First Nations have an inherent right of self-government and self-determination. While these rights can be realized through First Nations law and legal institutions, such efforts are often undermined by the lack of enforcement and prosecution of these laws.
In 2018, SCA Resolution 52-18 mandated the Chiefs of Ontario and Leadership Council to advocate for the reinstatement of prosecution and adjudication of First Nations laws.
For more information about issues around the lack of enforcement and prosecution of First Nations laws, refer to the report “Collaborative Approaches to Enforcement of Laws in Indigenous Communities” which was released by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs in June 2021.
In response to the current and longstanding gaps in services for the enforcement and prosecution of First Nations laws, the Tripartite Collaborative Technical Table on the Enforcement and Prosecution of First Nation Laws was established in May 2021. The first of its kind in Ontario, the Collaborative Table is a tripartite forum in which obstacles to the enforcement and prosecution of First Nations laws are to be identified, with a view to developing recommendations and identify pathways forward for implementation. The goal of the Table is to develop, and support the implementation of, concrete and lasting recommendations that will ensure First Nations laws can be consistently and reliably enforced and prosecuted.
The Table was publicly launched in the presence of former Ontario Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald and former Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler, federal Ministers Lametti, Blair, and Miller, Ontario Attorney-General Downey, and Solicitor-General Jones. The Table is composed of First Nations, federal, and provincial representatives, as well as two Elders. The Collaborative Table is Co-Chaired by the Chiefs of Ontario, the Department of Justice Canada, and the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General.
Chiefs of Ontario has a mandate to participate at this Table through Resolution 21/37: The Tripartite Collaborative Technical Table on the Enforcement and Prosecution of First Nations’ Laws.
For more information about the Collaborative Table, refer to the Co-Chairs Report: Year One May 2021-May 2022.