The OCLA was honoured to present its 2016 Civil Liberties Award to Dr. Bruce Allan Clark at a public event in Ottawa, Ontario on Friday, October 14, 2016.
Dr. Clark gave an address (text available here) about the central constitutional question at the heart of his life’s work of researching and defending aboriginal land rights in Canada, summarized in the following paragraph from his speech:
The legal truth is that the settled constitutional aboriginal right is the power of veto over provincial development of crown land, based upon the Royal Proclamation of 1763, section 109 of the Constitution Act, 1867, and the leading precedents St. Catherines Milling, 1888 and In re Indian Claims, 1897. The lie, recently invented by the Supreme Court of Canada in wilful blindness, is that the aboriginal right is no more than “the right to be consulted:” Haida Nation v. British Columbia in 2004; R. v Van der Peet in 1996; Delgamuukw v British Columbia in 1997; and Mikisew Cree First Nation v Canada (Minister of Canadian Heritage) in 2005. Each of these was in the Supreme Court of Canada.
The enormity of Dr. Clark’s contribution of exposing the injustice of the Canadian legal system’s violations of aboriginal land rights and the painful price paid by himself, his family, and his clients, became apparent in a deep and wide-ranging discussion with attendees, Dr. Clark, and speakers Chief Gary Metallic and Bruce’s wife Margaret.
A few photos from the event are below. A video montage from the event is currently in production, and will be made available in some weeks.