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Sovereignty's PromiseThe State as Fiduciary$
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Evan Fox-Decent

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199698318

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199698318.001.0001

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Seeking Sovereignty

Seeking Sovereignty

(p.54) (p.55) II Seeking Sovereignty
Sovereignty's Promise

Evan Fox-Decent

Oxford University Press

I discuss the fiduciary relationship the Supreme Court of Canada has recognised between the Crown and Aboriginal peoples. The First Nations case is significant because it demonstrates that public, wide and far-reaching fiduciary obligations are possible. I argue that the Court has turned to fiduciary doctrine to attempt to legitimise the Crown’s claim to sovereignty over Canada’s Indigenous peoples. While the result is an improvement over prior Aboriginal subjection to unfettered Crown discretion, the legitimacy of Crown sovereignty in relation to Aboriginal peoples remains limited by the reluctance of the Crown to recognise Aboriginal sovereignty.

Keywords:   Aboriginal, indigenous, native, crown-native fiduciary relationship, first nations, aboriginal rights, treaty rights

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