Glossary of Laws and Legal Reviewers (Legal Information for Indigenous People)

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Glossary of laws

An Act Respecting First Nations, Inuit and Metis Children, Youth and Families (Bill C-92)

The purpose of the Bill is to recognize Indigenous People’s jurisdiction over child and family services, as part of an inherent and Aboriginal right to self-governance; to establish national standards in this area, in response to the TRC’s Call to Action #4; and to contribute to the implementation of UNDRIP. - Yellowhead Institute

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (the "Charter")

The principal rights and freedoms covered by the Charter include: freedom of expression; the right to a democratic government; the right to live and seek work anywhere in Canada; the legal rights of people accused of crimes; the rights of Indigenous peoples; the right to equality including gender equality; the right to use Canada’s official languages; and the right of French or English minorities to an education in their language. - Canadian Encyclopedia

The Canadian Constitution Act

Section 35: Instituted in 1982, Section 35 of the Canadian Constitution recognizes and affirms existing aboriginal and treaty rights including land claim agreements, and guarantees those rights equally to “both male and female persons.” It also clarifies that “aboriginal peoples of Canada” includes “Indian, Inuit, and Métis” peoples. - CRE Explains UNDRIP

Child, Family and Community Service Act (CFCSA)

Child protection services in BC are intended to safeguard children from harm. Where there is reason to believe a child has been abused or neglected, or is otherwise in need of protection, child protection social workers have the delegated authority to investigate and take appropriate action to ensure that child’s safety. - BC Government website

Criminal Code

Defines the conduct that constitutes criminal offences; sets out defenses that a person can raise if they are charged; establishes the kind and degree of punishment that may be imposed on someone convicted of an offence; describes the powers and procedures to be followed for investigation and prosecution of an offence. - Government of Canada website

Family Homes on Reserve and Matrimonial Interests or Rights Act (FHRMIRA)

The FHRMIRA provides basic protections and rights to individuals on reserves regarding the family home and other matrimonial interests or rights during a relationship, in the event of a relationship breakdown, and on the death of a spouse or common-law partner. - Centre for Excellence for Matrimonial Real Property

Family Law Act (FLA)

the primary legislation on family law issues in British Columbia . . . The Family Law Act talks about the care of children after separation and about how guardians are appointed. It also deals with financial issues like child support, spousal support, and the division of property and debt, as well as with family violence, court processes, and ways of resolving family law problems without going to court. - JP Boyd

Indian Act

Canadian federal law that governs in matters pertaining to Indian status, bands, and Indian reserves. Throughout history it has been highly invasive and paternalistic, as it authorizes the Canadian federal government to regulate and administer in the affairs and day-to-day lives of registered Indians and reserve communities. This authority has ranged from overarching political control, such as imposing governing structures on Aboriginal communities in the form of band councils, to control over the rights of Indians to practice their culture and traditions. The Indian Act has also enabled the government to determine the land base of these groups in the form of reserves, and even to define who qualifies as Indian in the form of Indian status. - Erin Hanson, ""

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

the most comprehensive international instrument on the rights of indigenous peoples. It establishes a universal framework of minimum standards for the survival, dignity and well-being of the indigenous peoples of the world and it elaborates on existing human rights standards and fundamental freedoms as they apply to the specific situation of indigenous peoples. - United Nations

Youth Criminal Justice Act

...the law that governs Canada’s youth justice system. It applies to youth who are at least 12 but under 18 years old, who are alleged to have committed criminal offences. - Government Canada website

Legal reviewers organization key

  • CLAS = Community Legal Assistance Society
  • ICLC = Indigenous Community Legal Clinic
  • ISC = Indigenous Services Canada
  • NALMA = National Aboriginal Land Managers Association
  • NIDUS = Nidus Personal Planning and Resource Centre

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