JFK Law files Treaty claim on behalf of Duncan’s First Nation to address the cumulative effects of development

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On July 18, 2022, Duncan’s First Nation – a Treaty 8 First Nation located in what is now northwestern Alberta – filed a Statement of Claim with the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta. The lawsuit claims that the Province of Alberta has breached its obligations to Duncan’s First Nation under Treaty 8, including Alberta’s honourable and fiduciary duties, by authorizing extensive non-Indigenous uses of lands, waters, and natural resources in and around the First Nation’s traditional territory.

The claim advances many of the same grounds as the precedent-setting Blueberry River First Nations lawsuit, which concerned British Columbia’s obligations under Treaty 8 and was decided in favour of Blueberry River in spring 2021.

In a recent Canadian Press interview, JFK Law’s Jeff Langlois noted that Duncan’s First Nation’s claim comes as a last resort, following attempts by the First Nation to apprise Alberta of their concerns. “If they don’t sit down with us,” he explained, “we have to take another step.”

The full Canadian Press article is available below:

Northern Alberta First Nation suing province over cumulative environmental effects