Aboriginal Peoples, Indigenous Peoples, Discrimination, Equality, Decolonization
This paper tracks the history of Aboriginal peoples' equality complaints against the state. From the time Aboriginal people started to bring discrimination complaints before the courts, there have been significant obstacles that have operated to effectively — and sometimes even explicitly — prevent Aboriginal peoples from advancing pressing discrimination complaints against governments. Although there have been changes made in the law over time to attempt to eliminate such barriers, what we see is a pattern where new obstacles crop up to replace the old ones. Over and over, Aboriginal peoples see the door to equality open up only to have swing it shut again. This history puts the relationship of Aboriginal people and the state under the microscope and tell us something important about where we find ourselves in terms of reconciliation between Aboriginal people and Canada. The paper ends by providing recommendations on what can be done to address the current obstacles facing Aboriginal equality claims.
Naiomi Metallic, "The Door Has a Tendency to Swing Shut: The Saga of Aboriginal Peoples' Equality Claims" in Aboriginal Law Bench Book, 2nd ed (Ottawa: National Judicial Institute, 2017).
This paper is unpublished and should only be reproduced with the express permission of the author.