Indigenous Evidence

Indigenous evidence is unique among kinds of evidence as it often comes in forms that differ from traditional evidence, such as oral traditions. To quote the Supreme Court of Canada, from the case R v. Van der Peet:

“[A] court should approach the rules of evidence, and interpret the evidence that exists, with a consciousness of the special nature of aboriginal claims, and of the evidentiary difficulties in proving a right which originates in times where there were no written records of the practices, customs and traditions engaged in.”

And, from Delgamuukw v. British Columbia:

“[A]boriginal rights … demand a unique approach to the treatment of evidence which accords due weight to the perspective of aboriginal peoples.”

A number of First Nations in the NEB process have asked for portions of their evidence to be kept confidential. Out of respect for the sensitivity of this information, we are not featuring indigenous evidence summaries unless the nation provides their own summaries or permission to summarize. A link to the transcripts of the oral hearings can be found here.