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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

By Law or In Justice

The Indian Specific Claims Commission and the Struggle for Indigenous Justice

The Indian Specific Claims Commission (ICC) was formed in 1991 in response to the Oka crisis. Its purpose was to resolve claims arising from promises made to Indigenous nations in treaties, the federal Indian Act, and within other Crown obligations. This book traces the history of Indigenous claims and the work of the ICC. Written by longstanding ICC Commissioner Jane Dickson, it provides an unflinching look at the inquiry process and the parties involved. Dickson draws upon the records of the commission and her long research and experience with Indigenous claims to provide a balanced, careful analysis of Canada’s claims policy; she also makes a passionate plea for greater claims justice.

240 pages

Table of Contents


1 Specific Claims in Canada: A Brief History and Policy Roadmap

2 Dependent on the Good Will of the Sovereign: Background to the Indian Specific Claims Commission

3 The Indian Specific Claims Commission: Second Sober Thought

4 Challenges to the Process: Applications for Inquiries and Constructive Rejections

5 On the Road Again: Planning Conferences, Community Sessions, and the Integrity of the Process

6 By Law or In Justice: Legal Arguments, Panel Deliberations, and the Murky Waters of the Mediation Unit

7 Beyond Lawful Obligation: The Closure of the ICC and the Rise of the Specific Claims Tribunal

8 The Legacy of the ICC and Lessons for the Future of Specific Claims

Notes; Index

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