Native Land Rights and Northern Development


  • Peter A. Cumming



Energy Law, Petroleum Law


In this article, the author continues his discussion of the question of native rights previously dealt with in (1973) 11 Alta. L. Rev. 238. He first discusses court developments, in the field of native rights since May, 1972. He pays particular attention' to the Nishga Case, the James Bay Development Case, and the Caveat Case in the Northwest Territories. He points out the effect that these decisions on the question of native title will have on Canadian society and urges that legislative action be taken to solve the problem. In the second part of his paper, the author deals with what he considers to be the main issues to be considered in any native land claims settlement. With view to the rapid changes taking place in Northern Canada and their effect on native culture and society, he suggests the approach to be followed in land claims settlement. The settlement he stresses must both allow some native retention of land ownership while at the same time providing com pensation for lands taken and an opportunity for the natives to participate in the management of the "New North". He insists that compromise satis factory to both the interests of natives and non-natives is possible and sets forth proposal which, in his opinion, meets his criteria. Only through an approach resembling the suggested approach can the natives both preserve their culture and identity and at the same time integrate into the main stream of Canadian society.


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