KLCN Land Grievance Update



Over the past year, lawyers for Kelly Lake Cree Nation (KLCN) have been working to set a trial date for our land grievance against the government of Canada. In anticipation of the trial, archaeological and anthropological experts have been preparing documentation and testimony to be submitted as evidence on our behalf.

The comprehensive land claim was filed in 1996. Since 1998, the federal government has made several unsuccessful attempts to have KLCN’s claim thrown out of court. These tactics have resulted in our claims process dragging on for the past 20 years, at considerable expense to both parties.

In February 2017, KLCN’s legal action was stayed based on the opinion of the presiding judge that land cases must be settled in the provincial courts. This ruling was upheld in August of 2017. We know the provincial governments in BC and Alberta look to the Canadian government for direction on the recognition of First Nations. The judge in these proceedings failed to consider the existing Constitutional Acts that apply to our situation.

This is not the first time the government of Canada has attempted to have our action dismissed. They have not been successful to date. We filed an appeal on September 11, 2017, and we will continue to move forward. 


What does it mean when you say the action was “stayed?”

A “Stay of Proceedings” is a ruling made by a court to stop or suspend proceeding temporarily or indefinitely. A court may later lift the stay and continue the proceeding.

Was KLCN’s case “thrown out” of court?

No, the case has not been dismissed. A stay of proceedings simply stops the case from progressing through the courts until new evidence can be presented or until after the appeal.

Why is KLCN continuing with the land grievance?

KLCN has a compelling case against the government of Canada, and broad support from other Aboriginal groups across Canada, including a formal endorsement from the Assembly of First Nations. Our case is supported by precedent (decisions in other Land Title cases) and the Supreme Court decision in Daniels v. Canada.