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Case Studies

The Nokiiwin Tribal Council

In response to the Federal Government’s planned roll out of UNDRIP, Mokwateh collaborated with Nokiiwin on a legal brief to proactively ensure that the Nations they represent are considered in the implementation of this significant piece of legislation.


The Nokiiwin Tribal Council


June 2023


Law & Education

The Client

The Nokiiwin Tribal Council, servicing the five First Nation communities within the Robinson Superior Territory: Animbiigoo Zaagi'igan Anishinaabek (Lake Nipigon Ojibway), Biinjitiwaabik Zaaging Anishinaabek (Rocky Bay First Nation), Bingwi Neyaashi Anishinaabek (Sandpoint First Nation), Netmizaaggamig Nishnaabeg (Pic Mobert First Nation) and Animkii Wajiw (Fort William First Nation).

The Need

In 2022 the Canadian Senate ratified the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). This legislation commits Canada to implement domestically a significant international declaration which will shape the relationship between Canadian and Indigenous peoples. The declaration will proactively define Indigenous Rights in Canada - these rights currently need to be proven in court, often on a case by case basis. A notable part of UNDRIP is ensuring the Free and Prior Consent (FPIC) of Indigenous peoples to development projects taking place on their Traditional Territories. FPIC will have a meaningful effect on the economic inclusion of Indigenous peoples in this country.

The Federal Government is in the process of rolling out an UNDRIP implementation road map, a plan that will be meaningless without the input of Indigenous peoples themselves.

The Bespoke Solution

Mokwateh collaborated with Nokiiwin to engage the members of the five Nations they represent, working with them to develop a legal brief to submit to the Department of Justice. This approach included:

  • Working with the Nokiiwin Tribal Council team to create an engagement strategy reflecting the vision of their leadership

  • Creating a package of plain language content explaining the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act and its implications and opportunities

  • Presenting at unity gatherings and other Nokiiwin Tribal Council gatherings

  • Engagement with focus groups, a survey, and one-on-one interviews to speak with women, elders, and youth

The Bridge We Built

The project benefited the member Nations of the Nokiiwin Tribal Council by increasing local understanding of UNDRIP and providing multiple opportunities to provide input, as rights holders. Ultimately, we were successful in shaping some of the government's thinking on how UNDRIP will be rolled out.

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