The honour of the Crown requires that the Crown fulfil their treaty promises with honour, diligence, and integrity. The duty of honour also includes a duty to interpret and implement the Treaties purposively and in a liberal or generous manner.
Justice Hennessy, Restoule v Canada (Attorney General) 2018
The Specific Claims process was designed to address the Crown’s broken historic treaty promises and related wrongs. Government of Canada established the process and it was intended to be an effective policy-based alternative to litigation of historic treaty claims.
Westaway Law Group has expertise in this area and can work with First Nations to file Specific Claims with the Government of Canada, challenging it to fulfil its fiduciary duties and honour historic treaty promises or other lawful obligations. Colonialism’s long legacy includes, among many traumas, the Government’s failure to fulfil Treaty and other agreed-upon obligations to Indigenous peoples.
Specific Claims can be resolved through negotiating directly with the federal government. If rejected for negotiations or, alternatively, after a three-year period has passed, a claim can be filed with the Specific Claims Tribunal.
Specific Claims Tribunal
The Specific Claims Tribunal was established in 2008 to address Specific Claims that would not be resolved under the Policy.
Whereas the Specific Claims Policy and the Specific Claims Tribunal are means by which First Nations address historic treaty breaches and related wrongs, the Special Claims process is a process by which Métis and non-status First Nations can submit claims to the Government of Canada relating to their Indigenous rights, including rights to self-determination or to title.
A Special Claim is often the first step to negotiating with Canada for recognition. Westaway Law Group has experience working with numerous communities to submit Special Claims.
Westaway Law Group has helped prepare and file successful Specific Claims and Special Claims and we have appeared before the Specific Claims Tribunal, as well as at various levels of court throughout Canada. Our lawyers are experienced at all stages of the process. We have worked with First Nations to find authoritative historical research, submit strong claims, and negotiate settlements. Our team is well-versed in the procedural mechanics of the claims process and can assist by providing legal and strategic advice at every step along the way.