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Recognizing Indigenous Laws and Jurisdictions: Examples and Opportunities

The ELC’s work primarily serves British Columbia, but it often has much wider usefulness and impact. Such was the case that led to our recent collaborative work with the Justice and Corporate Accountability Project (JCAP) on an Amicus Curiae brief in support of a women’s group in Peru that is trying to protect a local river in the Peruvian Court.   

The brief, which draws on our previous work with the BC First Nations Energy and Mining Council on the Case for a Guardians Network Initiative as well as many other ELC projects, highlights examples of Canadian governments recognizing Indigenous laws and jurisdictions, co-governance arrangements, and expanded powers for Indigenous groups under colonial laws. It also shows the growing recognition of Indigenous law within state environmental impact assessment processes in Canada. Our clients at JCAP, who work with the Kukama Women’s Federation, said in a recent press conference statement, “Many Canadians are realizing that co-governance of natural resources with Indigenous peoples is just and necessary in light of Canada’s colonial history, and that it further has the potential to open pathways toward a more sustainable model which will benefit everyone.”

ELC Submission: