Section I examines the principles underlying Aboriginal rights and the history of Aboriginal claims to land and resources. The notion of the treaty as a sacred exchange between the Crown and Aboriginal societies is explored, as is the fiduciary relationship created between the Crown and Aboriginal peoples. Special attention is given to the Constitution Act of 1982 which, for the first time, affirmed Aboriginal treaty rights. The division of powers between the federal and provincial/territorial levels of government is also examined, and there is an in-depth look at the Indian Act, Indian Oil and Gas Act, the Federal-Provincial Resource Agreements on Reserve Lands, the Fisheries Act, the Migratory Birds Convention Act, and the First National Land Management Act.
Section II provides a province-by-province breakdown of major legislation, regulations, and treaties with special attention to Aboriginal rights to land and resources. Complex issues that are unique to particular regions and provinces are also examined in this section, including modern agreements and treaties (such as the Nisga’a of British Columbia) and currently unresolved land claims (such as the Atikamekw and Montagnais claims).
Permission to Develop is more than a reference book. It is the first comprehensive and integrated attempt to assess Aboriginal treaties, laws, and regulations at all levels of government. It is essential reading for those interested in the legal issues pertaining to Aboriginal communities, Aboriginal economic development, and the politics and the sociology of First Nations.