Tomorrow, members of the Boughton team will be representing the Council of Yukon First Nations (CYFN) as intervener before the Supreme Court of Canada in the appeal of Cindy Dickson v. Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation.
This appeal—along with Attorney General of Québec, et al. v. Attorney General of Canada, et al., in which Boughton also represented CYFN as intervener—is being closely watched across Canada as it will have far-reaching implications for the nation-to-nation relationship between the Crown and self-governing First Nations who have entered into modern treaties and self-government agreements with the Crown. The judgement in this appeal will establish whether the Charter applies to acts of self-governing First Nations vis-à-vis their citizens, and will clarify the constitutional protections afforded to First Nation governments exercising their inherent rights of self-government affirmed in self-government agreements.
The intervener submissions by CYFN focus on the sui generis nature of Yukon First Nations’ self-government agreements and constitutions, and the need for such self-government agreements and constitutions to be presumptively protected by s. 25 of the Charter.