By Dan Russell
Written by means of a working towards Aboriginal attorney, this booklet argues that Aboriginal self-government in Canada could most sensible be accomplished through a constitutional modification, now not via treaties, as has been the preoccupation of provincial governments for the reason that 1982.
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Additional resources for A People’s Dream: Aboriginal Self-Government in Canada
LaPlante,73 once again denied the authority of state law on a reservation. The court stated that such a law interferes with a tribal government’s ability to exercise self-government. The court did not mention the preemption test; instead, its reasoning centred on essential tribal interests. In the same year, the Supreme Court, in California v. Cabazon Band of Mission Indians,74 denied state jurisdiction over bingo operations because it interfered with an exercise of tribal self-sufficiency. In the case of Merrion v.
Thus, the criminal laws of the state in which an Indian tribe resided would now be adopted as federal criminal laws and applied in tribal communities. The trial would be held in a federal court, but the definitions of the crime and its penalty would be borrowed from state legislation. It was anticipated that these laws would apply to both Indians and nonIndians alike. Both kinds of offenders could be brought before a federal court and the cases adjudicated accordingly. When only Indians were involved in Lessons for Canada 21 the crime, or an Indian perpetrator was punished by a tribal court, the federal government would defer to tribal jurisdiction.
Although the Cherokee Nation cases, decided fifty years earlier, Lessons for Canada 19 seemed decisively to indicate that state governments had no jurisdiction of any kind in Indian lands, the case of United States v. McBratney25 opened the door to a new perspective on this relationship. The federal government prosecuted a non-Indian for the murder of another non-Indian while on a Ute reservation. McBratney, on appeal of his conviction to the Supreme Court, argued that the state authority was the more appropriate one for the case.
A People’s Dream: Aboriginal Self-Government in Canada by Dan Russell