By Dan Russell
Written by means of a working towards Aboriginal attorney, this publication argues that Aboriginal self-government in Canada might top be accomplished through a constitutional modification, now not via treaties, as has been the preoccupation of provincial governments considering the fact that 1982.
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Extra resources for A People’s Dream: Aboriginal Self-Government in Canada
Nonetheless, this effort proved both effective and debilitating. Many of the tribes began to rely on these CFRs for the administration of justice within their reservations. Not surprisingly, local processes of dispute resolution began to fall into disuse. As a consequence, at least within the ambit 18 The American Tribal Government Experience of criminal law, tribal jurisdiction began to decline across the country. Only a few tribes, such as the Navajo and some of the more traditional Hopi and Pueblo communities, retained traditional laws and dispute-resolving processes.
The federal government passes few laws governing criminal activities. The dilemma presented by this division of criminal authority was that if state laws did not apply in Indian country, then this would also prohibit the application of these criminal codes. But which criminal laws would then apply to non-Indians who committed criminal offences against tribal members? If the state and not the federal government enacted criminal codes, then what criminal law was left to be enforced? It would appear that there was no federal criminal law that would apply.
Some have argued that such an appeal format ensures a culturally relevant resolution to the dispute. Others have argued that this format lends itself to a political bias in any decision. Both observations seem to be fair. Some have tried to resolve the differences between these two opinions through the creation of a multiconstituted appeals forum. The Southwest Inter-Tribal Court of Appeal (SITCA) is just such a mechanism. This court is authorized to act as an appeals forum for regional tribal courts.