Maiyoo Keyoh at the Supreme Court of Canada

Posted on February 7, 2013

On December 11, 2012 the Supreme Court of Canada heard arguments from Lawyer Christopher Devlin for the Maiyoo Keyoh.  The decision was rendered on May 21, 2013. 

The Maiyoo Keyoh is a territory owned by a customary family group.  Statutory creations overlap with some of our membership. But Indian Act bands, like Nak’azdli are creations of statute and are not the historic governance structure and title holders according to our Indigenous laws and customs.  The Supreme Court of Canada in this case decided that:

Certain Aboriginal and treaty rights may have both collective and individual aspects, and it may well be that in appropriate circumstances, individual members can assert them.  Here, it might be argued that because of a connection between the rights at issue and a specific geographic location within the First Nation’s territory, the community members have a greater interest in the protection of the rights on their traditional family territory than do other members of the First Nation, and that this connection gives them a certain standing to raise the violation of their particular rights as a defence…

Challenges of Crown-authorisations for lack of consultation relies on the strength of indigenous legal traditions.  This Supreme Court of Canada decision leaves the option open and raises the possibility, of individuals and Aboriginal groups opposing government activity based on an infringement of their Aboriginal rights and title.  While it is unclear how many Aboriginal groups have both the motivation and the means to act on their own, the Maiyoo Keyoh continues its efforts to defend their Aboriginal rights.

For more information visit Devlin Gailus Aboriginal Law:

And the Supreme Court of Canada website:

Be the first to leave a comment

Leave a Reply