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Aboriginal Law and Indigenous Rights

Cavalluzzo acts for Indigenous clients to advance their Indigenous rights and interests in the Canadian legal system. We advocate for the advancement and protection of collective Aboriginal and treaty rights, including Indigenous sovereignty and legal traditions and orders, and Indigenous peoples' individual rights through various legal and political fora, including domestic courts and tribunals, nation-to-nation negotiation tables, and international human rights bodies. We are committed to working with Indigenous clients to identify and eliminate constraints on their inherent sovereignty and right to self-determination, and to assist them in navigating the legal web of Canadian laws and policies.

Our expertise encompasses protecting Aboriginal and treaty rights through negotiation, litigation, the Specific Claims process, public commission and inquest work, and the domestic assertion of international Indigenous rights principles, including self-determination and Free, Prior, and Informed Consent. Our negotiation and litigation practice for Indigenous clients draws upon Cavalluzzo's expertise in constitutional, administrative, and regulatory law by bringing together teams of lawyers across our different practice areas to meet our Indigenous clients' diverse needs in areas of health, human rights, and resource management.

Notable representations include:

  • Williams Lake Indian Band v. Canada (Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development), in which the Firm represented the Specific Claims Tribunal as an intervenor at the Supreme Court of Canada. The Court considered whether the Specific Claims Tribunal had the right to award monetary compensation for claims arising from the Crown’s failure to designate certain lands that were the traditional territory of the Williams Lake Indian Band as exempt from pre-emption. The Court upheld the tribunal’s award and confirmed its ability to recognize such claims and compensate claimants for their losses.
  • Canada v. Kitselas First Nation, in which the Firm represented the Specific Claims Tribunal as an intervenor at the Federal Court of Appeals on an application for judicial review of the Tribunal’s decision recognizing the Kitselas First Nation’s claim for beach of fiduciary duty related to exclusion of a parcel of land in a reserve identified in 1891. The Court upheld the Tribunal’s decision and dismissed the judicial review application.

Related Resources

Firm News/15 February 2019

Grassy Narrows First Nation Pow Wow

Grassy Narrows is hosting a pow wow February 16-17, 2019. Cavalluzzo is a proud supporter of the pow...
Firm News/6 February 2019

Public release of FAFIA & Partners final submissions to the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

Today the Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action (FAFIA), Canada Without Poverty, and D...
News/10 October 2018

Grassy Narrows enacts ANA Land Declaration, asserts sovereignty over traditional territory

The Chief and Council of Asubpeeschoseewagong Netum Anishinabek (ANA or Grassy Narrows First Nation)...
News/28 September 2018

Grassy Narrows welcomes long overdue changes to the Mercury Disability Board and maintains call for further reforms

The Ontario Minister of Indigenous Affairs announced that the Mercury Disability Board (MDB) payment...
News/21 November 2017

Paul Cavalluzzo and Adrienne Telford appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada in the Groia v. Law Society of Upper Canada appeal.

Paul Cavalluzzo and Adrienne Telford appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada on November 6, 2017...
News/21 November 2017

Historic Legislation Introduced to Clean Up Mercury Contamination Poisoning Grassy Narrows First Nation

Ontario has recently introduced historic legislation to clean up the mercury contamination that has ...
News/15 February 2019

Grassy Narrows First Nation Pow Wow

Grassy Narrows is hosting a pow wow February 16-17, 2019. Cavalluzzo is a proud supporter of the pow wow, which is an important event meant to strengt... Read More
News/6 February 2019

Public release of FAFIA & Partners final submissions to the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

Today the Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action (FAFIA), Canada Without Poverty, and Dr. Pamela Palmater ("FAFIA & Partners") public... Read More
News/10 October 2018

Grassy Narrows enacts ANA Land Declaration, asserts sovereignty over traditional territory

The Chief and Council of Asubpeeschoseewagong Netum Anishinabek (ANA or Grassy Narrows First Nation) issued the ANA Land Declaration today. The ANA L... Read More
News/28 September 2018

Grassy Narrows welcomes long overdue changes to the Mercury Disability Board and maintains call for further reforms

The Ontario Minister of Indigenous Affairs announced that the Mercury Disability Board (MDB) payments made to individuals affected by mercury poisonin... Read More
News/21 November 2017

Paul Cavalluzzo and Adrienne Telford appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada in the Groia v. Law Society of Upper Canada appeal.

Paul Cavalluzzo and Adrienne Telford appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada on November 6, 2017 in the Groia v. Law Society of Upper Canada appea... Read More
News/21 November 2017

Historic Legislation Introduced to Clean Up Mercury Contamination Poisoning Grassy Narrows First Nation

Ontario has recently introduced historic legislation to clean up the mercury contamination that has impacted Grassy Narrows First Nation for generatio... Read More

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