Supreme Court of Canada hears that governments and courts can no longer ignore First Nations laws


On 23 September 2020, PILC (Joëlle Pastora Sala and Byron Williams) appeared at the Supreme Court of Canada on behalf of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs in the constitutional reference relating to carbon pricing. The AMC intervention focused on the role of First Nations laws in considering the constitutionality of Canada’s carbon pricing legislation. Prior to the hearing, PILC staff participated in a ceremony led by a Traditional Knowledge Holder to provide guidance to the legal team and to spiritualize the factum that was filed at the Supreme Court. Joëlle Pastora Sala’s oral submissions were provided by Zoom and PILC has received significant favourable national commentary from lawyers, academics and Traditional Knowledge Holders about Joëlle’s performance including relating to her exchange with Mr. Justice Rowe which headlined the National Observer’s coverage of day two of the hearing.

For more information and to read the National Observer story, see: link

A story was also prepared by Ici Manitoba, see: link

The PILC factum is available here: Factum of the Intervener, The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs #38663 and #38781