lawyers (defence and Crown)



  • The Honourable Chief Justice Tracey K. DeWare, Court of Queen’s Bench of New Brunswick

Topics Overview

Why do we use Gladue reports? How are they being used in other provinces? Who writes them? Have they changed anything since their implementation?

Related documentation:

2021 | Annual Conference on Indigenous Peoples and the Law



November 17-19,  2021


CIAJ’s 45th Annual Conference on Indigenous Peoples and the Law explore the current state and future of the self-government of Indigenous Peoples in Canada. Vital to the discussion are the issues of the decolonization of legal institutions, reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples and the enduring legacy of a colonial relationship.

The recent finding of unmarked graves at residential school sites only reaffirms the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's vision of an “ongoing process of establishing and maintaining respectful relationships” with Indigenous Peoples. This conference is a space for dialogue and exchange on the continuation of active education and exploration of the TRC's message.

Honorary Chair

  • The Honourable Murray Sinclair


  • The Honourable Robert J. Bauman, Chief Justice of British Columbia and of the Court of Appeal of Yukon

Videos (scroll down to access the videos)

***When buying separate days, the purchase of one part gives access to all the videos for that day, in both official languages.
Example: If you purchase Day 1-Part I in English, you will receive the code to access Day 1-Part II in English and both parts in French.


All days
CIAJ Members: $650
Non-members: $850
Students (enrolled full-time at Canadian universities): $50

Per Day
CIAJ Members: $250
Non-members: $300
Students (enrolled full-time at Canadian universities): $15

Related PowerPoint presentations, documents and papers are available in the library under "documentation."

2021  I  CIAJ’s 45th Annual Conference on Indigenous Peoples and the Law

2020 | Free Webinar Series on “Indigenous Peoples and the Law”


This free webinar series held in partnership with Courthouse Libraries BC has been designed to initiate discussion and pave the way to a major national conference on Indigenous Peoples and the Law to be held in Vancouver on November 17-19, 2021. The webinars aim to enrich the participants’ knowledge of the subjects that will be component parts of the larger issues examined at the conference, providing attendees with in-depth knowledge so as to enrich the discussions that will take place.

60 to 90-minute webinars
Participation in this program is accredited in provinces where CLE requirements for lawyers are mandatory.

List of webinars (scroll down to access the videos)

  • 1st Webinar: Overview of the Progress of the Calls to Action (October 14, 2020)
    (In English, with simultaneous interpretation)
    Speaker:  Senator Murray Sinclair 
    Moderator: The Honourable Justice Michelle O’Bonsawin, Superior Court of Justice (Ontario) 
  • 2nd Webinar: The Next Stages of Indigenous Governance in Quebec (October 21, 2020)
    (In French, with simultaneous interpretation)
    Speakers: Chief Ghislain Picard, Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador (Innu from the community of Pessamit), Ken Rock, Executive Director, Uashat mak Mani-utenam Economic Development Corporation
    Moderator: Michèle Moreau, Lawyer
  • 3rd Webinar: Looking at British Columbia’s Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (November 4, 2020)
    (In English, with simultaneous interpretation)
    Speakers: Regional Chief Terry Teegee, British Columbia Assembly of First Nations (Takla Lake First Nation); Professor Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond (Aki-Kwe), Peter A. Allard School of Law, University of British Columbia; Senior Associate Counsel, Woodward & Company (Muskeg Lake Cree Nation)
    Moderator: Professor Bradford Morse, Faculty of Law, Thompson Rivers University  
  • 4th Webinar: Discussing the Promises and Problems with the Act respecting First Nations, Métis and Inuit Children, Youth and Families (January 20, 2021)
    (In English, with simultaneous interpretation)
    Speakers: Professor Hadley Friedland, University of Alberta Faculty of Law; Co-Founder, Wahkohtowin Law & Governance Lodge; Koren Lightning-Earle, Lawyer, Wahkohtowin Law & Governance Lodge (Samson Cree Nation, Alberta); Professor Naiomi Metallic, Chancellor’s Chair in Aboriginal Law and Policy, Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University (Listuguj Mi’gmaq First Nation)
    Moderator: Jennifer Cox, Staff Lawyer, Dalhousie Legal Aid Service, Dalhousie University
  • 5th Webinar: Investigating the Indigenous Languages Act (February 17, 2021)
    (In English, with simultaneous interpretation)
    Speakers: Chief Ronald E. Ignace (Stsmél̓qen), Skeetchestn Band, Adjunct Professor, Anthropology, Simon Fraser University (Secwepemc (Shuswap) Nation); Professor Mariane Ignace, departments of Linguistics and Indigenous Studies, Simon Fraser University; Director, SFU’s Indigenous Languages Program and First Nations Language Centre; Professor Sarah Morales, Sarah Morales, Associate Professor, Faculty of law, University of Victoria (Coast Salish, Cowichan)
    Moderator: The Honourable Justice W. James W. O’Reilly, Federal Court; President, CIAJ
  • 6th Webinar: Court Changes after the COVID-19 Pandemic and Indigenous Cultural Relevancy (March 10, 2021)
    (In English, with simultaneous interpretation)
    Speakers: Judge Brent Hoy, Provincial Court, British Columbia; Jennifer Carmicheal, Crown Counsel at Ministry of Children and Family Development and Mark Gervin, Gervin Law
    Moderator: Scott Robertson, Senior Associate, Nahwegahbow Corbiere Genoodmagejig Barrister & Solicitors (Six Nations of the Grand River, Hodinöhsö:ni’);

