On May 15, 2015, the Assembly of First Nations released its Report on the Five Year Review of the Specific Claims Tribunal Act.
The Specific Claims Tribunal Act was developed in partnership between the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) and Canada. Enacted in 2008, it established an independent tribunal to adjudicate specific claims that were not resolved through negotiation. The Specific Claims Tribunal Act includes a five year review to be tabled in Parliament. The Act holds that the views of First Nations would be considered in this process.
Using a Ministerial Special Representative, the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development is currently conducting a review. The AFN was not directly engaged in this process. As a result, the AFN initiated its own process to seek meaningful contributions from First Nations communities and other interested parties.
Under direction from the National Chief and the AFN’s Chiefs Committee on Claims, the AFN established an independent Expert Panel in February 2015. Gowlings partner, Robert Winogron, was appointed to the Expert Panel. The panel invited submissions from across Canada and held a day of hearings in both Toronto and Vancouver during the month of March 2015. The Expert Panel has finalized its report which has been made publicly available online.