Seeking Sovereignty

Evan Fox-Decent

in Sovereignty's Promise

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199698318
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191732171 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Constitutional Theory

Seeking Sovereignty

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I discuss the fiduciary relationship the Supreme Court of Canada has recognised between the Crown and Aboriginal peoples. The First Nations case is significant because it demonstrates that public, wide and far-reaching fiduciary obligations are possible. I argue that the Court has turned to fiduciary doctrine to attempt to legitimise the Crown’s claim to sovereignty over Canada’s Indigenous peoples. While the result is an improvement over prior Aboriginal subjection to unfettered Crown discretion, the legitimacy of Crown sovereignty in relation to Aboriginal peoples remains limited by the reluctance of the Crown to recognise Aboriginal sovereignty.

Keywords: Aboriginal; indigenous; native; crown-native fiduciary relationship; first nations; aboriginal rights; treaty rights

Chapter.  9535 words. 

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law

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