By Dan Russell
Written via a practicing Aboriginal legal professional, this e-book argues that Aboriginal self-government in Canada might most sensible be completed through a constitutional modification, no longer via treaties, as has been the preoccupation of provincial governments for the reason that 1982.
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Additional info for A People’s Dream: Aboriginal Self-Government in Canada
The subsequent case of Duro v. Reina proved the reasoning in Oliphant to be devastating. 34 The defendant appealed his conviction by challenging the jurisdiction of the tribal court. It appeared to most observers that this jurisdiction was secure since both victim and accused were Indians and therefore subject to the exclusive criminal law authority of the tribe. In addition, although Duro had killed a young tribal member, he had not been prosecuted for murder, an offence restricted to federal authority by the Major Crimes Act.
In 1934, Congress passed the Indian Reorganization Act (IRA),92 intended to establish tribal governing structures along recognized federal and municipal forms. Over the previous fifty years, particularly since the introduction of the Major Crimes Act and the CFRs to reservation life, the traditional government structure of many tribes had fallen into disuse. The IRA introduced institutional forms of government that the tribes could adopt as their own. However, these “boilerplate” government forms presented their own problems.
53 This 1959 Supreme Court case was based on a civil law suit brought in a state court by a non-Indian for the collection of a commercial debt alleged to have been incurred by an Indian couple. The purchases were made on a Navajo reservation. The court reaffirmed the holdings in Worcester by declaring that state courts have no civil law jurisdiction on an Indian reservation. The court restated this in a unique way. According to Justice Black for the majority, Over the years this Court has modified these principles in cases where essential tribal relations were not involved and where the rights of Indians would not be jeopardized, but the basic policy of Worcester has remained.