The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) is dedicated to promoting and ensuring the just and enduring recognition of First Nation legal orders, languages, customs, and cultures in all their diversity. This commitment extends to policies, processes, and legislation that directly impact First Nations.
The AFN continues to advance mandates from First-Nations-in-Assembly to ensure that policies, processes, and legislation uphold Articles 27 and 40 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This includes ensuring the recognition of Indigenous laws in any new specific claims process co-developed by the AFN and the Government of Canada.
Indigenous peoples have the right to access to and prompt decision through just and fair procedures for the resolution of conflicts and disputes with States or other parties, as well as to effective remedies for all infringements of their individual and collective rights. Such a decision shall give due consideration to the customs, traditions, rules and legal systems of the indigenous peoples concerned and international human rights.
June 13, 2023 – Indigenous Laws Gathering, in unceded Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Territory [Vancouver, British Columbia]
The inaugural gathering, co-hosted by the Assembly of First Nations Council of Experts in Indigenous Laws and the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs, brought together First Nation leaders, young people, legal experts, and federal officials to embark on a discussion of the recognition of Indigenous Laws. The one-day event focused on grounding Indigenous laws within local ceremony, traditions, and protocols.
The AFN and the Council of Experts in Indigenous Laws recognize the importance of further gatherings on Indigenous Laws and are committed to further gatherings in the future. Stay tuned to this page for updates.
Explore our mandates from First-Nations-in-Assembly calling for the just recognition and integration of Indigenous Laws and Legal Orders:
Several organizations across Turtle Island are passionately engaged in similar work. Explore some of their projects below:
The Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) work on Indigenous laws can be explored here: ourlawsarisefromtheland.org