The Corbiere Decision
Corbiere Decision – Community Consultations – June 05, 2001BCAAFC Policy Statement on Corbiere
The mission of improving the quality of life for Aboriginal peoples enables BCAAFC to advance qualified support of the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in the case of Corbiere v Canada and the Batchewana Band.
The BCAAFC supports the ruling that the section 77(1) of the Indian Act - stating that only members who are “ordinarily resident on reserve” can vote for Chief and Council -violates section 15 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The BCAAFC supports the decision that off-reserve First Nations possess the right to vote in Indian Act band elections.
The BCAAFC acknowledges the multiple and complex implications of the decision, some as yet unknown and all of which need to be addressed. The BCAAFC recognizes matters related to the Corbiere decision in which it views itself as having a role to play:
The BCAAFC supports the spirit and intent of the ‘NAFC Policy Statement on Corbiere’ which reads:
- Notice – the manner of, the extent of, the amount of and means of communicating notice to urban and rural off-reserve First Nations members
- Access – to the rights and means to vote in elections and referendums.
- NAFC has traditionally advocated on behalf of First Nations members who have established a connection with urban Centres.
- The Corbiere decision directly concerns the voice of First Nations peoples who reside “off-reserve”, in the governance “selections” and “mechanisms” of First Nations
BCAAFC at its Annual General Meeting passed a resolution (June 3, 2001) which in summary:
- Therefore, the NAFC views its role as facilitating the expression of those First Nations members connected with the urban centres.
- Calls upon the federal government to implement Corbiere Phase II, which is to include consultation on the broad based amendments to the Indian Act
- Encourages BC First Nations agencies to call on the federal government to comply with the Supreme Court Decision on Corbiere within the scope of the First Nations Governance Initiative (March 2001)
- Supports First Nations participation in the drafting of legislation, compliant with the Corbiere decision, which protects the portability of rights of First Nations people living on and off-reserve.
BCAAFC Policy Statement – Corbiere Implementation June 05, 2001/pe