By: Yule Schmidt
The aboriginal rights provisions in the 1982 constitutional reforms profoundly changed the way Canada deals with First Nations land and treaty claims. Before then they were mostly resolved through negotiation with governments. Since 1982, the courts have taken a lead role. As Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, Beverley McLachlin has made “reconciliation” the guiding principle of decision-making related to aboriginal rights cases. But after 30 years of litigation, writes Yule Schmidt, reconciliation is still a long way off.