‘Another step:’ Federal Court judge releases ruling in Cree and Dene

Justice Sebastien Grammond wrote about the importance of including the two languages in a ruling

The Federal Court of Canada says it has issued a ruling in Cree and Dene — the first time it’s done so in an Indigenous language.

Justice Sebastien Grammond wrote about the importance of including the two languages in a ruling last Friday that overturned the suspension of a First Nations band councillor in Fort McMurray, Alta.

A summary of the ruling was written and recorded in Cree and Dene, which are the languages of the parties that were involved.

“The Federal Court is committed to being more accessible to Indigenous people when they wish to bring legal disputes for resolution by the court,” wrote Grammond.

“Many court hearings are held directly in the Indigenous community or via webcast, and where appropriate court procedure is adapted to make space for Indigenous protocols.

“With the release of today’s decision, the court is also taking another step in making court decisions more accessible.”

Grammond thanked the “language keepers” who assisted with preparing the summary in Cree and Dene.

The case involved Samantha Whalen from the Fort McMurray 468 First Nation who was suspended by her council colleagues. They had concluded she had engaged in wrongful conduct, including the disclosure of financial information and her participation in a blockade of a First Nation’s business.

Whalen argued that the council didn’t have the power to suspend her and the Federal Court agreed.

ALSO READ: Cheers erupt as Federal Court judge approves historic gay purge settlement

A court spokesman said efforts have been underway for the last 15 years to bring in practical initiatives such as guidelines for litigation involving Indigenous people and for conducting court hearings in their communities.

Andrew Baumberg, legal counsel for the Federal Court, said court members decided at a recent meeting to provide summaries of judgments in the language of the Indigenous communities involved in appropriate cases.

“In recognition of the important role that language plays in First Nation communities,” Baumberg wrote in an email, “the Federal Court intends to continue to increase access to justice for Indigenous people.”

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Local shares his story of life and death on the St. Mary River

Aric Keane hopes sharing his story will show that even with experience, the river can be dangerous

Kootenay Savings donates to regional health care initiatives

Kootenay Savings has donated $20,000 to health care efforts amid the COVID-19… Continue reading

Compound 1080 confirmed in dog deaths in Gold Creek area

Pathologist believes the poisoning was secondary

Farm life: Planning and preserving, a time of transition

Over the coming weeks many plants will be pulled from my garden and replaced with cool weather crops

Masks4Canada group reiterates call for mask mandate

Walmart Canada and BC Transit have made masks mandatory

B.C. records new COVID-19 death, 85 more cases; Horgan calls on celebrity help

This brings the total number of active confirmed cases to 531 across the province

Horvat scores 2 as Vancouver Canucks beat Blues 5-2 in NHL playoff opener

Game 2 in best-of-seven series goes Friday night

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

High-volume littering at Cape Scott draws ire from hiking groups

Popular Vancouver Island hiking spot not closing, but frustration about crowding grows

SFU to drop ‘Clan’ varsity team name

The ‘Clan’ name is shortened from ‘Clansmen,’ and was introduced roughly 55 years ago

New Tory leader must build a strong team in Commons and for the campaign: Scheer

Scheer marked his final day in the House of Commons today as leader of the Opposition

B.C. to hire 500 more COVID-19 contact tracers ahead of fall

Contract tracers add an ‘extra layer’ in the fight against the novel coronavirus

Feds commit $305M in additional funds for Indigenous communities during COVID-19

Money can be used to battle food insecurity and support children and mental health

We were a bit tone deaf: Hobo Cannabis renamed Dutch Love after backlash

Hobo Cannabis has various locations in Vancouver, Kelowna and Ottawa

Most Read