The ICRSC will incorporate the adjudicative function of the existing Specific Claims Tribunal.
The ICRSC will also house a:
- Commission, providing First Nations with a venue for facilitated negotiations
- Resource Hub, supporting First Nations in developing their claims
- Funding Division, providing First Nations with financial resources to resolve their claims
- Registrar, managing the ICRSC’s operations
The ICRSC will provide First Nations with a fair, independent, flexible, and efficient process to resolve their claims. It will be fully independent, uphold the Honour of the Crown, reflect legal pluralism via the integration of Indigenous laws, and be free from arbitrary limits on financial compensation.
First Nations have advocated for an independent specific claims process for over four decades, repeatedly raising concerns about Canada’s control over funding, access to negotiations and evidence, and unilateral review of specific claims.
Sparked by the legislated five-year review of the Specific Claims Tribunal Act and a 2016 report of the Office of the Auditor General, Canada committed to work jointly with the AFN and First Nations to substantively reform the specific claims process and policy.
In 2017, the Chiefs-in-Assembly passed AFN Resolution 91-2017, Support for a Fully Independent Specific Claims Process, calling on Canada to work in equal partnership with the AFN and First Nations to develop a fully independent process with “the goal of achieving the just resolution of Canada’s outstanding lawful obligations through good faith negotiations.”
The AFN held a series of dialogue sessions with First Nations in the fall of 2019 to seek input on what a fully independent specific claims process should look like. These sessions and the input collected, along with written submissions from several First Nations, helped to inform the development of a Draft Summary Report. Following the release of the Summary Report, the AFN developed a Specific Claims Reform Proposal to guide the reform the specific claims process.
From May to October 2021, the Assembly of First Nations received input from First Nations on the Specific Claims Reform Proposal. The AFN reviewed all responses, revised the draft proposal, and published a final version.
About the Proposal
The AFN hosted regional dialogue sessions for First Nations and their technicians in the fall of 2019. These sessions provided First Nations an important opportunity to share their ideas on how to create a fully independent specific claims process.
Review the Specific Claims Dialogue: Summary Report for a comprehensive overview of what we heard.
Following the release of the Summary Report, Chiefs-in-Assembly passed AFN Resolution 09/2020, identifying the core principles that must be included in a new independent specific claims process. The AFN and its First Nations technical representatives developed the Draft Specific Claims Reform Proposal based on the input received through the 2019 dialogue sessions and consistent with AFN resolution 09/2020.
These are our latest reports, resolutions and other documents on the subject of Specific Claims Policy Reform. To see more documents on this topic, and all other public AFN documents, visit the Document Library.
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