Aboriginal Treaty Rights Access (ATRA) Passports
Paliare Roland has commenced a class action in Nova Scotia on behalf of a proposed class of individuals defined as “all persons who currently hold or held valid Aboriginal and Treaty Rights Access Passports (“ATRA Passports”) as of July 13, 2017.
The claim alleges, in general, that the Province of Nova Scotia breached its duty to consult with the Mi’kmaq people of Nova Scotia when it decided to accept only federal Indian status cards associated with Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq First Nations for the purpose of harvesting renewable resources under provincial jurisdiction. As a result of the Province’s decision, the plaintiffs and all other proposed class members who do not hold a federally-issued status card associated with a Nova Scotia Indian Act Band are no longer able to hunt in accordance with their Aboriginal and treaty rights, without fear of being charged and prosecuted by the Province in the courts.
The claim seeks a declaration that the Province has breached the constitutional rights of the proposed class, as well as damages. The claim also asks the court to order that the province revert to recognizing ATRA Passport holders for the purpose of hunting and harvesting, on the same basis as holders of federally-issued status cards.
None of the allegations against the defendant has been proven in court. A hearing date has not yet been set.