JFK Court Report: Recent Cases from Specific Claims Tribunal

Atikamekw D’Opitciwan First Nation v Canada (Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development), 2014 SCTC 9

The Atikamekw D’Opitciwan First Nation (the “Claimant”) sought to amend its Further Amended Declaration of Claim (the “Claim”) which alleges that the Claimant did not receive the amount of reserve land to which they were entitled and claims compensation for the damage and inconvenience resulting from the insufficient area they received. The amendments sought are based on an expert report prepared for the Respondent which indicates that the reserve land originally surveyed as 2,290 acres in size should have been 2,760 acres.

The Tribunal allowed the amendments. The Tribunal found that the proposed amendments are: (1) relevant in that they directly relate to the questions in dispute, notably the area of the reserve; and (2) the amendments do not change the nature of the action. The Parties are permitted to present new evidence on the discrepancy. However, the Tribunal held that it is not in the interest of justice to prolong the arguments or postpone oral submissions, as the evidence already submitted to the Tribunal shows that exhaustive research has been done on this issue.