2015 | Aboriginal Peoples and Law: “We Are All Here to Stay”

Program Details


Wednesday, October 14, 2015
Thursday, October 15, 2015
Friday, October 16, 2015


Following on the heels of the work of the Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission, this Conference presents a unique opportunity for everyone within the administration of justice to consider how best to work towards reconciliation. This Conference will be of interest to judges, lawyers, police officers, correction workers, court administrators, academics, law students, members of tribunals and community workers.

“Finally, this litigation has been both long and expensive, not only in economic but in human terms as well. By ordering a new trial, I do not necessarily encourage the parties to proceed to litigation and to settle their dispute through the courts. As was said in Sparrow, at p. 1105, s. 35(1) “provides a solid constitutional base upon which subsequent negotiations can take place.” Those negotiations should also include other aboriginal nations which have a stake in the territory claimed. Moreover, the Crown is under a moral, if not a legal, duty to enter into and conduct those negotiations in good faith. Ultimately, it is through negotiated settlements, with good faith and give and take on all sides, reinforced by the judgments of this Court, that we will achieve what I stated in Van der Peet, supra, at para. 31, to be a basic purpose of s. 35(1) -- “the reconciliation of the pre-existence of aboriginal societies with the sovereignty of the Crown.” Let us face it, we are all here to stay.” Delgamuukw v. British Columbia (Supreme Court of Canada) [1997] 3 SCR 1010, par. 186


  • The Honourable Justice Georgina Jackson, Court of Appeal for Saskatchewan

Special Advisor

  • The Honourable Justice Murray Sinclair, Court of Queen's Bench for Manitoba and Chair of the Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Planning Committee

  • Professor Beth Bilson, Acting Dean, College of Law, University of Saskatchewan
  • Ms. Omeasoo Wahpasiw, Ph. D. Student, University of Saskatchewan
  • Assistant Commissioner Brenda Butterworth-Carr, Commanding Officer, RCMP, "F" Division, Saskatchewan
  • Ms. Maria Campbell, Author, artist, playwright and filmmaker, Saskatchewan
  • Chief Tammy Cook Searson, Lac La Ronge Indian Band, Saskatchewan
  • Chief Marie-Anne Daywalker, Okanese First Nation, Saskatchewan
  • The Honourable Justice Jeffery D. Kalmakoff, Court of Queen's Bench of Saskatchewan
  • Ms. Leanne LaPrise, Law Student, College of Law, University of Saskatchewan
  • Mr. Mitch McAdam, Director, Aboriginal Law Branch, Ministry of Justice of Saskatchewan, Regina, SK
  • The Honourable Judge Gerald M. Morin, Saskatchewan Provincial Court, Prince Albert, SK
  • Professor Marilyn Poitras, College of Law, University of Saskatchewan
  • The Honourable Chief Justice Martel Popescul, Saskatchewan Court of Queen's Bench
  • Ms. Riva Farrell Racette, Lawyer, MacPherson Leslie & Tyeman LLP, Regina, SK
  • Mr. Marcel G. St-Onge, Director, Child and Family Programs, Ministry of Social Services, Saskatoon, SK
  • Ms. Beth Symes, C.M., LSM
  • Ms. Jan Turner, Assistant Deputy Minister, Courts and Tribunals Division, Ministry of Justice of Saskatchewan, Regina, SK
  • Chief Clive Weighill, Saskatoon Police Service, President of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police
  • Ms. Michèle Moreau, Executive Director, CIAJ, Montreal, QC